Title: So Long, Chester Wheeler
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: December 6th 2022
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Finished reading: November 21st 2022
Pages: 304

“A bit late. But not too late. Because you’re not dead yet.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve been meaning to try this author for a while now, and there was just something about the blurb of So Long, Chester Wheeler that I couldn’t resist. I mean, a grumpy older main character and a road trip with two characters who couldn’t have been more different?! I definitely HAD to see how things would unfold. I’m glad I didn’t resist this title, because I might just have just found a new favorite author to follow. I ended up having such an excellent time with this story!

I can definitely understand why people love Catherine Ryan Hyde‘s books now, because there is something almost magical about them. The writing style itself is extremely engaging and makes it easy to keep turning those pages, and the character development is simply sublime. The characters are definitely the star of the show here, and I loved both their development and their growth over time. Lewis makes for such an interesting character and you will both feel for him as he has to deal with Chester, enjoy seeing his character evolve AND appreciate seeing the connection with Chester grow. Grumpy and insufferable Chester might be hard to like initially, but like Lewis himself, you slowly get to know him and you start to understand his character better. Both characters felt well rounded and realistic, flaws and all.

I do always love a good story with a road trip, and you will get plenty of that while Lewis and Chester travel all over the country in a rusty old Winnebago. I loved how the journey wasn’t only physical, but also psychological; there were quite a few life lessons thrown in along with the character growth. So Long, Chester Wheeler also had a few plot twists I didn’t see coming, and a very powerful ending that ended up sealing the deal for me.

This is the first time I read one of Catherine Ryan Hyde‘s books and I know I’m a bit late to the party, but it definitely won’t be my last because I’ve become an instant fan of her writing style and ability to create fantastic characters. If you enjoy well written contemporary stories that mixes heavier moments with humor and a life lesson or two, So Long, Chester Wheeler is a must-read.


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