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Plan Bea

(Secrets, Lies, and Second Chances #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  459 ratings  ·  116 reviews
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 belie
Paperback, 236 pages
Published June 1st 2016 (first published October 1st 15)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  459 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Plan Bea is a wonderful exploration of a mother and daughter trying to rebuild a broken relationship. There were moments that made me laugh, moments that choked me up and moments I just wanted to slap someone.

The characters were well developed and I found Annabel likeable and relatable, as for her mother Bea..... see the last point in the previous sentence.

This is the second of Hilary's books I've read and I'm really looking forward to the next one (You big tease Hilary! Leave me hanging like
Meredith Schorr
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
To say Anna and her mother Beatrice have a strained relationship is an understatement. Plan Bea chronicles their journey to repair their bond and come to terms with the past. A major, tragic life event is the cause of their rift and the author skillfully weaves the present with the past in flashbacks. 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 chara ...more
Bethany Clark
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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. <3)

Anna really grabs your attention from the beginning. She has what looks to be the prefect family from the outside, but on the inside is a broken woman who has wanted nothing more to be loved by her mother and to have that mother/daughter relationship she has craved for yea
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of second chances, forgiveness and relationships.

Annabel O'Conner and her mother, Beatrice Buchanan, have a very troubled relationship. They chat via phone on Thursdays for 15 minutes. This is all the contact they have! This arrangement was set in place at the request of Bea and has been in place for 12 years!

When Anna became pregnant with her first child, she had to wait until Thursday to tell her mom .... when Anna gave birth to her daughter, Violet, she had to wait until Thu
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing

When we first meet Anna we think her life is perfect. Perfect husband, perfect family, perfect life. But as you read PLAN BEA you find out that she is broken inside and in deep denial. All she wants is a normal relationship with her mother. Her mother has always kept her at a distance and when tragedy strikes the family, her mother pushes her even farther away. Now her mother, BEA, is getting married and wants Anna's help.

PLAN BEA is a heartbreaking look at a mother/daughter relationship that is
T.B. Markinson
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit
A highly entertaining novel that explores the difficulties between mother and daughter. On many occasions I was laughing out loud. Readers who enjoy chick lit should grab a copy. I for one can't wait for Grossman's next novel.
Sep 10, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
💝FREE on Amazon today (9/10/18)!💝

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 s
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most enjoyable books I have read. A beautifull and fluenlty writen story with a lot of surprises, one you start and don't want to put away untill the end.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life is good for Annabel O’Conner. She has a wonderful, loving husband and two beautiful children. She even has a great career. What would make her even happier? A loving relationship with her mother. For some reason, Annabel’s mother Beatrice wants nothing to do with Annabel or her children. It breaks Annabel’s heart, but her mother is a cold, selfish woman.

Then, out of the blue, Beatrice calls and tells Annabel she’s getting married. She pleads with Annabel to help make this the best wedding e
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
Did I enjoy this book: I really did. This was a fantastic read that had me glued to my Kindle from beginning to the end.

Annabel is a working mom of two adorable children, and she has a wonderful husband. They are living a pretty good life. The major snag in Annabel’s seemingly perfect life is her mother, Bea. Bea is very opinionated, rather stubborn, and sometimes just a bitch. Annabel just wants her mother to show that she loves her and her children. However, there is way more to this story tha
Jennifer Farwell
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"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 shape ...more
Deana Dick
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Annabel is living a great life. She has an awesome husband and two precious children. Everything seems right in her world except for one little problem. Annabel has a mother that is rude, thinks she knows everything and can make you want to go screaming out the door when she comes for a visit. Why can't her mom be like other moms? The quiet loving nurturing kind that everyone adores. Well as luck would have it, Annabel has Bea as her mom.

I think as I read this story, it made me realize that no
Pippa Franks
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Make Plan Bea Plan A for your reading list!

Anna has a seemingly perfect life. Married to the lovely Cole, with a gorgeous son and daughter, what more could she wish for? Other than the love and approval of her mother, Bea, that is. Bea is distant and aloof towards Anna and the children, until she informs Anna she is getting married and wants her help in organising the wedding. As they are thrown together more and more, the two women gradually open up to each other, and Anna begins to understand
Nov 28, 2015 marked it as to-read
Advance Readers Copy (ARC) provided for my blog for an honest review from the lovely author
The Cobbler's Daughter
I really loved this book. It's more than your usual woman's lit or chick lit. It's the story of a daughter's relationship with her selfish, overbearing mother.

Annabel is the woman that has it all except a great relationship with her mother, Bea. When Bea meets a man things begin to change. The women find they may be more like each other than they thought.

I don't want to give away too much but if you love family drama, sweet moments, and some tears in your book this is the perfect book for you.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that grab you by the guts and pulls. It was a slow start at first, but worth the effort of pushing through. This is the story of a mother who has erected a stone wall around her heart and her daughter never feeling the love a daughter should get from her mother. What takes place is a slow and steady reconciliation and new awareness of themselves. Really enjoyed the book.
Annabel and her mother don’t have much of a relationship. After a drunk driver killed her brother years ago, Anabel and her mother became estranged. They have a scheduled phone call once a week to catch up. But when Bea meets a man on a cruise with friends, she reaches out to Annabel for help planning her wedding. While they plan for Bea’s wedding, they express feelings that have been held back for years and begin to heal their relationship. They discover the dark secrets that have kept them est ...more
sitename] My Review

Annabel O’Conner has a terrible relationship with her mother, Bea, and despite the fact there are many things going right in her life, like a supportive husband, two great kids, and an amazing job, she can't help but yearn for the mother she thinks she should have. One surprise call from Bea, requesting Annabel's help to organize her wedding turns Annabel's world on its ear.  Everything she thought sh
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Plan Bea is a wonderful women's fiction story that explores the complex relationship between a mother and daughter.

Author Hilary Grossman weaves a poignant tale that follows the strained relationship between mother Beatrice "Bea" Buchanan and daughter Annabel "Anna" O'Conner. Set in Long Island and told in the first person narrative, Anna takes the reader along for the ride as they try to repair their complex and long strained mother-daughter relationship.

With plenty of drama, angst, secrets, an
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Anna (short from Annabel) is the mother of two great children and perfect wife. She has everything in her life, her own family, people who love her; even her in-laws love her so much. She has great job and her boss is her friend, but something is very wrong and miss in her life.

But what is it? Her own mother. How that can be? Is she dead?

No! Her mother, Beatrice is very much alive.

Beatrice is very rich woman. She is stubborn and cold woman. She doesn’t care about other people, because she is sel
Rachel Gilbey
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I have this sometimes very frustrating habit of either deciding I want to read a book either by its cover, or by the author and barely glancing at the blurb until I've started reading. Plan Bea was one such book and as a result, from the first few pages it was clear it was going to have a different focus to it, to whatever I had been thinking. However I am so glad it was written the way it was, as its a brilliant story.

Plan Bea is a story about Annabel's relationship with her mother Bea. For ma
My Pink Fairytales
3.5 ★ "WE LIVE OUR ENTIRE LIVES thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?"

I have to confess a few things, first.
One: I love Hilary Grossman. She's super nice and her first book - Dangled Carat was amazing and one of my all time favorites.
Two: She didn't ask me to read Plan Bea or to review it. I did that because of what i mentioned above.

That being said you'll see my problem next. I was conflicted for about 60% of the book, because i didn't like it that much and i kept t
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 matte
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I first read the blurb of Hilary Grossman’s second novel, my interest was very piqued. After all, I enjoy her first book, “Dangled Carat,” so I knew I was going to like this one, too. Well, I ended up loving it!

I would love to be friends with Annabel, her husband, and of course, her two little ones. Hilary’s writing is so powerful that I was easily drawn to Annabel’s mother, Bea, even though she was sarcastic and witchy, at times, though, at the end, I understood why.

“Plan Bea” was an amazi
Teresa Kander
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
Annabel and her mother Beatrice have a very strained relationship. Anna's life looks perfect from the outside, but on the inside she is broken and lost, just wanting a relationship with her mother. Bea comes across as cold, aloof and manipulative, wanting everything and everyone to follow her commands.

We learn that a tragic event is the cause of their rift, and read about it through flashbacks, which flow seamlessly with the story of the present day. That story--of Anna helping to plan Bea's wed
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received Plan Bea from Netgalley (my first attempt at using Netgalley!), but unfortunately I didn't enjoy this book.

I was looking to trying a book from the Women's Fiction genre, and saw that this one had nothing but positive reviews on Goodreads, so I assumed it would be a good place to start. Apparently I'm a black sheep!

To me, this literally read as a Lifetime Movie. Every possible tragic event that could possibly happen to one family happened to this family, and they all read as stereotype
Karan Eleni
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally posted on

I didn't sleep the night I started reading this book. I've been waiting for this book since Hilary first mentioned that she was writing it. I yelled at Hilary the next morning and told her that kleenex warnings are necessary for her books in the future. (I'm warning all of you now to grab a few...) There were definitely a few things that were relatable and several scenes that kept me guessing. Actually, the whole book had me guessing, and it def

Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-books, blogged
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!
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful second novel by Hilary. She captures the complicated relationship between a woman and mother surrounding a wedding, but puts a spin on it by having the mother as the bride. A witty novel that had me laughing out loud many times as I read it, I highly recommend Plan Bea. Looking forward to Hilary's third book!
Kirsty Cochrane
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun read that I enjoyed from start to end. I embraced the characters and until Beatrice starting changing her attitude I felt like I was reading about my own mother. The reading was easy with the story progressing at a good pace. I look forward to the next book.
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Hilary Grossman is a recovering corporate executive. She spends her mornings and weekends hanging out with her "characters." She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball - she tries to ...more

Other books in the series

Secrets, Lies, and Second Chances (2 books)
  • Plan Cee

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    Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani, the former chief book critic of The New York Times, is the author of the newly...
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“No matter how old you are, you always want your mother’s love and acceptance. I guess I’m hoping one day I’ll get it back.” 6 likes
“We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?” 0 likes
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