Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan-Hyde


EXCERPT: My plan was to put on my seat belt to drive home.

I had Etta strapped into her car seat, still snoring like a miniature soprano buzz saw. I was sitting in the driver’s seat of my mom’s Mercedes, trying to get my own belt done. Sounds easy enough, but I was wearing a big, long sweater, and the folds of it kept getting in the way.

I go back to this moment a lot.

It wasn’t much of a struggle before I gave up. It wasn’t that frustrating. Which makes it even harder to explain after the fact. To myself or anyone else.

At best I can figure after the fact, it was this: in that moment I was happy. I was out in the world with my child, enjoying one of those perfect moments made perfect by the simple fact that I had her. I was in a state of joy, which felt increasingly rare.

When that moment of slight frustration arose, I didn’t want to spoil anything.

I drove away with my seat belt undone.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.

MY THOUGHTS: Brave Girl, Quiet Girl is the first book I have read by author Catherine Ryan-Hyde. She has written a compassionate and realistic book about the relationships between mothers and daughters, and our prejudices against the homeless.

The story is told from the points of view of Brooke, mother of Etta, and Molly, Etta’s rescuer. Brooke is struggling to make ends meet and living with her very judgemental mother since the failure of her marriage. Molly, sixteen and gay, was kicked out of home when she revealed to her very religious parents that she was gay. She was told she could come home when she got rid of the devil that possessed her.

Molly is an interesting character. She is very moral, very honest. And she falls in love with the adorable little toddler that she finds strapped into a car seat abandoned on a street corner. I far preferred her character to that of Brooke who, although she despises her mother’s judgemental behaviour, initially exhibits the very same characteristics.

I liked this story. I didn’t love it. There were a few things, mainly concerned with Brooke’s actions, that didn’t ring true for me. I liked the way the title is taken from the mantra Molly whispers to Etta to calm her. I don’t like the cover. If it is meant to be Molly with Etta, she is homeless, unwashed with dirty, disheveled clothing and unbrushed, unkempt hair. A car seat containing a small child alone under a street light would have better portrayed the pathos of this story.

Would I read another book by this author? Definitely.


#BraveGirlQuietGirl #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: I am the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books. I’m an avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan-Hyde for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

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Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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