Monday, May 22, 2017

Review of Catherine Ryan Hyde's New Book ALLIE AND BEA

Allie and Bea
By Catherine Ryan Hyde
publication: May 23rd, 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
Paperback, 350 pages

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.


I have reviewed multiple books of Catherine Ryan Hyde's and have become an admirer of her work. Even though she has thirty-two books written, her topics are always new and fresh. Allie and Bea is the perfect read for this summer. I was hooked right off the bat and became invested in the story. It flew by undoubtedly too fast prompting surprise as I turned the last page. Furthermore, her writing does not bog the reader down being overly descriptive and wordy. Hence, she takes the reader on a learning experience through the eyes of creative characters who you will laugh with, cry with and grow along with.

“And you don’t eat flour because…”“Well, I could. But why would I? I ordered fruit and oatmeal. That’s food. Why should I have a bunch of bleached flour instead? There’s no nutrition in it. They take out all the nutrients when they refine it. And then they fortify it with vitamins, but it’s just like taking a vitamin pill. You might as well pop a daily vitamin and skip all the refined carbs, because they only make you hyper and crash your blood sugar and make you irritable.

Unquestionably, Bea made the utmost impact on me even though she was stubborn and pigheaded. As the story unfolds, she changes, but I will try to not give too much of the story away. To begin with, Bea lived most of her life around her husband, therefore, living day after day basically secluded in their little world. As a result, of his death she was left with little, then the worst happened and Bea was scammed out of what money was left. Subsequently, in her mid-seventies, she became homeless with only her van for shelter. Nevertheless, this seems abhorrent yet, then comes along Allie and Bea slowly begins to regard the world in a new light. Hence, it does not matter what your age is when changing your life for the better since no matter what your age there is always room for personal growth and evolution.

“What I wonder now,” Bea said, “looking back, is what I did all day in the trailer. I didn’t have a job. Or much in thee way of hobbies, come to think. I guess I read and watched TV. And the day went by…”I guess I wonder why I didn’t try to do more.” Bea said…”I had all these hours that added up to all these days, and I look back and it seems my goal was mostly to make them go away. But that’s not a proper life. That’s not really living”.

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the award-winning author of more than 30 published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It Forward, was adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt.
In addition to my writing, over the past few years, I’ve done a lot of professional public speaking. I was privileged to speak at the National Conference on Education and at Cornell University. I even got to share a dais with Bill Clinton for three speeches. And I was invited to the White House for the movie screening of Pay It Forward.

"Thank You"

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