Don’t Let Me Go – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars

Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde book cover - Picture of a young girl with dark hair holding a key on a chain around her neck

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Ten-year-old Grace knows that her mum loves her, but her mum loves drugs too. And there’s only so long Grace can fend off the ‘woman from the county’ who is threatening to put her into care. Her only hope is…

Grown-man Billy Shine hasn’t been out of his apartment for years. People scare him, and the outside world scares him even more. Day in, day out, he lives a perfectly orchestrated silent life within his four walls. Until now. . .

The Plan
Grace bursts into Billy’s life with a loud voice and a brave plan to get her mum clean. And it won’t be easy, because they will have to confiscate the one thing her mum holds most dear . . . they will have to kidnap Grace. (Source: Goodreads)


Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a phenomenal book. It showed up in one of my discounted eBooks emails one day. The description sounded pretty good and it was on sale that day so I thought, “What the heck, I’ll try it”. I’m really glad that I did! It was a fantastic book about 9-year-old Grace (some editions seem to list her as 10, but the one I have said 9) and the struggles she faces as well as how she pulls together everyone in her apartment building, including Billy, a former Broadway dancer, who is now agoraphobic.

I found the characters to be incredibly realistic and full of life. Grace is a beautiful, thoughtful child in a bad situation. Her mother is a sometimes-recovering addict, emphasis on ‘sometimes’, which leads her to be sitting on the front steps waiting for someone to rescue her. Enter in Billy, the former dancer, who hasn’t been out of his apartment in 10 years. He sees Grace sitting there every day and finally ventures out to the patio just outside his apartment to inquire after her. Her answers change everything. The two strike up an unlikely friendship which changes both their lives.

While all of the apartment building members are part of this story, Grace and Billy are the main focus of the story so you don’t learn a lot about the others, but they’re all great secondary characters though. The settings are “just right” for me. There’s enough description so I can see the setting in my head and make up the difference in my imagination. That’s “just right” to me.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good book! I couldn’t put it down! I’m looking forward to reading more by this author.