Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde – Review

A heart-stirring novel about the joy that comes from finding love in unexpected places by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.


Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day.

To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart.

As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life—and the puppies’ lives—would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness.

Seven Perfect Things is a story about joy, where to find it, how to know it when you see it, and the courage it takes to hang on to it once you have it.

Summary copied from Goodreads.

Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde - Review
Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde – Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.


I have never read a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde before. However, I liked the blurb. Plus, who does not want to read a book with such cute little puppies on the cover!

I found Seven Perfect Things to be a gripping and uplifting read. The book has a heart-wrenching beginning which provides a glimpse into Mary’s unhappy marriage and its repercussions on young Abby. Despite having a father, she feels bereft of a father’s love. On seeing her mother miserable, she feels miserable too.

However, one day she sees a man throwing a sack into the river. A sack full of puppies. She selflessly dives into the river and saves all seven of them. Now comes the big question, where would she keep them. This is where Elliot’s cabin comes into the picture and thus, starts a friendship between Abby and Elliot. Abby soon realizes Elliot is the perfect husband for her mother.

The book features a slow-burn romance between Mary and Elliot. Both are cautious with each other as one has suffered abuse at the hands of her partner while the other has lost his wife recently. Yet, as they spend time with each other and get to know each other, romance and hope blossom.

Elliot is a level-headed man. He makes Mary realize the extent to which she is being abused. Mary is a loving and responsible mother yet is afraid to walk out of the abusive marriage as she doesn’t have a job.


However, it is the puppies that make Seven Perfect Things so special. They not only provide a cuteness overload but are a catalyst for the change in Elliot and Abby’s lives. They also help both heal from the blows that life has landed on them. Abby started being happy again, full of hope for tomorrow, something to look forward to because of the puppies, while Elliot got moments of respite from his grief after losing his wife. When he would be with the puppies, he would be enjoying the present moment.

Hyde deftly portrays the stifling marriage that Mary is trapped in. She also clearly portrays the actions of Stan, Mary’s disgusting husband. Stan gaslights Mary like many other abusive spouses. It is to Elliot’s credit that she recognizes the extent of the abuse she is undergoing. I was frantically turning the pages to see if Abby and Mary would be successful in escaping this oppressive household.

I would recommend this uplifting novel to lovers of women’s and contemporary fiction.

Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde book cover
Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde


Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Animal Fiction || Pages: 320 || Published on May 4, 2021 by Lake Union Publishing


Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book approved via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.


Catherine Ryan Hyde
Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of forty books (and counting). An avid traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she shares her astrophotography with readers on her website.

Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association (ALA) for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than twenty-three languages 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 ReviewMichigan Quarterly ReviewVirginia Quarterly ReviewPloughsharesGlimmer Train, and many other journals; in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts; and in the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Copilot. Her stories have been honored by the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and have been nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in the annual Best American Short Stories anthology.

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.

Author Link(s): Website

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Author: debjani6ghosh

I started this blog to discuss books that I read and movies that I watch. But the blog may not be purely restricted to that!

16 thoughts on “Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde – Review”

  1. This sounds so good! I actually have quite a few of this author’s older books on my shelves, although my reading tastes have changed to I don’t pick them up anymore. But I would read this one😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These puppies are impossible to resist. Sounds like an emotional read. It isn’t easy to escape an abusive marriage. I like it that Elliot is a level-headed and responsible character who could help Mary and Abby leave behind their past.
    Great review, Debjani!

    Liked by 1 person

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