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Allie and Bea : A Novel by Catherine Ryan…

Allie and Bea : A Novel (edition 2017)

by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Author)

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216495,208 (4.5)1
Title:Allie and Bea : A Novel
Authors:Catherine Ryan Hyde (Author)
Info:Lake Union Publishing (2017), 350 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Library Book

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Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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When I have been reading a lot of 'heavy' books and need to lift my spirit to remember that good things can happen in this world of trials and conflict, I am glad to have Catherine Ryan Hyde to turn to. Her newest book, Allie and Bea, did not disappoint.

Hyde's books have a common thread: imperfect people with real life problems, often mired in anger or despair, are lifted through an empowering, healthy relationship.

This novel begins with Bea, a widow in her senior years, living on Social Security that can not cover her basic needs. Scammed out of her meagre savings, she has reached rock bottom and becomes a homeless vagrant living out of a panel van.

Enter Allie, a fifteen year old on the run for her life. When Allie's upper class parents opted for lifestyle over paying the IRS they ended up in jail. Allie is taken under Child Protective Service and placed in a group home for delinquents until a foster home opened up.

Allie has high standards for herself and holds others to them. It brings her into conflict with a violent girl, and fearing for her life, Allie joins a runaway girl only to find herself faced with a human trafficker.

Allie flags down Bea's van and forces her way into Bea's life, and in nine days together on the lam, Bea is brought to reevaluate her entire life and Allie finds someone who will stand by her when her family has failed her.

I enjoy how Hyde takes contemporary social issues and through likeable characters elicits an emotional understanding from readers. Yes, her endings are neat and sweet, but that is why I turn to her books. Sometimes we all need a wish fulfillment tale.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. ( )
  nancyadair | May 26, 2017 |
I have only recently discovered Catherine Ryan Hyde. However, since that discovery, I have read about four of her books. I have not been disappointed by any of them. This book reaches right up there with the others.

I loved these characters. Bea so grouchy and pissed at the world, her deceased husband and how she has ended up at her age with really nothing. And then there's Allie, so young and innocent, honest and trustworthy. Allie literally runs into Bea while she is driving her van and just jumps into the van. Bea is frantically trying to push her out thinking she's about to be carjacked while Allie is telling her that a man is after her and that Bea needs to drive away and do it fast. This is the beginning of the Allie and Bea story.

This was such a great story, I absolutely loved it. Their bickering and fighting over what little money they have together as they decide to travel up the coast of California to the Puget Sound. You will definitely need tissues for this! And I guarantee you will love these characters at the end of the book. I know I did and was not even close to being ready to leave them when I read the last page. I want an Allie and Bea series! HA!!

Huge thanks to Lake Union Publishing for approving my request to read this book and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ( )
  debkrenzer | May 23, 2017 |
Master storyteller, Catherine Ryan Hyde returns following Say Good-Bye for Now landing on my Top 50 Books of 2016 with another emotional thought-provoking saga ALLIE AND BEA – two protagonists from different generations caught up an unfair system find they may learn something from one another.

The best and worst of humanity.

Bea a senior barely making it on her small social security check. Her husband is deceased and she resides in a mobile home with her cat Phyllis. Her savings is nearly depleted trying to make ends meet.

Then a phone scammer saying he is from the IRS to collect back taxes. Quickly her money is gone. Wiped out. She has nowhere to turn and nowhere to live. Even her rent check will bounce since someone wiped out her bank account.

Feeling stupid and helpless, she has to change her direct deposit bank account and decides she has no choice but to live in her old van with her cat; and leaves her things with a friend. She barely has enough money for gas and food for another month until she receives her next social security check.

Then she is faced with the impossible and begins doing things she never thought she would do in order to survive. Bea does not have any knowledge of cell phones, nor the internet. She never had the opportunity to do much traveling nor see the world. She is rough around the edges, and over the years she has learned not to let others in or get too close. She does not trust easily, cynical, and now alone. How will she continue to survive sleeping in her van and too old for a job?

Told from two points of view, we meet Allie. Allie is a teen and wise beyond her years. She is smart and has strong principals and integrity. She is a devout vegan and very strict with her food and lifestyle.

She has just discovered her mom and dad are being arrested for tax fraud and being sent to jail. She is left with a social worker, and has to leave her home, friends, school, and all her possessions -
taken to a group home. Allie has no clue of the evil of this world.

All this is foreign to Allie. She soon learns people in this world are not so nice. Some of the girls are very dangerous at the group home and things get out of hand. She has nowhere to turn and no money. Then her only hope is a friend who helps her escape and soon finds herself in another nightmare even worse than what she left. Human trafficking.

She has one shot in order to escape a madman. Soon an unlikely old woman and a runaway teen connect. Two lives both desperate. They soon discover they may learn some hard life lessons together.

As always, Hyde takes readers on a thought-provoking adventure. It may not be an easy road; however, her characters always find a way to connect with someone on a different path to change their lives. Fate intersects. They may not know the reason for the encounter, but you can be assured they were meant to take the journey.

Even though I could relate to Bea being a senior, had to think of my recent experience with my dad, age 86 yrs old with this horrible healthcare system and a recent phone scam which fortunately he did not get sucked into.

I also related to Allie in so many ways. She is wise beyond her years. She has integrity. I am also a vegan and some of the reactions are ones I face daily. I had to laugh when I went to a shelter during our last Florida hurricane evacuation. I could eat nothing they had. It was good I packed some healthy snacks and was able to go home the following day. Being a vegan is foreign to many in our world. Lots of laughs between the two.

I admired Allie for her strong principals; however, it also demonstrated how when faced with survival, how people get desperate enough to cross moral and ethical lines. A heartwarming story of the kindness of others. She taught Bea so much about herself.

No one can take you on a better road trip adventure than Catherine Ryan Hyde— mixed with life messiness, emotion, heart, and lots of humor. I think we have all been close to living in our car at one time or another, in our lives when things have looked hopeless.

A good look at our broken system and how it fails the young and the old in different and similar ways. When this happens, we may not always have a family; however, there may be a guardian angel where we least expect through the kindness of a stranger.

The highs and loves of life! The cracks in life let the light through. After reading a CRH book you want to rush out and do something good for someone, or volunteer at a homeless shelter. Help someone less fortunate. You want to give back. Life changing moments. Inspiring.

In addition to the reading copy, also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Lauren Ezzo and Janet Metzger with an engaging performance for both voices. Loved the journey along the Pacific Coast. One of my favorite cities: Santa Barbara, CA! I was curious to see how these two souls from different walks of life would connect - fans will enjoy this one.

From an online interview with the author we get a glimpse into what’s coming next:

“After Allie and Bea will come a novel called The Wake-Up, about a former cattle rancher who becomes so sensitive to the emotions of others that his entire life is turned upside-down. And all this just as he’s trying to find his way with a seriously abused new stepson who can’t be trusted around his animals.” Read more

Ironically, have read many of CRH books ; however, realized this evening I have never watched or read, Catherine Ryan Hyde’s international sensation, [book:Pay It Forward|215631], the moving story of Trevor McKinney, a 12-year-old boy who accepts his social studies teacher’s challenge to come up with a plan to change the world. Rented it tonight on Amazon Kindle- highly recommend if you have not read the book or watched the movie. (have some Kleenex handy).

A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an early reading copy. ( )
  JudithDCollins | May 16, 2017 |
I would like to thank NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Catherine Ryan Hyde for the ARC of "Allie and Bea" by Catherine Ryan Hyde for my honest review.
The Genres of this novel are General Fiction(Adult) and Women's Fiction.
I love the way that Catherine Ryan Hyde describes the scenic Pacific coastline, beaches and quaint resting places.
The characters are described as complex and complicated. The two main characters are portrayed as "victims" of rules set in place that are not working for their benefit. As a result, they are running away from their circumstances.
The two character have some similarities, but many more differences. Bea is an over seventy year old widow who has been victimized in a scam and has lost all her money. She leaves with her 18 year old cat in an old van, with a sour outlook on life. Allie is a young 15 year old teenager, who is taken by social services, when her affluent parents are put in jail for tax fraud. Allie meets with difficulties, and runs away. Allie is frank, honest, naive, and feels lost.
The unlikely duo meet and form an mixed friendship to survive. They go on adventures and both learn many things on their travels together.
I love the way the author writes about family, friends, trust, betrayal, loyalty, love and hope. This is such a charming and endearing read, and I recommend this highly. ( )
  teachlz | May 12, 2017 |
This has been my favorite book by Catherine Ryan Hyde so far. I will admit I wasn't sure if I was going to like the book when I first started. Bea was not that likable at the beginning. By the end, I was crying.

Bea is a widower with not much money in the bank. Then she is scammed for what little money she has left. So she decides to pack up her toothless, old cat and live in her old van. Bea is not a friendly old woman, she is gruff and speaks her mind. Allie is a fifteen year old girl who finds herself in a group home after her parents are arrested for tax fraud. Allie has a with her roommate when she steals Allie's $30 socks. Allie runs away with Jasmine, but ends up in an even worse place. That is when Bea and Allie find each other. The best part of the book is they were what each other needed. Allie and Bea have their own adventure traveling up the west coast.

I think the tears started when Bea showed up at the court hearing. I loved reading about them and I love how they ended up together at the end. Bea just wanted a large tub to soak in and Allie was able to provide it for her. I think their adventures will keep continuing, just with the addition of Allie's mom.

I definitely recommend it. I loved, loved, loved it.

Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, for a free electronic ARC of this novel. ( )
  JenniferLynn | Apr 18, 2017 |
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