Book Review: 'Plan Bea' by Hilary Grossman

by - December 11, 2015

Eeeek!!! I'm so excited about this one!!!!! I've been waiting what feels like forever for the chance to read Hilary's new novel and it finally arrived!

Published by Booktrope Editions, October 2015


How well do you really know the people in your life?

Annabel O’Conner has the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and the mother from hell! Annabel doesn’t like it but has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother, Bea, deteriorated to the point of forced and strained communications. However, an unscheduled call from Bea turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believed about her life.

Despite the fact secrets, lies, and misplaced blame have destroyed the women’s relationship; Annabel reluctantly agrees to help Bea plan her wedding. Little does Annabel know the impact of her decision.

In this Women’s Contemporary Fiction novel, Hilary Grossman explores the complex relationship that exists between mothers and daughters in a light-hearted and relatable manner.


Ok... so I've been staring at this blank page for ages and the big question on my mind is...

How do I write a review that does justice to such an amazing book?

So I have to admit straight away that I already have a bit of a love affair with Hilary's first novel, Dangled Carat (read my review here). This was a beautiful memoir from Hilary which was very open, real and captivating. When I heard that Hilary was writing a second novel, this time a fictional story, I couldn't be more excited. And what made it even more exciting is that it arrive the day before my birthday! :)

Plan Bea is... wow. I feel speechless.

Plan Bea is a story that focuses on the relationship between a mother and daughter, Beatrice and Annabel, and the difficulties they have overcoming some tragic events from their passed. Hilary grabbed my attention right from the first page as you find yourself becoming completely captivated by the family dynamics within the story and how each character works together and responds to one another. Hilary creates such strong, diverse characters and you immediately are able to see each of their personalities and qualities, helping the story to feel more real and authentic. When you first encounter the characters the natural instinct is to dislike Bea and feel sorry for Anna, however as the story unfolds and the truths about the passed are revealed, you find yourself starting to understand Bea and the reasons behind the way she behaves.

It is so hard for me to write about this story without giving anything away, and I don't want to let any spoilers go!

Hilary's writing beautifully entwines the present day struggles between Anna and Bea with flashbacks from the past. Despite jumping between the past and present, it is never difficult to follow the story and keep up with the story. As you read the story the secrets from the past are slowly unveiled and the tension between Anna and Bea starts to increase before any sign of reconciliation as they start to deal with the reality of what has caused the tension between them. I found myself becoming completely drawn into Hilary's writing, feeling all the emotions of each character and anxious to see how the story was going to end.

There is a huge surprising twist towards the end of the story which I was not expecting at all but it was brilliant and beautiful... and I have to admit it made me burt into tears!! As the twist unravelled and Bea revealed some intense, exciting news to Anna, I found myself entirely welling up with tears running down my face.

And then, if that's not enough, Hilary cleverly throws a cliffhanger on to the end of the story!! Aaahhhh!!!! Now I have very split emotions about this cliffhanger... on the one hand I am so super excited because it can only mean one thing... ANOTHER HILARY GROSSMAN NOVEL!!!! But then on the other hand, I DON"T WANT TO HAVE TO WAIT FOR IT!!! The way Hilary wrote the cliffhanger into the story was so clever. It pulls you in and you become curious, just like Anna, and when the story ends I wanted to yell 'Noooooo!!!!!!!!'. All I can say is I can't wait for the next book!!

Plan Bea is a beautiful, heartbreaking, honest and authentic story. The characters are all beautiful and real in their own way and the story explores some very intense, strong emotions in a very sensitive but honest way.

If there is one book you must read this year, and next year, and the year after... it is Plan Bea!!! I have already recommend it to so many of my friends and am buying it for a few as Christmas presents. And now I am recommending it to YOU! All of you! Read it now!!!! Your life depends on it... ok, so maybe that's not true but that's how much I loved this book!!

I give this amazing book;

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  1. What a glowing review I love it!

  2. OMG! I think I have read this review like 25 times... THANK YOU!!! Wow! You totally made my day.. No my week... No my month!!!


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