Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Friend In Need: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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.

Allie and Bea
Catherine Ryan Hyde
Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: May 23 2017
$14.95 paperback
ISBN: 9781477819715