Skip to main content

Book Review: Plan Bea

Author: Hilary Grossman
Published: 2015
Publisher: Booktrope
Number of Pages: 241
My Rating: 4

Summary from
Could falling in love allow a cold, stubborn, and selfish women to open her heart back up to her family? Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She has no relationship with her grandchildren and the only time she speaks to her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes and impressing the ladies at her country club.

We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really? On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, and an amazing job. The only thing missing is her mother’s love. When Bea begs her daughter to help plan her wedding, Annabel reluctantly agrees. Little does she know the impact of her decision or the surprise that is in store for her!

This emotional and honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

     I was a fan of Hilary Grossman's previous book, Dangled Carat, so when she approached me to read and review her next one, I didn't hesitate. Plan Bea  is the story of Anna, mother of two with an amazing husband, and the relationship she has with her own mother, Beatrice. The book begins with Beatrice calling Anna in the middle of the night to share great news with her- Bea is getting married and she wants Anna to help her plan the wedding. This would be exciting news to most daughters, feeling honored to be able to help their mom plan such a happy day, but all Anna feels is dread. 

     Everything in Anna's life seems perfect on the outside except her strained relationship with her mother. We know that a tragic event in the past caused this, but we are left with mild clues as we try to piece together what could have possibly happened to cause Bea to only be able to handle talking to Anna once a week at a pre-planned time. Not only has their relationship suffered, but Bea has hardly anything to do with her two grandchildren and can barely look at them when she visits. 

     All of this seems very hopeless until Bea introduces her new fianc√©, Walter. Walter is extremely kind, warm-hearted, and friendly- the complete opposite of Bea- and Anna wonders if he will facilitate a change in her cruel mother. Bea constantly pesters Anna with questions and demands she drop whatever she is doing to help with wedding plans, which she does. It bothered me how she was such a doormat and never spoke her mind but at the same time I can understand how desperate she was to fix things that she often sacrificed her own happiness. 

     As the pair spend more and more time together, they begin to unravel parts of each other's pasts they had never shared, but will it be enough to mend their broken relationship? As horrible as this sounds, I liked how damaged Anna was as I felt it was a very realistic reaction to things she had been through. One thing that bothered me, though, was how perfect her husband was, even when they got into a huge fight. Don't get me wrong, he was the stability and support Anna needed, but it would've been better if he was a little more realistic. 

     Overall, this is a hard book to describe. It is definitely chick-lit at its core but has a lot of mystery components, as well. There are a lot of twists that you won't see coming and a ton of character development happens throughout the story. I enjoyed getting to learn more about the complex character of Bea and discover what caused her to be so bitter. I also enjoyed how everything ended up. Another great book by Hilary Grossman!


-Busy Brunette 


  1. Thank you so much for reading and reviewing Plan Bea! I am so happy you enjoyed it!!!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Before We Were Yours

My Rating: 5
It has been about a month since I finished this book and it honestly took me that long to recover enough in order to write a review.
Before We Were Yours is one of the best books I have ever read, and if you know me at all, you would realize I don’t toss that statement around lightly. By saying that, however, in no way am I saying that this is a happy read, because it is also one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I have ever read in my life, as well.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals (although the main characters are fictional), the story is that of Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, who would kidnap poor children and then sell them to wealthy families all over the country from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four siblings are the victims of this type of crime, and half of the book is their journey and fight to get back home. The other half is that of present-day Avery, a prose…

Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty

My Rating: 2
So I’m going to be completely honest with this one- I haven’t been this disappointed in a book in a long time.
After reading and loving Big Little Lies, I knew that I wanted to read another one of Liane Moriarty’s works when I saw it. Truly Madly Guilty started out interesting enough, it hops back and forth between present time and what seems like a few months ago at a friendly neighborly barbecue. We are made aware early on that something traumatic happened at the barbecue but must try to put the pieces together throughout the story to discover what that was.
True to form, each chapter is from a different character’s perspective, rotating mainly between the six adults that were there that day, each trying to come to grips with what happened and how it affected their lives, and marriages, forever. The mystery intrigued me enough to keep reading, but to me it was really slow and took a lot of effort to keep pushing on. About halfway through, you finally find out what happen…

Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

My Rating: 5
Short and sweet: Wow. What can I say about this book? I will start by stating that if you need one amazing book to read this fall (or entire year), don't hesitate to pick up this one. The writing is delicious and the descriptions of life on the marsh make you feel like you are there. The novel follows Kya, dubbed by locals as the "Marsh Girl", throughout her life on the swamp, with and without her family. It also flashes forward to a mysterious death that happens in town and adds a sense of suspense to the entire ordeal as police try to find out what happened. Spanning the decades, the author did a spectacular job of character evolution and you can see Kya grow and change before your eyes. This is one I will be recommending for months to come and would love to read again. Go get it!