Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

  • Title:  Allie and Bea
  • Author:  Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  350
  • Pub. date:  May 23, 2017 – Lake Union Publishing
  • Source:  Publisher; Little Bird Publicity

Description:  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.  (publisher)

My take:  Allie and Bea is the story of two unlikely traveling companions. Allie is a teenager on the run and Bea is a seventy-something widow who recently lost everything except her van and a few other items. When their paths cross the two form an uneasy alliance as they set off on a road trip that will be full of lessons neither expected to learn.

I found Catherine Ryan Hyde’s writing style so comfortable to read. I was invested in the characters and their plight. I liked how they challenged themselves and each other to persevere in such dire circumstances. Even though they experienced some daunting events it was an uplifting read for me. Bea found that change wasn’t necessarily a negative thing and Allie learned that the world isn’t as black and white as she’d thought. A new perspective could create appreciation for even the most basic things. It’s a lovely novel that I recommend to fans of the author and contemporary fiction.


About the author:  Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty-two published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. The Language of Hoofbeats won a Rainbow Award. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts as well as the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories. Hyde is the founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. 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.


 

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