Widow Harriet Beamer is a bastion of responsibility to all who know her.
She is a creature of habit. She runs her life like clockwork.
For fifteen years she has faithfully served as a proud member of the Shake It Up novelty salt-and-pepper shaker club.
Each Christmas, she lovingly bakes over a thousand butter spritz cookies for her neighbors.
She spoils her rescue hound, Humphrey, with sardines and glazed donuts.
She keeps an immaculate house.
She plays Bingo every Thursday night.
She loves to make small wagers now and then – wagers that are easy to honor, especially considering she has never lost a bet.
Yes, Harriet Beamer is a creature of habit. She runs her life like clockwork. She is an extremely honest woman – and an extremely lucky one. But Harriet’s luck – and life – are about to profoundly change.
When Harriet has the misfortune of taking a tumble – her fourth – moments before concerned son, Henry and daughter-in-law, Prudence arrive for their Christmas visit, Harriet is baited into making a high-stakes bet with Prudence:
If Harriet’s ankle is broken, she will sell her house and move to California to live the rest of her days with them.
If Harriet’s ankle is fine, she will remain in Pennsylvania – in her own home – for as long as she wishes.
Three hours later, the hospital confirms that the odds were not with Harriet that day.
So – four months later – Harriet finds herself packing up her belongings and preparing to leave behind the house that her husband Max built – and the only life that she has ever known – to go to Grass Valley, since she would rather honor her bet than be known forever-more as a welsher.
But, as she packs her salt and pepper shakers – collected from exotic places all around the world – she finds a deep melancholy growing within her. At age 72, she finds herself wondering:
Has she outlived her usefulness?
Does God still have a plan for her life?
Then – a lightbulb goes off in her head. She gets a grand idea. She will honor her bet… She will move to California… She will live with Henry and Prudence… But – she will do it her way.
So, she puts Humphrey on the plane as planned… And Harriet Beamer, who has never traveled anywhere except the Jersey shore, makes plans to travel to California and see the country – by bus and any alternative means of transportation available!
And so begin the heartwarming, heart-pounding and hilarous adventures of Harriet Beamer!
In Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus, Joyce Magnin has created a delightful tale with a protagonist that readers will love and root for at every step of her journey! You will not want to put this book down – and you will not want Harriet’s adventure to end! If you are looking for the perfect book to read on your summer vacation – this is it!
On a personal note, I cannot decide whether to share this book with my mother, who I believe would greatly enjoy the story – or to hide it from her, for fear she might be inspired to emulate Harriet!
I cannot wait to read Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold – which is slated for a 2013 release – as announced on Harriet Beamer’s blog!
Harriet Takes The Bus – Promotional Video
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Joyce Magnin is a Pennsylvania author, writing instructor and conference speaker whose novels include the popular and quirky Bright’s Pond series and the middle grade novel, Carrying Mason. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys watching American Idol, raising her son Adam, hanging out with her crazy nacho-eating cat Mango, and caring for an eighty-year old onion plant.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Zondervan via Shelton Interactive for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.