In a heavily segregated community of 1959 Texas, a 12-year-old white boy befriends a black boy. Only trouble can follow.
It all begins when Pete Solomon decides to go fishing but finds an injured dog instead. Even though no one else wants anything to do with the possibly wild, probably dangerous, half-wolf hybrid lying at the side of the road, Pete can’t walk away. A victim of abuse at the hands of his father, Pete instinctively understands that he’ll have to gain the dog’s trust before he can load him onto his wagon and take him to the only person in town who might be willing to help: Dr. Lucy. A licensed physician, Lucy lives on the edge of town, treating humans as needed to support her ever expanding menagerie of rescued animals. She keeps her head down and her heart guarded behind a gruff facade; divorce and grief have left her vulnerable. On his way to Dr. Lucy’s house, Pete meets Justin Bell, a boy new to town, and the two become best friends though Pete is white and Justin is black. Soon enough, both Pete and Justin face violent repercussions for breaking the color barrier. And after meeting Justin’s father, Calvin, Lucy, too, falls into a socially dangerous love. Bestselling author of Pay it Forward (1999), Hyde (Leaving Blythe River, 2016, etc.) captures the determination of Justin and Pete’s friendship as well as the wistfulness of Pete’s love for the injured dog. Yet the love between Lucy and Calvin is rushed, underdeveloped, and difficult to believe. As the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia approaches, Hyde fragments their love affair into sections set years apart, which certainly emphasizes the patience required of true love but unfortunately dilutes the intensity of the relationship.
A sentimental yet heartwarming tale of transgression and redemption.