Plan Bea

Plan Bea

by Hilary Grossman

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Overview

Plan Bea by Hilary Grossman

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, an amazing job, and a mother from hell! Just when she gives up trying to regain her overbearing mother's love, an unexpected call turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believes about her life.

Could falling in love give a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman a second chance 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 barely has a relationship with her grandchildren. The only time she manages to have a one way conversation with 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, killer handbags, and impressing the ladies at her posh country club.

As the mother and daughter duo team up to plan "Long Island's wedding of the year" they confront the secrets and lies that have defined them. This humorous emotionally honest women's contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

"Although a light read, the subject matter was very sad at times and I found myself choking back tears, but in a good way! It was so authentically heart wrenching yet often very funny too. The characters were so well fleshed out and three dimensional - no one was perfect and no one was fatally flawed - like real life. I thought the twist was genius!" - Meredith Schorr Best Selling Author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780692708101
Publisher: Hilary Grossman
Publication date: 06/01/2016
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

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Plan Bea 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite Plan Bea is the story of a mother and daughter and the many downs and very few ups of their lives. Beatrice (Bea) is the mother, a very cold and angry woman. Annabel (Anna) is her daughter who has a loving marriage to Cole and two wonderful children, Violet and Harley. Mother and daughter have not been close for many years, only speaking once a week at a designated time for no more than fifteen minutes. Anna has never stopped trying to win back Bea’s love. When Bea finds her second true love, Walter, on a cruise, she learns to look at life in a different way. The two soon begin planning a wedding and Beatrice turns to Anna for help in planning her country club wedding. Although Anna is surprised at this request, she cannot refuse and soon they are spending many hours together, planning and slowly coming to understand what has happened to their relationship. The ending was a real surprise and you will have to read it yourself because I do not want to spoil the twist. Plan Bea is an emotional roller coaster that had me crying, laughing, and feeling pain and sorrow. It is a very real story with very identifiable characters that we all have known. Hilary Grossman is a talented author who has written a story of family conflict, family love, and friendship in a perfect combination with many twists and turns and a joyful surprise ending. I do not believe there is a mother or daughter who would not enjoy reading Plan Bea. Don’t pass up this one – it is a winner.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Beatrice and Anna are a mother daughter pair and they aren't the closest of pairs. Although Anna doesn't know why her mother has distanced herself she has just let it be that way. Through some interesting turn of events these two end up planning Beatrice's wedding and learning more and more about each other and the past. This one started out rough for me, but once it got moving I was sold. I had a hard time reading it at moments because the mother is so awful. I came from quite the idyllic upbringing and it is hard to read when mothers and daughters don't have relationships, but about halfway through I got to know the stand offish mother more and more and could understand why she may have put her daughter at arm's length and I fell in love with the story.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
"Plan Bea", by Hilary Grossman, is about the relationship between Annabel O’Connor and her mother, Beatrice Buchanan(Bea). Annabell (Anna) has everything a woman could want, a great career, to perfect children, a great husband and a lovely home. But she isn’t satisfied because the one thing missing is her mother’s love. The story opens with Anna in bed with her husband, almost asleep when her phone rings. It’s her mother with some good news. She’s getting married. Surprisingly, she wants her daughter to help plan the wedding. Anna is shocked at first, but her need to please her mother and alleviate her own guilt pushes her into agreeing instantly and before we know it, mother and daughter are at loggerheads about which cake/invitation/centrepiece looks better. This is a simple story that is entertaining despite its simplicity. Yes, there are twists and turns inside but they aren’t very dramatically done. In fact it progresses in a lovely slow manner and keeps you interested for the most part. What is great here is how well the other characters are drawn. Cole, Bea, Connie, Cecelia, (I think the author loves names starting with C) Violet, Walter are all drawn quite well and you can picture them clearly in your mind even though the physical descriptions aren’t that specific. Not to mention the relationship that is built up between people. The author has done a great job there as well, making this a very enjoyable book. What I didn’t like about it was the fact that while the character descriptions were great, while the relationships were built up beautifully, it was not done for the main character, Anna. The only way we get to know Anna is through the things her husband says. So if Cole says Anna is great, we think Anna is great. When he gets angry with her, we get angry with her. It’s almost like Cole is the main character here instead of Anna. Or maybe he’s just easier to connect with. In fact there is a little portion at the end with a sample of the author’s next book, the main character there is easier to identify with. It feels like the author maybe didn’t like Anna too much. It leaves you not caring about what happens with her. The blurb says "This emotional and honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you." I can’t say I was emotional or shocked. I really enjoyed this book, in fact in the middle I had to keep this aside to finish my chores. I ran back to it to see what happened next (You’ll know which portion I mean when you read it.) But I saw the ending coming from about 70% in. It isn’t a twist ending, it’s pretty obvious. But don’t let that dissuade you from picking this up. This isn’t a thriller so the "mystery" of the ending isn’t that important. What is important is that it is a sweet book that was easily enjoyable.
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. AWESOME!! AWESOME! AWESOME! I read this in one sitting, and the ending was perfection! Hilary Grossman wrote a story that will touch your heart. She hit the nail on the head regarding Mother and Daughter relationships that need healing. I was so very absorbed in this story, that I stayed up late just to find out what was going to happen to this family. Annabel and Bea had a turbulent relationship, rocked by family secrets that will either make or break them. Annabel would hold on to her mother in the hopes of her loving her, even after many years of feeling second rate. Her husband, Cole tells her to give up…. but, she won’t. The question is…will the wait pay off, or is Cole right? I loved that this story may have been shorter in pages, but still chuck full of a wonderful story!!
RebeccaLovell More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! Every time I thought I'd take a break I'd find myself saying "just another chapter" and when I had to go back to work after my lunch break I kept thinking about it. The characters were believable and I was able to really get into their lives. There were so many times I just wanted to grab Bea and shake her, but it really made her come alive for me. There's nothing quite like a good villain, especially in a women's fiction novel where so many of the villains are bosses or catty "friends." I definitely sympathized with Annabel wanting her mother's affection at any cost, and was on a rollercoaster through the whole book wondering if they'd fix their relationship or make it worse. There is a bit of a twist at the end, which I already knew was coming - I generally don't like it when people tell me ahead of time that there's a twist, I like to get there for myself - but I was pleasantly surprised and couldn't stop grinning as I read it. I was a little disappointed at the end when a little history was hinted at between two of the side characters but never fleshed out, but instantly pacified when I went straight into a preview of the sequel that deals with those two characters. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Plan Cee when it comes out. All in all I found this to be a good book. I recommend it to everyone, not just fans of women's fiction.
sciencexcharm More than 1 year ago
I was provided with a copy of Plan Bea in exchange for an honest review and I absolutely loved it! This story begins with a phone call. Anna’s mother, Beatrice calls after they have already laid down for the night. She is some news about a wedding with a man that she met on a cruise ship. Bea has never been close to her daughter, Anna and a lot of pent up rage and emotional turmoil reside within their relationship. None the less, Anna agrees to help her mother with the wedding. After meeting William, Beatrice starts to become more open and surprisingly happy. Can Anna find the strength to let the past go and begin a future relationship with her mother, one that she has always craved? From the beginning of this story, I really loved Violet and Connie. Both characters are wonderful and play and great part in the story. Violet is so adorable and her sassy attitude is totally from her mother, Anna. Connie is Anna’s mother-in-law and in some ways, she has become more of a mother than her own. Beatrice is a very difficult character to understand, but I do eventually warm up to her. Throughout the read, I must say that I was very curious to see where the story was going. I was not expecting a plot twist until it essentially fell into the scene and then it dawned on me. This plot twist is so incredible and I certainly enjoyed reading the rest even more. William is also a spectacular character because of his strength with Beatrice. He is kind, heartfelt, confident, humorous and completely in love with Bea. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys women’s fiction. The author does such a fantastic job with the development of her characters. I loved almost all of them, not including the male figures in Anna’s family. Brody was the exception. The pace of this story is quick, but not overly so. I really enjoyed how everything flowed together with originality and creativity. I always love not knowing what is coming, so I feel that this author has earned a well-deserved five star rating. While this story is very emotional and some of the scenes are a little difficult to read due to content, it never deterred my attention away. I was captivated by the strong morality of the content and I felt that I was able to relate to some of the things that were mentioned. I look forward to reading more by this terrific author and absolutely can’t wait for Plan Cee!
CatmomJD More than 1 year ago
The following statement I found within the story really summed up this book very well. “We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever?” Relationships between mothers and daughters can sometimes be difficult. For Annabel O'Conner and her mother Beatrice Buchanan, difficult is an understatement. When Bea tells Anna that she is getting married and wants her to help with the planning, Anna sees this as an opportunity to get close to her mother. Through the next few months, Anna continues helping Bea even though Bea's stubbornness causes Anna to just want to walk away many times. As they spend more time together, Bea opens up about a lot of things she has kept hidden from everyone. Maybe Bea isn't so bad after all. When everything seems to be going wrong on the wedding day, there is a very good reason for it. How will Anna react when she finds out what Bea's latest plan is? This is a great book. I really didn't want to like Bea at first. But as I learned more about her, she really did have a big heart hidden under all of her snobbery. I could feel Anna's pain of wanting her mother's approval and always getting the cold shoulder in return. The story was very well written and the characters' backgrounds were very well detailed. All around, this was an incredible story.
bookloverfl12 More than 1 year ago
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Holy teary eyes! I LOVED this book! The end of Chapter 25 got me (as did the following chapters)! This was a great book about the relationship between mothers and daughters. As with strained relationships with any family member, you wish and hope that they can be repaired but could the damage be too great and the attempt to rekindle be too late? Read to find out this heart touching chick lit - you will thank me later!
pilch92 More than 1 year ago
I am partial to non-fiction, but I love Hilary's blog and her book, Dangled Carat so I was eager to read Plan Bea. I was pleasantly surprised that the main character, Annabel, has a pet cat (always a plus) as far as I am concerned. Annabel seems to have it all, a great job, a loving husband, two beautiful children and a cat. Unfortunately, she has a strained relationship with her mother. Annabel's Mom, Beatrice is a selfish woman who only cares about herself. She has no interest in Annabel's children, especially not her son. So it is quite shocking when her mother calls to say she is getting remarried and wants Anna to help with all the planning. As the story unfolds, we learn a lot about Anna and her Mom. We learn sometimes people act a certain way for a reason. I don't want to give anything away, but I highly recommend Plan Bea. Just as some people are not what you think they are, neither is this story which will keep you interested all the way to the last sentence. And longing for Plan Cee.
Bethany05 More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting so long to read this book! And when that chance arrived, I couldn't put it down! The writing is superb and I wouldn't expect anything less from Hilary. (I LOVE the name of the adorable cat as well, Lila.
Kisma More than 1 year ago
Plan Bea is a beautifully written story about the bond between a mother and her daughter. Life proves to be more than challenging on any given day with Bea and Anna. In the end, the bond is secured and strengthened as they each learn about each others fears and shortcomings, as well as some hidden skeletons in the closet. Bea reminds me of Quella Devil with a hidden soft side. She was raised to like the finer thinks in life, but when you stripped her down naked, the only things that really mattered to her were to be loved and give love in return, especially to her daughter Anna and her family. She hides behind her make up, Chanel clothing, Prada bags and country club lifestyle. Her time is precious to her. She soon learns that time is what heals all when love finally finds her. Mistakes were made when tragedy strikes her and Anna’s lives and apologies and forgiveness are needed now in order to make the present more memorable. Anna wants what every girl wants from their mother – unconditional love and acceptance. Even though she has a wonderful career, is a mom to Violet and Harley and married to Cole who adores her, something is still missing. The past haunts her and the anger and bitterness she is hanging onto, make her more like her mother than she cares to admit. Hilary takes this relationship and tells a beautiful story of a mom and daughter finding their way back to each other in one of the most momentous occasions in a girl’s life, her wedding.
Jennifer_F_Reader More than 1 year ago
"We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?" This question, posed by PLAN BEA protagonist Annabel O'Conner, is a key theme in Hilary Grossman's second book. Through a narrative that explores what happens when we push away loved ones and leave so many things unsaid, the author takes us on a journey that explores the complicated relationship between Annabel and her mother, Bea, as they try to heal hurts and misunderstandings from their past that has shaped the strained relationship they have when we first meet the two, and we come to understand both of them better through what they finally share with one another. I found PLAN BEA to be a carefully plotted, well-thought-out book with flashes to the past and backstory at just the right times. It was easy to see the character growth in both Annabel and Bea as they opened up to one another and had to confront the part each of them had played in the breakdown of their relationship. When I review books, I try very hard not to give any spoilers (you'll have to read it!) but I have to say, I didn't see one big surprise twist in this book coming and I absolutely loved it. If you read it, you'll know EXACTLY what twist I mean. All-in-all, this is a very human book that confronts the complexity of relationships, grief, anger, personal growth, and moving on. The characters are likable—I even found myself liking Bea as I got to know her!—and it's an enjoyable story that will keep you reading through to the end. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.