Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Teacher August is using his summer break to travel, visiting the states parks in America. His ultimate goal is Yellowstone Park but his plans are crushed when he finds himself stranded in a small town while a mechanic repairs his vehicle. With the added cost of repairs, August won’t reach his dream destination.
But mechanic Wes has a proposition for August; if he takes his young sons with him on his trip for the summer, he’ll waive his fees, allowing August to reach Yellowstone after all.
I was intrigued by the blurb of Take Me With You. Why would a father ask a complete stranger to take his sons on a trip for the whole summer, trusting them completely with his children? And why would a stranger agree to this absurd plan? I came to the immediate conclusion that Wes was a bad father, but I soon realised he was feeling pretty desperate and I could sort of understand his reasons for making August the offer. My opinion of Wes changed throughout the book. At times I understood his actions, at others they frustrated me. I didn’t always find Wes to be a likeable character but I thought August was great. He knew he had faults and problems of his own but he was patient and understanding and I loved the bond that grew between him and Wes’s sons, Seth and Henry.
Brothers Seth and Henry are completely different. While twelve-year-old Seth is more outgoing, seven-year-old Henry is quiet and withdrawn, so much so that he only communicates with his brother. Although still young himself, Seth shoulders a lot of responsibility, especially with his younger brother. Their mother left a long time ago and their father has been in and out of jail ever since, so Seth has had to take care of his younger brother, which has created a tight bond between the pair. Although the circumstances surrounding the boys are heartbreaking, it was lovely to see the connection between them.
The book is divided into three parts and although I enjoyed the book as a whole, I did find the third part bittersweet. I expected the book to be uplifting but it left me feeling pretty sad by the end. There are some really sweet moments but I couldn’t help feeling dejected with how it all turned out for August and the boys and it wasn’t the heartwarming conclusion I was expecting after reading the first two thirds of the book.