Standalone Sunday is a feature created by Megan@bookslayereads where each Sunday a standalone book (not part of a series) that I loved or would recommend will be featured!
I love that meme as it takes little time to do (I’m always running like the real busy bee I am) AND I get to promote a book I really loved. This is the perfect idea for me!
If you want to play, feel free but don’t forget to tag Megan’s blog.
For this standalone, gather your tissues especially if you’re a dog lover like I am (who would have guessed with my dog’s pic on this blog right?)
I’d like to introduce you to S.D Hendrickson‘s work. I loved The Mason List (I’ll probably post my review some other time) and I bought Waiting for Wyatt without knowing anything about the blurb. Lucky for me it’s turned out a deeply moving and beautiful read about redemption, forgiveness, good and evil in mankind… Of course you’ll also have a love story 😉
”No one ever thinks about the aftereffects. When a rock pings a windshield, it doesn’t create a big hole that brings down the glass. It’s the ring radiating out from the initial impact. “
Why don’t we have “infinite” stars rating because this book would fit in that category!
I loved, no let me rephrase this, I adored “The Mason List”, recommended by a dear Goodreads friend. When I learned SD Hendrickson would be writing “Waiting for Wyatt”, I was like a kid on Christmas Eve, wanting my book immediately! I even pre-ordered without having the first clue about the plot.
Now, here I am, after an intense and emotional read. I’m a real mess and I’m grateful I did not wear mascara today. My thoughts are all over the place and I don’t know how to write my review to do this book justice without giving too much away. Sometimes I wish I could be a gifted writer to make you feel what I experienced, to make you understand this story is just so good that you have to read it.
Waiting for Wyatt is about making mistakes and the consequences of these mistakes. Like a drop of water can create many ripples, Wyatt’s actions had cracked across many people, bringing everyone down, himself included.
When sweet, solar Emma meets Wyatt for the first time, he is really closed off. Had I been in Emma’s shoes, I would probably have run the other way, and fast. Wyatt came across as intimidating, angry, withdrawn, certainly not someone you would try to speak to. But Emma is an exceptional girl. I think some readers will hate her because they’ll think she is too naïve, too trusting, too good, too perfect. But I thought she was the ideal match for Wyatt and I loved the courage of that girl. She chose to see the good in others, she chose to give her time and attention to help other people. And that’s such a hard path in our day to day life. The easy way is to live inside our bubble, shut our eyes to other’s problems or misery, being like “Ponce Pilate”. For her choice, I loved that girl to pieces.
Emma meets Wyatt because she had rescued (herm.. rather stolen…) Charlie, a beaten mutt, from her landlord Kurt, a really nasty person.
Wyatt works and lives at a kennel rescuing abused dogs. He is a man with a secret, distant with everyone but when he feeds the dogs and care for them, all his goodness shines. He shares a deep connection with every poor animal. He cares, protects them and devotes all his time to restore their trust in mankind.
Wyatt does not want Emma coming back as she asks questions, many questions. He does not want to tell his story, does not wish to have friends. He does not deserve any good in his life, because of what he did and he punishes himself every day. Wyatt is a complex character, riddled with guilt, swallowed by his past actions and their consequences. He is living a permanent nightmare. He never forgave what he did and he does not want forgiving either.
Against his better judgement, Wyatt invites Emma to come back any time she wants to check on Charlie. Emma is really intrigued by this man, someone she feels is hurting deeply inside. She’ll come back as often as she can, helping him with the dogs and trying to crack Wyatt’s shell open. I would say Emma had the “Savior syndrome” and just had to help Wyatt but at the same time, it’s too personal to be “only” this syndrome. Their connection, this pull between them is real and she can’t stop thinking about him.
I don’t want to write more about the plot as you have to discover Wyatt’s secret by yourself. Know that you’ll have to gather as many tissues as you can because this is a deeply moving story.
Just reading about the dogs past cracked my heart and I can’t count the time I cried reading about their stories. I was also so angry because I know in real life, animals are beaten, abused, tortured and I wanted to hurt all these abusers. If I could have jumped into my Kindle and chased the bad guys, I would have. I loved all these poor animals: Lola the Pitbull without teeth, Ricky the Jack Russel on three legs, Charlie with his rabbits ears, Cie left with a sole eye, Daisy and Gatsby so old and sticking together, Gus the “healer”,…
I loved all the layers of that story. This is not only a love story, this is about healing other, about forgiving yourself and finding redemption. It’s about the good in mankind but also the evil. It’s about a solar girl and a tortured man. Emma was Wyatt’s light and their relationship was deeply moving. The writing is flowing, the pace is just right to let us enjoy the story and live right alongside Emma, Wyatt and the dogs.
In three words: just read it.