Allie and Bea

Review From User :

"Seems all my life I had to make choices between what I considered wasting money and what I now see was wasting my life. If it keeps you from wasting your life, it can't very well be a waste, now can it"

It doesn't happen very often for me to see a book and immediately think "this is exactly what I need right now" and be absolutely certain that I'm going to love it, but this is what happened when I saw Allie and Bea. I recently read a lot of heavy and depressing books with questionable characters and I needed something lighthearted that would make me feel good and yet not be too mushy. This is exactly what Allie and Bea delivered, a beautiful journey with two unlikely friends that embark on an adventure that will change them forever.

The book starts with Bae, a 70-something widow that lives on Social Security. After falling for a telephone scam she ends up losing all her savings and no longer being able to afford to live in her trailer. She is forced to abandon everything, hop in her van and try and make a living on the road, homeless. Meanwhile, Allie, a 15 year-old girl is taken by the Child Protecting Services and taken to live in a group home after her parents are jailed for tax fraud.

Both characters have it pretty rough after being taken away from the places and people they were familiar with and forced to make do in a completely different environment. I know I said that this book is lighthearted but I have to warn you: the first part, until Allie and Bea meet, is tough, depressing and shocking. The circumstances that these characters have to endure are even harder to read because of how real they feel. It's hard not to start imaging that there are so many people that go throw the same thing, if not worse.
It's what Allie and Bea decide to do with their situation that makes this book so satisfying and a joy to read. Both characters end up growing so much in the course of this book.

Catherine Ryan Hyde wrote a beautiful tale of how friendship can arise in unlikely places, a story that delights and that doesn't shy away from focusing on real social problems. A thoughtful and mesmerizing novel.

I received an advanced copy of this book courtesy of Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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.

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