source: free ARC via Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing
title: Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde
published: May 19th 2020
first line: It started that day with just the normal levels of my mother driving me crazy.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.
Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.
Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.
As the story starts off Brooke is a 30 something divorced single mom living with her mother and 2 year old daughter Etta. Brooke takes Etta out one evening to the movies when she is carjacked and dragged out of the car. The carjacker proceeds to speed off with baby Etta still in her car-seat. A mother’s worst nightmare right?
Soon after this happens, a homeless 16 year old named Molly finds baby Etta abandoned in an alley still in her car-seat. Molly spends the next 24 hours or so keeping Etta safe until she is finally able to get to the police. She whispers “brave girl, quiet girl” to the baby and soothes her during this scary time. When Brooke and Molly finally meet there is much tension involved but also room for an unlikely bond to form.
This is my third time reading Catherine Ryan Hyde and she tends to move me with her emotional stories. I’ve read Pay It Forward and Chasing Windmills by this author and enjoyed both. This author has a knack for writing stories centering on important issues and featuring characters who become unlikely every day heroes. She creates well fleshed out characters who you can root for. I liked Molly straight away and as the story flows you see what life is like for her as a homeless teenager. I found the author captured her voice really well. Brooke struggles living at home with her mother since they have a strained relationship. She wants to do her best in raising her daughter and is trying to make a better life for them. Molly and Brooke give us the story in alternating chapters so we get to see each of their points of view.
The plot centers around important issues such as homelessness and the importance of acceptance for LGBT teens especially. The author tackled these subjects well. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough especially towards the latter half of the book and I wanted to see how it would all turn out. There is no easy fix but another theme of the story is helping those out who need it most and how in helping others we also help better ourselves. I enjoyed this emotional and moving story and I recommend it.
“I think we all more or less know where we stand with people, whether we like to admit it or not.”-53% Kindle version, Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free review copy of Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde via NetGalley / Lake Union Publishing in exchange for my honest thoughts. Some of the links in the post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission.