In Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus, the title character is a widowed senior citizen who collects salt and pepper shakers and has meaningful conversations with her basset hound, Humphrey. While decorating her Christmas tree, Harriet takes a spill and breaks her ankle. The discovery that the ankle is indeed broken causes her to lose an impulsive bet with her daughter-in-law. Always one to keep her word, Harriet must now pack up her shakers, sell her house, and move from Philadelphia to Grass Valley, California. Harriet's none too happy about it, but she decides to do it on her own terms.
Harriet decides to take the bus. And not a Greyhound. Oh no. Harriet will take public transportation across the country.
The ensuing road trip is filled with discovery as Harriet sets out on the adventure of her life. She meets every kind of person you can think of, touching lives along the way. As she changes them, Harriet herself changes. She trades in her nice shoes and dresses for sneakers and jeans. She learns how to use a smart phone and a GPS. Better still, God uses her experiences to transform Harriet on the inside.
This is a lovely, gentle book. As Harriet makes her way to California on buses, trains, motorcycles, and whatever way she can, her son, Henry and wife Prudence are dealing with their own issues. Henry goes from being worried about his mom to rooting her on. As does Humphrey, who waits patiently for his owner in California, encouraging the humans around him anyway he can.
Joyce has written a much-loved series of books about Bright's Pond . In her latest novel, she continues to live up to her reputation for creating characters with heart and soul. I'd encourage anyone to pick up Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus. It's a trip worth taking!
NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.
"Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus" is an unexpected ton of fun! I enjoyed the adventureâ€”and you will, too. In fact, you may even decide you want to be just like Harriet when you grow up, but that would be the opposite of the point of the book. Harriet learns to accept herself and others just as they are.
When 72-year-old Harriet loses a bet to her daughter-in-law requiring her to move cross-country, Harriet decides to make the journey by city bus. She sells her house, ships her belongings and her dog, and hops on the first bus she sees, intending to let it take her as far as it will.
But city busses don't travel very far, so Harriet must learn how to travel from city to city, sometimes taking busses, taxi cabs, trainsâ€”and many unexpected things! She trades in her fashionable shoes for a pair of red high tops and learns to use a smart phone with its GPS. Along the way, she encourages the people who momentarily cross her path, collects memories in her journal, and sends salt & pepper shakers from each location to her new home.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest reviewâ€”I eagerly recommend it to you!
Widow Harriet Beamer still living in the house where she spent her married life and raised her son, awaits that son's arrival from California. Her son and his wife arrive to discover her on the floor after a fall from a ladder while putting up Christmas decorations. Harriet bets her daughter-in-law that the ankle is not broken and if it is Harriet will move to California if it is broken. After the broken ankle heals, Harriet decides to move to California, but to travel there by local public transportation as much as possible. Along the way, Harriet has many adventures, meets many new friends, and reaches some conclusions.
I loved this book. Reading about Harriet's adventures is just plain fun, and definitely reveals that elderly women have a great deal of life left to live. Harriet is a character that you want to pull out of the book to visit with, and make your new best friend. I would recommend this book for women of all ages and men who want more insight into an elderly woman's psyche.
What do you do when you look back at the last 72 years of your life and realize you're not getting any younger? The only time you've ever gone anywhere was to the Jersey shore on vacation. Now that she has lost a bet with her son Henry and his wife Prudence over an accident at Christmas, Harriet is forced to sell her home and move in with them. After all, it's apparent to them, you can't be left to care for yourself all alone. Yet rather than jump aboard a plane and head for Grass Valley, CA on their terms, you do what Harriet Beamer does.
You plan a road trip.
From Pennsylvania to California.
Seeing whatever it is you've wanted to see before you die taking whatever means necessary except for a plane if she can help it. Once she has secured her faithful companion, Humphrey, her Basset Hound on board a plane headed to California, she is ready to begin. And with Harriet, that begins with a bus. Not a Greyhound bus mind you but a local public bus and see how far it will take her. Unfortunately for her, it only goes as far as the University, but since she's never seen that, she takes a walk around the campus before heading off on another bus.
Harriet's goal is not only in seeing the sights she feels she has missed in her 72 years of living, but also to prove to herself and her family that she isn't as incapable in caring for herself as they think she is. The journey that the reader is invited along with Harriet is memorable, fun and often times sobering as she meets with people from all walks of life. She finds herself offering invaluable wisdom to the people she engages with, names her GPS application within her Droid phone, Amelia, and continues collecting her salt and pepper shakers as she journeys to California, one bus, one train, one memorable journey at a time.
I received Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus by Joyce Magnin compliments of Shelton Interactive and Zondervan Publishers for my honest review. I LOVED this adorable story because it relates to a situation close to my own heart where an elderly woman living alone was asked to sell her own home because they felt she couldn't care for herself and live with them. I would have loved to see her have as much gumption as Harriet Beamer did and take life by the reins and ride it for the best time of her life. I rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and it truly shows in the character of Harriet Beamer that age is just a number, and life is truly worth living to the final moment!