Read about this rambunctious 72 year old as she travels by herself cross country mainly on public transportation, heading toward her new home in Grass Valley, California. She lost a bet which started her on this journey. Harriet meets a snake handling preacher, rides in a motorcycle sidecar, dances the cancan in a saloon, and meets lots of folks, some friendly and some ornery. Her hound dog, Humphrey, is a main character. Oh, and Harriet adds to her beloved collection of salt and pepper shakers as she journeys west. If you like to smile and enjoy good writing, I think you will enjoy reading this book.
Seventy-two year old Harriet Beamer falls off a ladder. Her daughter-in-law, Prudence, makes a bet with Harriet. If the foot is broken, she must come and live with Prudence and Henry. "It was a suckers bet," Harriet says as she plans her trip to California to join them. But she decides to take the long way by local transportation. A friendly stranger helps her find her Droid, Amelia, to plan each new courseâ€”deciding as she goes.
Henry worries as she calls to tell him about her ride on a helicopter and her adventure with the snake-handler. He can only wait as she makes her convoluted way to him. Harriett encounters good and bad people. She gains celebrity when she stops a purse-snatcher with a well-placed rolling suitcase as the incident goes viral.
The reader will smile more than laugh aloud, though the book provides a few of those. If you enjoy old people who don't believe life ends when you reach "maturity" you will enjoy this book. It may provide a pleasant Sunday afternoon diversion.
When 72-year-old Harriet Beamer loses a bet with her daughter-in-law Prudence about whether a fall off a chair resulted in her breaking her ankle or not, she has no choice but to sell her house and move clear across the country to California. However, a sudden realization that she's always let others chart her course for her embarks her on a journey across the country - by bus, train, helicopter, or motorcycle. Along the way she meets a cast of colourful characters and gets herself into - and out of - a heap of troublesome situations. But she soon discovers that with God, anything is possible - and that God still has a plan for her to make a difference with her life.
On Christmas Eve, 72-year-old widow Harriet Beamer falls while hanging her favorite ornament on the Christmas tree. She bets her daughter-in-law, Prudence, that her ankle isn't broken. But it is. To honor her bet, Harriet has to sell her comfortable house in Philadelphia and travel across the country to California to live with her son, Henry, and Prudence. However she's one feisty lady and decides to send Humphrey, her beloved basset hound ahead, while she makes her way there via the scenic route on public transportation. This makes for a delightful and often amusing read as we follow Harriet's adventures which range from stopping a thief in his tracks to dancing the cancan on the stage in Dodge City. We meet many marvelous characters along the way including David Prancing Elk and a snake-handling preacher
The thing that I really loved about this book is that it's about several other journeys. There's Harriet's journey to independence--all her life she has just let things happen to her, but now she's making her own choices and making things happen. She's an avid collector of shakers, so she starts by fulfilling a lifelong ambition to visit the Salt and Pepper Museum in Tennessee. As Harriet moves along and throws off her old ways, we see her discard her dresses and leather shoes for denim jeans and sneakers.
There's her journey into modern technology as she buys a Droid phone with GPS, which she calls Amelia, so she can find her way.
But the heart of the book is her spiritual journey. She yearns to feel God's pleasure in her and what she's doing again. She wants to know if she's still useful. Does God have a purpose for her or has she used up all her purpose?
This light-hearted book is an enjoyable read which will keep you turning the pages. I hope that Joyce Magnin will write a sequel.
I give this book a five star rating.
Thank you to Shelton Interactive and Zondervan for giving me an Advanced Reading Copy of "Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus" in exchange for my unbiased review.