Saturday, December 19, 2020

Book Review: Allie and Bea

About the Book:

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 Comments:

The strength of Allie and Bea is the relationship between the characters.  Bea is a Social-Security-aged senior citizen with no family who has just been scraping by and Allie is a teen who had it all, until she didn't, and was suddenly thrust into the foster care/group home system with kids who were far different from any she had known before.  Allie is on the run from a traffiker when she almost runs into Bea and convinces Bea to take her in.  As they travel the California coast they meet some interesting people and learn that they can help each other make it.  

The weakness is the general non-believability of the story.  First, both of Allie's parents are arrested and taken to jail over a tax case.  As someone whose job involves white collar criminal cases, I can tell you that a far more likely scenario would be that they turned themselves in, accompanied by their attorney, and that bond was set without them ever spending a night behind bars.  Second, within the space of a few weeks, the criminal case against both was resolved, which in real life wouldn't have happened even if they had worked out a deal ahead of time and pled guilty at the initial appearance.  

Allie has bad luck and ends up with a human trafficker, but her escape is unrealistic.  The trip that is the centerpiece of the story?  Hmm...maybe, but again, not likely.  

In short, while an engaging read, Allie and Bea just didn't ring true.  

The book is available at no extra cost via a Kindle Unlimited subscription, which is how I obtained it.  Grade:  B-


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