Bea Stevens and Ryan O Marley are in danger of falling through the cracks of their own lives; the only difference between them is that Bea doesn’t know it yet.
When her world is shaken like a snow-globe, Bea has to do what she does best; adapt. Homeless man Ryan is the key to unlocking the mystery of her friend Declan’s disappearance but can she and Ryan trust one another enough to work together?
As the pieces of her life settle in new and unexpected places, like the first fall of snow, Bea must make a choice: does she try to salvage who she was or embrace who she might become?
Just Bea takes the reader on a heart-warming journey from the glamour of a West End store to the harsh reality of life on the streets and reminds us all that home really is where the heart is.
Bea feels like her life is on track. She has a London flat and is on the verge of getting a promotion at one of the most prestigious department stores in the city. She is about to get everything she thinks she wants.
When things begin to unravel, Bea meets Ryan. As they get to know each other, she may come to realise that there is much more to life than what she had planned.
This book was my introduction to Deborah Klee. It did take me a couple of chapters to settle into the story but once this happened, I couldn’t put the book down.
At the beginning, I didn’t know what to make of Bea. She was someone who very much played by the rules and she didn’t seem to respond to much around her. She felt very closed off. However, the further into the novel I got, the more I started to like her and find her relatable. She began to open up and it’s interesting to see how she develops as the story went on.
Told from the point of view of both Bea and Ryan, I liked how you got to see the story from a duel point of view. I also found it interesting that these two people, seemingly in different circumstances, find that they are not that different and how one decision or event can change the course of your life. Plus, it can happen so quickly. However, you are in charge of your own destiny and it’s not about what happens to you but how you deal with it.
This novel overall was a very warm, endearing story, involving real and quirky characters. It’s about discovering what is important in life and that it isn’t always going to go to plan. It covers the themes of love, friendship and having true belief in yourself whatever life decides to throw at you and that first impressions are not always correct. It also shines a very important light on the subject of homelessness in the UK and beyond.
I really came to care for these characters. The plot went in directions that I didn’t expect and this compelling story kept me engrossed until the last page. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Bea and Ryan and I hope that we get to see them again at some point. Please?
I loved this book and am looking forward to seeing what this author does next.
About Deborah Klee…
Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.
Just Bea is her second novel. Her debut The Borrowed Boy was published last year.
Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines her love of baking with trying to burn off the extra calories.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.
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