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19 October 2015

Review: 'Plan Bea' by Hilary Grossman (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.

Last year I read and reviewed author Hilary Grossman’s debut novel ‘Dangled Carat’ which is a memoir on how to deal with a commitment-phobic boyfriend (click here to read my review). I quite enjoyed the book, especially the author’s writing style was comfortable and easy to read, and looked forward to perhaps reading a work of fiction written by Hilary in the future. So, when I heard about her upcoming novel ‘Plan Bea’, which was released by Booktrope on October 14th, I straight away signed up for a review copy. I was lucky enough to receive one and I was curious to check out ‘Plan Bea’ and see what Hilary Grossman’s next step into the world of fiction would be like!  

Annabel O’Conner has managed to build up quite the perfect life for herself; she is married to the love of her life Cole, together they have two cute children named Violet and Harley, they own a beautiful home, and Annabel has a job she loves. However, there is one thing that Annabel misses in her life and that’s a good relationship with her mother Bea. A tragic accident in the family created a rift between the two of them years ago, even resulting in Annabel getting married far away from home so her mother would not attend the ceremony. When Bea suddenly visits her daughter again, announcing she is getting married and wants Annabel to be the wedding planner, Annabel doesn’t know what to think. She can’t see any other solution than to say ‘yes’ and before she knows it her life is taken over by wedding venues, cakes, flowers and dresses. But will this wedding manage to bring Bea and Annabel closer together or will it only damage their relationship even further…?

I instantly liked the plotline of ‘Plan Bea’; the idea of a daughter becoming her mother’s wedding planner in order to hopefully improve the bad relationship between them. It sounds like an enjoyable and interesting story and one that would also work really well as a romantic comedy film, I think. While I quite liked the protagonist of the novel, Annabel, and was really curious to find out more about her and her background, it took me a bit of time to get used to Bea, Annabel’s mother. She is quite selfish, cares a lot about appearances, and just appeared to be a really difficult person. As the story progressed, though, more was explained about both Bea and Annabel’s background, and I came to better understand some of their actions and decisions.

I couldn’t help but feel that the book was a bit rushed at certain points. Annabel and her mother have been through a lot (it almost seemed like a bit too much at times), and some of these things were dealt with quite quickly and without too much detail. The novel isn’t that long, but I think it would have benefited with roughly 80 to 100 pages more to really go into certain events in the past and present. I did enjoy seeing Bea and Annabel’s mother-daughter relationship develop throughout the novel and I loved the wedding aspect of the book. I also loved the ending of the novel, which was unexpected and really managed to surprise me. Overall, I thought ‘Plan Bea’ was an enjoyable read with a good plotline at its core; perhaps not as entertaining as I had expected it to be, but still a pleasant read!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing Plan Bea!

    1. You're welcome, Hilary! Thanks for providing me with a review copy! :)