Just After Midnight

Just After Midnight

by Catherine Ryan Hyde


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From the New York Times bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes an uplifting and poignant novel about friendship, trust, and facing your fears.

No longer tolerating her husband’s borderline abuse, Faith escapes to her parents’ California beach house to plan her next move. She never dreamed her new chapter would involve befriending Sarah, a fourteen-year-old on the run from her father and reeling from her mother’s sudden and suspicious death.

While Sarah’s grandmother scrambles to get custody, Faith is charged with spiriting the girl away on a journey that will restore her hope: Sarah implores Faith to take her to Falkner’s Midnight Sun, the prized black mare that her father sold out from under her. Sarah shares an unbreakable bond with Midnight and can’t bear to be apart from her. Throughout the sweltering summer, as they follow Midnight from show to show, Sarah comes to terms with what she witnessed on the terrible night her mother died.

But the journey is far from over. Faith must learn the value of trusting her instincts—and realize that the key to her future, and Sarah’s, is in her hands.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503904859
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 167,196
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than thirty published and forthcoming books. An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days of Gratitude: Photos from a Beautiful World.

Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than twenty-three languages for distribution in over thirty countries. Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and Jumpstart the World was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards in 2013, and The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

More than fifty of her short stories have been published in the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other journals and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored by the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000–2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at www.catherineryanhyde.com.

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Just After Midnight 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
LouiseFoerster 7 months ago
This book has earned a bright shiny CNR--as in Could Not Read. I wanted to like it, was settled in with tea and high hopes: Horses, a troubled teen, a woman with a secret, fascinating cast of supporting characters including memorable walk-ons, and murder? Sounds like a wonderful mix of drama, excitement, and possibility for a story -- combine that with great settings, challenging decisions, and heartbreak and you've got the basis for a terrific story, right? You would if it were better written. So much was right until the words hit the page. Then there's head hopping, wispy explanations rather than strong prose, sentences that serve where a verb would do. It was the writing. Plain and simple. The writing was not strong enough to support this incredible story. Where were the early readers and editors to help this talented, promising premise become its fullest novel self? If this were a first draft, I'd be encouraging and also stern: focus, think, make every sentence justify its existence. Alas, it is not. The second star is strictly for the premise, the appealing characters, and keen view into a world that I do not know and am fascinated in learning more about.
Meemo_B 9 months ago
Catherine Ryan Hyde's books haven't disappointed me yet, and this one is no exception. I enjoyed the characters and the setting. How nice to see Faith's willingness to help teen-aged Sarah, whom she barely knows, avoid her abusive father and reunite with her beloved horse. Lovely settings, and some nice lessons about horses and the sport of dressage as well. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable read for me. My thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
CynB More than 1 year ago
Just After Midnight by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a perfectly heartwarming read about unexpected friendship, love, and finding inner strength to carry on when faced with crushing loss. The “feel-good” ending is a bit predictable, but satisfying nonetheless. Although the story has nothing to do with the holiday season, it is the ideal read because it will remind you of all the good in those around you and within yourself. Perhaps, that makes it a great book for any time of the year. While several family members love both riding and horses, I am not one of them. I do like horses, but don’t ride. I enjoyed learning a bit about dressage. What impressed me most was the compassion and fortitude of the main characters, all women ranging in age from fourteen to late seventies. This was the first novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I have read, but it certainly will not be the last. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the E-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
LawladyCase More than 1 year ago
Faith and Sarah are traveling to avoid Sarah’s father. Sarah witnessed him killing her mother. The authorities believe the death to be suicide and Sarah is the only one who can establish otherwise. Faith has finally left her verbally abusive husband and is unsure of what he may be capable of. She is attempting to avoid any contact with him. I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and could be tackled in a weekend. I always like books written by this author but felt a couple of things could be explained better. Why did Catherine allow Sarah to leave with a virtual stranger. Why did Faith allow Sarah to make all of the decisions for the two of them if she was in genuine danger. The avenue of Faith’s husband was underdeveloped and, therefore, did not seem to be a reality. I enjoyed the relationship between Faith and Sarah. It makes us hope that strangers of differing ages can become close friends. I was delighted by the details of the sport dressage. I knew virtually nothing of the sport before reading this book. As Faith learned more about dressage and horses in general, the reader does also. The bond between Midnight and Sarah is well written and can be clearly felt. This is a good book even with the concerns expressed above. I suggest this book for fans of Catherine Ryan Hyde and as an introduction to the author for others. I received an eBook ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinions or ratings of this book.
TropicalDelusions More than 1 year ago
Just After Midnight – Catherine Ryan Hyde I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review. Faith has fled to her family’s California beach house in efforts to flee a controlling and borderline abusive marriage. Enjoying the solitude of the quiet shore, she is taking the time she needs to heal. Then she spots a young girl sitting on the beach in the dark in a lotus position – and an unusual friendship is born. Sarah is a young teenaged girl who flees to her grandmother after her mother’s sudden death, and her father’s apparent betrayal – he sold Sarah’s prized horse without even telling her. Sarah also has a secret – a suspicion that her mother’s death didn’t quite happen they way she was told it did. As Faith and Sarah bond over their unusual circumstances, Sarah’s Dad is discovered to be close by, prompting Faith and Sarah to flee, while her grandmother attempts to gain custody. Sarah requests that they head to Paso Robles – where Midnight is presently residing. As they arrive and walk towards the ring where Midnight is being ridden, she throws her rider, jumps the fence, and runs to Sarah. As Sarah bonds again with her horse and faces anew the probability of loss, she shares her suspicious about her father’s role in her mother’s death – and Faith comes to terms with her shattered marriage and her own uncertain future. A sweet novel about love, loss, trust, pain, growth, self-determination and perseverance…just a beautiful story!!
JHSEsq More than 1 year ago
Best-selling author Catherine Ryan Hyde is known for her touching and emotionally satisfying stories about friendship, trust, and empowerment. Her latest work, Just After Midnight, does not disappoint. Faith has left her husband and taken up residence in her parents' California beach house while she decides what she will next do with her life. Her husband was controlling, verbally abusive, and inflexible, and she fears how he will react to her departure. One day she sees fourteen-year-old Sarah on the beach. She soon leaves that Sarah reeling from her mother’s sudden and suspicious death, and wants nothing to do with her father. She is staying with her grandmother, who does not have legal custody of Sarah. When they learn that Sarah's father is too close for comfort, Faith agrees to take Sarah on a journey while her grandmother deals with the custody issue. Sarah implores Faith to take her to Falkner’s Midnight Sun, her prized black mare that she misses desperately. Her father sold the horse without Sarah's knowledge. Sarah shares an unbreakable bond with Midnight and can’t bear to be apart from her. Throughout the sweltering summer, as they follow Midnight from show to show, Sarah comes to terms with the truth about her mother's death. And Faith learns the value of trusting her instincts and understand that she has has the power to shape her own future, as well as Sarah's. Set on the Central California coast that Hyde calls home and knows so well, Just After Midnight is a beautiful story about a young woman and teen-age girl who come together and discover what matters most to them, as well as how to manifest their desires in their lives. Hyde writes beautiful stories about flawed human beings and relationships. In Just After Midnight, Sarah lost her mother at just after midnight one fateful night. And one of the relationships explored is that between Sarah and Midnight, a highly valuable, trained horse who simply will not perform for her new owner because of the bond the horse has forged with Sarah. At the outset, Sarah is literally just after Midnight -- determined to do anything to keep the beautiful mare in her life, even if she cannot be the horse's owner. It should be noted that it is unnecessary for the reader to have knowledge of horses or horse shows because Hyde explains the nuances and intricacies requisite to understanding the story points. As Faith and Sarah meet and forge an unexpected friendship, both are grieving, and reeling from the changes that have upended their lives. Both are trying to discern what lies ahead for them. And both are poised to learn a great deal from each other and their adventure. That adventure spans horse shows up and down California, and Faith's ever-growing appreciation not only of Sarah's talent as a rider, but her intuitive nature and unbreakable, unconditional love for Midnight. In signature Hyde style, both Faith and Sarah grow from their shared experiences and become empowered, as a result of all they have been through separately and together, to name what it is they want most and seek it. Hyde's characters are believable in their vulnerability, fear, and the damage inflicted upon them by others, as well as their resiliency and renaissance over the course of a hot California summer. The result is another poignant, uplifting, and emotionally satisfying tale that will inspire readers' faith in friendship, community, and decency. Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy.
KerryACroucier More than 1 year ago
Beautiful! This is only my second novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and it was just as beautiful and compelling as her last novel. Faith and Sarah are two people who need each other, both coming to terms with the next step in their lives. Thrown together unexpectedly, they get closer and learn to trust, while helping Sarah come to terms with both the loss of her mother followed by the loss of her beloved horse. The relationship Sarah has with Midnight, one of love and trust, is perfectly magical. They understand each other in ways no one else does. There is so much depth to this book it’s hard to do it justice. It will remind you that there are still so many good caring people in the world. It will lead you through all the emotions and bring you to tears more than once. I look forward to Catherine Ryan Hyde’s next novel to see what she tackles next. #JustAfterMidnight #CatherineRyanHyde #LakeUnion
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The topic of this book (horses) may not be for everyone but the underlying theme should be - be kind. All of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books teach through example without being preachy. Our character, Faith, is able to show empathy to Sarah who starts out as a stranger. Throughout the story, Faith interacts with Sarah in a way that ends up being a benefit to all involved. For me, this book started slower than other books by Ms. Hyde however, it supports my reasons for listing Catherine Ryan Hyde as one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fabulous, engaging story. Wonderfully written with exceptional character development. I would give this book 10+ stars if I could! We all handle traumatic events in our lives differently but what is important is that we get through them the best way we can. Enjoy!
lsmoore_43 More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy books by Catherine Ryan Hyde. She knows how to weave a story that will capture your heart and keep you turning pages. This one is no different. It’s a very touching story of a girl and her horse. How they were separated and how it affected them both. The world of horses is a beautiful one and it was good to read a story that told so much about showing horses. Told so much about the bond between the horse and the owner. Sarah lost her mother to suspicious circumstances and she is pretty sure she knows exactly what happened the night her mother died. Also right after losing her mom, her dad sold her horse Midnight. She was so devastated that she could not eat or do much of anything. She was staying with her grandmother at the beach when she meets Faith. Faith was there hiding from her abusive soon to be ex husband. She is more than just mentally abusive. He has touched her so that in my opinion makes him physically abusive also. Together Sarah and Faith will go on a trip of self examination. Getting to know themselves and each other. Friends, one older and one a child of 14. There are many obstacles in their path for a while but they overcome so much. They become stronger then either things possible. Especially Faith. She is able to confront her ex and demand what is rightfully hers. Faith still has a lot to learn and trust if one of the big things for her. She’s lost faith in almost everything and everyone. But with her grandmother and Faith she can be ok again. The bond of friendship is strong. Strong between a woman who is helping and caring for a young girl who feels she has lost everything. Together they will have many ups and downs but in the end they will always have each other. This is such a good book. You will learn a lot about horses and friendships. Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union and Catherine Ryan Hyde for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion. This is my opinion of a wonderful story. A 5 star book that anyone that believes in bonds, love and friendships should read. Not a love story, just a story of love that truly knows no bounds...
LlamaJen More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book but it wasn't my favorite. I absolutely loved Allie and Bea, Heaven Adjacent and Leaving Blythe River and this book just didn't give me the same feelings. It was a great book, I just didn't love it. Sarah and Faith's relationship reminded me a little bit of Allie and Bea's. Loved parts of the story and most of the characters. I hate to say that I never loved Sarah. At times I just didn't like her. Would someone allow their granddaughter to go off with a complete stranger? I would have enjoyed learning more about Faith and her life. Enjoyed reading about the horses. Love the writing style. I always feel like I'm part of Catherine Ryan Hyde's books. Faith recently left her husband. She ends up at her father's beach house and befriends Sarah. Sarah is a fourteen year old girl who recently lost her mom and her horse. Her mom died and her dad sold the horse. Throughout the summer, Faith and Sarah spend there time getting Midnight, the horse, ready for shows and to be sold. Midnight is a very special horse and pretty much only likes when Sarah rides her. Faith and Sarah end up helping each. I did enjoy the book but had a hard time with the story. Some parts became anticlimactic, especially with Sarah's dad and Faith's ex-husband. Sarah was fourteen but at times I thought I was reading about a nine year old with the way she acted. I know she had a traumatic like with her mom suddenly and suspiciously dying. I think she grieved more for the horse than her mom. I'm glad Faith and Sarah found each other because they were exactly what they both needed. I definitely recommend the book and can't wait to read more books by the author. Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
Catherine's stories are always filled with wonderful, caring characters—people I would love to know in real life. Just After Midnight is a touching story of a girl, her horse, and a horrible secret she has been keeping. And a woman who wants and needs to be there for her. It was amazing to see the relationship between Josie and Faith develop—complete strangers who were able to connect because of similar life experiences and because they each needed someone like the other one in their life. The loving, respectful relationship that Josie and Midnight had was also a beautiful thing to witness. As an added bonus, I learned so much about dressage training and all that goes into that type of competing. I love it when a story teaches me something I know little about. As with all of Catherine's books, Just After Midnight is full of emotion and feelings—emotions that will absolutely tug on your heart strings. You can't help but become deeply involved in the lives of the characters and you only want the best for them.
DeannaLynnSletten More than 1 year ago
A young girl is coming to terms with a tragedy. A grown woman is running from her husband. A grandmother is fighting desperately to get custody of her granddaughter. When these three people meet, their lives are forever changed, surprisingly by a beautiful horse. Author Catherine Ryan Hyde creates magic again in her latest novel, Just After Midnight. Hyde is a master at creating down-to-earth stories with characters that you feel you know immediately and want to root for from the get-go. She uses emotion and sometimes humor to keep a story flowing steadily along and knows how to make a reader connect to the real-life characters. Life isn’t glossed over in her stories, and that’s why they are so heartfelt. True, raw emotion comes through and that’s just one of the reasons her stories capture readers. I enjoyed reading Just After Midnight and recommend it to anyone looking for a story that will touch your heart.
Shelley-S-Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Just After Midnight is one of those stories that make you cry both tears of sorrow and of joy. It tells a story about two people who struggle in this world and are still able to touch others. Faith and Sarah’s relationship is just one that you want to have. I really liked the way the book told the story from just one point of view. I love the message this novel relays to its readers. That there is hope. That given time, there can be change. That ultimately, love reigns. And that often, doing what’s right can be the hardest thing you ever have to do, but it’s the only thing worth fighting for. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a masterful story teller. I have read most of her books, and I have loved them all, I get excited every time she has a new release. Some books are fun to read, but a few days later recede into one's memory. This story is unforgettable. I really loved this book and would recommend it to anyone. It is unusual and very touching. A lot of Ryan Hyde's books involve animals in their plots. This one is no different, but the involvement of the animals brings out the courage of the characters. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a most discerning and gifted writer. She writes quietly yet powerfully, with words chosen and placed carefully, words that enfold and pull the reader deeply into her story. As I read, I forgot that her characters weren’t actually living, breathing people. CRH is an exceptional author.
MatteaLC More than 1 year ago
A long time fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde, I really enjoyed this story. While I’m not a horse person, I found the journey of Sarah and her horse Midnight, very educational, in the world of dressage and competition. Sarah loses both her horse and her mother within a short period of time. She meets Faith, a young woman, on her own journey to turn her life around, and they follow Midnight, with the intent to fix both of their situations. A story of devastating losses, disappointments, trust and redemption. It reinforces how love and support can appear from unexpected places, and dreams can come true, with trust and acceptance. I wasn’t disappointed. My thanks to Lake Union, NetGalley and the author for the ARC. I hope that my review reflects how much I liked this book.
Holly More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for any horse lover out there with a story that will have you rooting on two people who are trying to find their way after losses. With Faith escaping her soon to be ex-husband, she finds herself at a beach house but she could have never imagine finding a girl named Sarah on the beach with a horrific story to tell. As Sarah tries to move on from losing her mother after her father killed her, it takes meeting Faith and a mysterious stranger for the both of them to get away and go find the horse that Sarah dearly loves named Midnight. It takes a horse for these two women to find the strength that they didn't realize they had in order to live the life that they are so desperately needing. Everything will end in a way that both women can finally move on in the most exciting way ever! How can you not love a story that involves a horse that brings everyone together to create that exciting surprise in the end! Being that I'm not a huge horse lover, I do have to admit that it got a little boring with nearly everything centered on the horse at times but that ending truly made up for it. Thank You to Catherine Ryan Hyde for this story that makes me wonder what is next from you!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
Just After Midnight is an enjoyable, well-written, character-driven novel. Faith was hiding out at her family’s beach house. She didn’t want to be anywhere near her controlling husband when he discovered that she was divorcing him. Faith knew that her life was about to change in a big way but would never have guessed that a teenage girl was going to be the main reason for it. Sarah was crushed. She hated and blamed her father for her mother’s sudden death, for selling her horse, and for basically stripping her life of happiness. When Sarah met Faith on the beach, she had no idea what a good friend Faith would become to her. Although Faith was much older than herself, Sarah found that she could talk to her and that Faith understood her. Sarah would discover that although everything in her life felt hopeless and dark, that genuine loving kindness could turn everything around. Just After Midnight, is an uplifting and touching story. The loss fourteen-year-old Sarah had suffered was heartwrenching. The story itself, however, is heartwarming, and about, how kindness can heal even the most broken of hearts. If you enjoy touching stories and reading about horses, you’ll love Just After Midnight. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
lauriesophee More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story which features family, loyalty, love and self- sacrifice. "Sometimes the worst circumstances bring out the best in people." This quote from the book is on target in the case of the two main characters, Faith and Sarah. These two, a teenager and a young woman, meet by chance but become very important to each other over time. Both are trying to escape conflicts stemming from their pasts. A horse, so loved and cared for with devotion, plays a pivotal role in the life of both women. Sarah is a self conflicted girl in need of support and advice. Unusual as it is for Faith to give of herself to help someone, she nevertheless steps up and becomes a friend and advocate for Sarah. In doing so, her better self emerges and sets her on a new direction in life. Well done!