Once I’d read through a couple of times, my overall impression was curiosity, which is generally a good thing, and I felt comfortable with the way the story is moving. When I read through the first time though, I was a bit confused as to what was going on. I don’t mean the bare facts, I mean things like whether Bethany wanted the phone call, whether she wanted a holiday – or something – was she in favour of it, why was she trying to get her mother to register enthusiasm? Her mother mentions a holiday brochure and Bethany relaxes so I assume she wants – a holiday or what? Is she for it or against it?
I think that unless you are deliberately focussing on setting the reader a puzzle, which might be a valid way to begin in some circumstances, then you could probably hand-hold us a bit more through these opening lines. Also, I think the Bert story at this point doesn’t help because it introduces a second story when I am still trying to digest the present one.
The pace seemed good. I think you got us where you wanted quite quickly.