webelos8 CBR V #4: “Don’t Let Me Go” by Catherine Ryan Hyde

A building in Los Angeles is home to a group of residents: Billy, agoraphobic former Broadway dancer, who hasn’t left his apartment in a decade; Rayleen, a manicurist; Ms. Hinman, the elderly lady who lives on the top floor; Mr. Lafferty, general all around unpleasant person; Felipe, a young man who lives by himself; and Grace, the 9-year-old daughter of an addict.


When Billy sees Grace sitting outside on the front stoop for hours at a time, he finally gathers the courage to crawl out, literally, crawl, out to his small porch and ask what she’s doing out there, why she doesn’t sit inside. She answers “If I sit inside, then no one will know I’m in trouble.”

What follows is a story, told in Billy’s perspective alternating with Grace’s, about how these building residents, strangers, really, come together to help a little girl they don’t really know. Through her mother’s addictions, relapses, clean periods, and more relapsing, we find out more about Grace, more about Billy, and how she helps him while he’s helping her; and what happens when Grace’s mother finally sobers up for good (not good). 

Although this book has its moments where you just want to rage, overall, this book was fantastic. I’ve not read any of Hyde’s other books, but I will make it a point to do so.

Overall, 4 stars. 🙂

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