Harriet knew it was a sucker bet, yet she still let her pride get the better of her and now she has to sell her home in Pennsylvania and move to California to live with her son Henry and daughter-in-law Prudence. But instead of taking a plane or train across the country, seventy-two year old Harriett Beamer decides she is going see the country on her time schedule and she ends up taking buses, a motorcycle and a cable car to do it.
This was such a fun book! It was so entertaining reading about all of Harriett's adventures and all the places and people that she met on her travels. I loved how the author wrote Harriett. She turns from basically a homebody who has church on Sunday and bingo on Wednesday to an adventurer who starts conversations with complete strangers and wears red hight top convers. Harriett goes from Washington D. C. to the Smoky Mountains through the plains of Kansas and Nebraska, over the Rockies and finally to California. Along the way she meets all kinds of people, some who are in her life for only a few moments, and some that are in for a little longer, but Harriett learns a life lesson from each and every person. She chooses to try to help people even if it doesn't turn exactly the way that she thought, but she always believes that God will see her through and He does. I would like to be like Harriett when I grow up.
The research into all the place that Harriett visited was incredible. Some of the descriptions were so detailed that I could actually picture them in my mind. And the humor that the author pepper throughout the book was wonderful. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times. If you are like me and sometimes just need to read something fun and encouraging, then this is the book for you.
This book was purchased in Large Print for me to donate to a Seniors' residence as a memorial. I know the ladies will enjoy it as much as I did as they laugh along with Harriet Beamer as she takes her time going cross country by bus, and other modes of transportation. "I can do all things through Christ" is the verse that exemplifies her trip. What joy she felt when she finally made it to the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum! It was a delight!
Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by Joyce Magnin is just a delightful book. Harriet has had some difficult times lately. Her husband, Max, of 28 years has died and her son, Henry and his wife Prudence (of whom she is not close) want her to move to California to life with them. Harriet and her dog are getting along fine living in the same neighborhood that she has lived for her entire married life with the support of her church and close neighbors. On this day of Henry and Prudence's visit, Harriet falls off a chair and hurts her ankle. Prudence engages her in a bet that if her ankle is broke she will come live with them and if it is not then she will be able to stay in her home. Harriet's ankle is broken. Harriet agrees to come but on her own rules. She will come on several local buses stopping along the way to see what she wants taking as long as she wants and she will come by herself. This book is about the cross country trip that Harriet, who has never taken long distance vacations before let alone by herself, takes.
I liked this book so much better than I expected. Harriet not only sees the USA on her trip but begins to see herself and understand her son and wife's opinion also. She finds that she is blessed in so many ways as she enjoys seeing the sights and buying salt and pepper shakers for her collection. I found this book well written and entertaining. Thank you for this book.
This book was provided for this review by Zondervan.
What a perfectly delightful read! I absolutely love Harriet Beamer, and I would love to grow up to be like her some day. She is the absolutely ideal senior citizen who has decided her life is still not over. She knows that even in her golden years, God is not finished with her yet.
I was absolutely enthralled with Harriet's journey. And just when I did not think the mode of travel could get any zanier, it did! No spoilers here. If you want to know of Harriet's travel, you must read it.
I was enchanted with the way in which Harriet, Henry, and Prudence evolved over the course of the book. I did not think Prudence had any gumption, but by the end of the book, I was glad to see her spunk. And Henry and Humphrey truly bonded to the point that Humphrey became Henry's muse. I would love to have a dog like Humphrey!
I most appreciated the way in which God was woven into the fabric of the story. It was good to see Harriet's faith being so apparent in her every day dealings with each person she met. She never tried to force her beliefs on anyone. They were just a part of who she was.
In conclusion, I now want to go on a trip like this. I wish I were a retired lady with lots of money and no real responsibilities. I would go in a heartbeat.
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
This is the story of Harriet Beamer, a seventy-two year old widow who had been living alone in Philadelphia. After falling while decorating her Christmas tree, her daughter-in-law Prudence tricks Harriet into selling her home and moving in with her and Henry, Harriet's son.
When Harriet realizes what happened, she reluctantly keeps her promise to move, but decides to take her time making the long journey to Grass Valley, California, near Sacramento. Not only does she want to get there on her own terms, she wants to visit some places along the way. Her late husband hadn't liked to travel and so they had never made any trips. Since she was a long-time collector of salt and pepper shakers, one place she wanted to go to in particular was the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Harriet sells her house, says goodbye to her friends, ships her belongings to California. Her dog Humphrey, goes on ahead on the plane. Her plan was to take local buses only to make the trip more interesting and longer. But she soon learns that is not possible. Although she takes a local bus when possible, she travels in a variety of ways including a helicopter, a motorcycle sidecar, and trains. She meets many interesting people along the way, some help her and some she helps, some we can only guess, but hope Harriet has blessed them all in some way. One person, David Prancing Elk, told her about a good place to go to look at the stars. So she went there. She gained some fame along the way. A YouTube video of her stopping a thief was broadcast around the world and, at another time and place she managed to help the police catch a couple who had stolen her credit card.
When Harriet was alone on the trip, she pulled out her journal and wrote to her late husband Max and told him about her day. This gave the reader insights not possible otherwise. Along the way, alone in a hotel room or a B&B, Harriet grieved in a way she probably never did while living at home. She missed her husband in a new way. She probably grieved because of the change happening in her life as well. She had been used to talking to Humphrey and with him already in California, she had another reason to be sad. But it's mostly a fun book, not a sad one.
There are ups and downs, tears and laughter, all the way across the United States. However, there's more. It could have easily turned into a series of episodes in each town Harriet visited with no depth. But it didn't. A subplot involving Henry and Prudence gave the story deeper meaning and more interest. In addition to that, the way Harriet changes throughout the trip makes it much more than a series of short stories.
I laughed and cried and all the while kept turning pages to see what would happen next. To me, that means Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus is well worth the read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advance review copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."