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Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Allie and Bea


Plot

Bea is an old woman. Even worse, she is a very dumb old woman. We know this because when her husband dies she has less than $800 in the bank. She didn't think at all about their finances while her husband was alive and as a result when he died she was left almost penniless. She lives in a trailer park like trailer park white trash.


Bea gets a call from the IRS telling her she owes money, even though she has never heard of this before. She is told the money is due today, but if she hands over her bank identification information and pin number the matter will be resolved immediately. Bea does and all the money is taken from her account in this obvious scam. It's hard to be sympathetic with a dumb main character.

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So Bea, out of money and unable to pay the rent in her trailer park, takes her bread delivery van and hits the road. Because she doesn't have enough money to pay for gas she steals peoples' iPhones and then sells them for cash.


This is the moment when she loses all reader sympathy. She's not merely dumb, she's a crook. We are supposed to believe that Bea has no options because she has no money. But of course Bea does have options. She can go to one of many food kitchens in her area to get food. She can go on welfare and start getting money from the government. She can go live in a homeless shelter. Instead she chooses to steal from people. We are supposed to feel sorry for her but she is simply (a) dumb and (b) a thief.


Then we meet Allie, a 15 year old girl whose parents get arrested for tax evasion. Allie is sent to a group home where a butch girl named Brick steals her possessions. Allie reclaims her possessions and threatens Brick. Another girl named Jasmine warns Allie that when Brick's boyfriend comes, they will get Allie. They see the boyfriend's motorcycle arriving out front and Allie flees with Jasmine.


Jasmine, her new friend, takes Allie to a home of child prostitution run by her pimp Victor. At first Allie does not understand that she is expected to let men ejaculate into her 15 year old vagina. Victor takes her on a lavish shopping trip, buying her thousands of dollars of clothes and telling her she can work it off. Allie still doesn't understand, even though she knows Victor's home is filled with young girls. But when Victor offers to buy her an iPhone, finally Allie gets it. She tells Victor she can't let men bone her because her v_gina is not open for business yet. Victor takes the news in stride and invites her to go home with her and think about it overnight. Allie agrees.


Now tell me, who is dumber, Allie, or Bea? It's pretty close.


That night Jasmine confesses that she took Allie to a child prostitution ring. She tells Allie she has to leave or that Victor will sell her to another pimp who will force her to let men ejaculate into her. Allie tries to leave but she is too late, she is caught by the new pimp who Victor sells her to.


The new pimp is meaner than Victor. Allie escapes from him on foot at a gas station. She climbs into Bea's van and pleads with Bea to help her escape. Bea reluctantly agrees and takes her to the next town. She boots Allie from her van at the next town but then has a change of heart and buys her breakfast.


Allie leaves Bea after she finds out that Bea is a thief, but she quickly returns.  After that they are inseparable.


Bea justifies her thievery by saying she had no money and had no choice but to steal (except the many options I listed above).


After they drive for a while they stop and meet a sensitive sculptor named Jackson. Jackson's wife just died so he is making a metal sculpture of her though he probably won't be able to have sex with it as he might have if he had made it of plastic. Jackson, talking about his dead wife, somehow makes Bea more sensitive. She acquires a new approach to life and decides to focus on the future.


They decide to drive to the most northwest corner of the United States, Cape Flattery, which sounds suspiciously like Cape Flatulence.


Allie and Bea go to the Monterey Aquarium. This is a life changing experience for Bea. She sees fish. In a tank. A lot of them! Totally amazing! No, seriously, this is what is written in the book. Bea is acting like a Muslim nomad from the desert of Somalia who has never seen fish before.

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Characters

 Allie: Allie is a 15 year old girl whose parents get arrested for tax evasion. She gets sent to a group home but is abused, and so runs away. She goes on a road trip with Bea, an old thief lady, and Allie makes Bea more sensitive. Then Allie brings Bea home and they stuff and mount her and in the living room like a stuffed moose's head. (Ok, she just comes home to live with them...no stuffing, no mounting.)

 Bea: Bea is an old lady whose husband died, and, due to her very low IQ, she loses all her money. She rides up and down the California coast in a van with Allie. Allie teaches her to be sensitive and they grow to love each other. Awwww......

 Victor:  Victor is the pimp for a bunch of child prostitutes. He tries to get Allie to join up but Allie doesn't know how to spread her legs for guys.

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Themes

 Young girls can make old people feel sensitive. Bea is all closed up and doesn't express feelings. But Allie works on her and makes her sensitive. Young people can make old people more sensitive. By the end of the book Bea is as expressive as Oprah, she's like a white Oprah.

 Vegans are obnoxious. Many times in the story Allie is offered free food but she thumbs her nose up at it because she is "vegan"; that means she not only will not eat meat, but will not eat eggs or drink milk. What's the harm in drinking milk? They just squeeze a cow's tits. The cows even likes it, it feels sexual to them. Allie even refuses to eat food made from flour. She's obnoxious, like most "vegans". Just listen to her go on and on:

"I'm a VEGAN and there's a LOT of things I DON'T EAT. Like sugar. Like refined carbs. Or anything with soy or hydrogenated oils or high-fructose corn syrup. No eggs, no diary, no honey. Because of the bees that have to make it. They keep them captive, you know. The things most people think of as food I would not eat at all."

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