Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde (audio)

Title: Allie and Bea
Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo and Janet Metzger
Published: May 2017, Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 10 hours 35 minutes / Paperback, 350 pages
Source: Audio via Brilliance Audio / Paperback via Little Bird Publicity
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.

My thoughts: This is the first book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I've read, though I am familiar with her work, having watched, and loved, the movie 'Pay It Foward,' which I didn't realize was adapted from her book! Having read this book, though, I can totally see her style in that. This latest book was just as good with just as many little nuggets of wisdom.

I think what I loved most about this book is the endearing and charming characters - both Allie and Bea immediately work their way into your hearts and stay there. These two form an unlikely bond, and dare I say friendship, after both finding themselves being stuck with the same problem - neither has a place to live nor any money.

This unlikely friendship between an old lady and a young girl will strike a chord with many. Both are quite naive, as Allie is quite young and Bea has led a rather sheltered life. But what's most remarkable is how much they learn from each other and how they learn to adapt to their new circumstances in order to survive.

There is so much food for thought in this book. It's an emotional journey that will have you appreciating all the important things in life - but also give you lots to think about. One question that came to me was this: Does anticipation and doubt sometimes prevent us from doing new things?  Do we tend to overthink things to the detriment of just doing them? And it will really reinforce one of my favorite attitudes - that a little kindess really does go a long way. 

This book and these characters really made an impact on me and will be one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. It may be the first book I've read by Catherine Ryan Hyde, but it surely won't be the last!

Audio thoughts: I really liked the audio production of this book. I think that both the narrators did a great job with each of the parts and I liked the way the story was told - each character having their own part to tell. I've listened to Janet Metzger before, but Lauren Ezzo is new to me. I found both narrators to be easy to listen to and I look forward to listening to them again.


1 comment

  1. This was my first time reading Hyde and I really enjoyed it - even more than I expected to.


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