Catherine Ryan Hyde
My first BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge book. And I loved it!
It's no secret, I love books about lonely people finding each other. But I have never met a character I can relate to more than Jody. He is a very shy and quiet young man who gets fairly freaked out by people. Virginia is a waitress about to settle for a real jerk. Said jerk dumps her dog off by the lake because he can't handle the competition. Jody saves the dog and changes his name from T.Rex to Worthy. He knew someone was looking for the dog, but he thought it was the bad guy who dumped Worthy.
Jody and Virginia work out the dog situation...as they both love him and there's no clear legal precedent. Jody clearly needs him more than she does...but Jody does the decent thing and brings Worthy back to her, asking only that she let him keep his name.
They get thrown together and spend a lot of one on one time talking and figuring things out. She thought she was going to marry his dad before his dad died. Poor Jody lost his mother when he was a toddler, his father when he was 4, his grandmother some years later and finally his last family member...his grandfather dies early in this story. He has no one, and he's lost everything. Jody is jumpy, afraid of disappointing people, and prefers to be alone. But even so, he feels a crushing loneliness.
Virginia might just help with that, if he'll let her.
P.S. Catherine Ryan Hyde has written many books, including Pay it Forward which the movie was based on.