Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
I always forget how much I enjoy Catherine Ryan Hyde books until I pick them up. This might just be the best I have read by her.
After Bea’s husband died, she was able to get by, but just barely. That is, until she falls for a telephone scam that takes everything she has. She leaves her small trailer behind and sets of in her van towards the Pacific Ocean with only her cat and easy chair in the back of the van. After a short while on her journey, she runs into fifteen-year-old Allie who is on her own after her parents are put in jail for tax fraud and she was put in a group home. Things in the group home are worse than she could have imagined, but not as bad as other places she could, and almost does, end up. Fate throws the two together and they have to learn to trust each other. As they journey up the Pacific Coast, they find that even though they were thrown together under unusual circumstances, maybe things won’t be as bad as they thought.
Allie and Bea is a very heartwarming novel on several levels. If at first you think you are not going to enjoy this book, I encourage you to give it a little time. Divided up into sections, one following Bea and the other following Allie, we get to see the story from the viewpoints of both characters and what they go through in order to end up in the place that ultimately throws them together. At first it didn’t seem logical that their paths would cross, but Hyde did a beautiful job of bringing them together in a way that flowed with the story. It took each of their life experiences to be able to help the other. If Bea hadn’t gone through what she did, she never would have been there to help Allie when she desperately needed help. And if Allie hadn’t been through what she had, she wouldn’t have been able to help Bea in the way she needed also. The way Hyde wove these characters together and the relationship they had was done in a way that I didn’t once question if this was what the characters would naturally do, it just made sense. I felt for both Allie and Bea with what they went through and rejoiced in their triumphs and even had a few laughs. This book is full of life lessons and showing that family is not all about being related by blood, sometimes it is about so much more than what is in our DNA.
I have found with each new Catherine Ryan Hyde novel I read, I am continually adding her to my list of favorite authors. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read that will help them think about how they view those around them and even restore a little faith in humanity at times.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.