A joy to zip through: My review of Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

Publisher: Zondervan (April 24, 2012)

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.

I've enjoyed all of Joyce Magnin's books that I have read so far, including the Bright's Pond series, and love how the author creates unique characters who aren't afraid to be different and to be themselves. Harriet is a character that will long stand out in my mind, spunky and courageous, confidently using the latest technology to embark on her journey, proudly wearing her bright red shoes. I especially appreciate her love for people and her desire to spark up conversations with seemingly anyone, and see what God has in mind for that encounter. She brings to life the Biblical encouragement to "make the most of every opportunity", and whether talking to a broken-hearted fiancée who was left stranded at the alter, or single-handedly stopping a purse-snatcher, Harriet is ready to follow where the Lord leads and bless others along the way. The novel is full of vivid and fun details that make this book a joy to zip through, and I am confident that readers who have enjoyed Magnin's prior novels will greatly enjoy this entertaining and inspiring read. (I think, however, that I may hide this book from my own mother. I don't want her getting any ideas to plot her way across the country because I think I may end up being like Harriet's son, Henry, and being a bit of a fuss-budget).

I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Zondervan, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


Image of Joyce MagninJoyce Magnin is the author of the popular and quirky Bright's Pond novels. She is a frequent conference speaker and writing instructor. When she's not writing or reading Joyce enjoys baseball, needle arts, video games and cream soda but not elevators--especially glass ones. She listens to many kinds of music, shamelessly confesses to enjoying American Idol, has never eaten a scallop or sky dived. Joyce has three children, Rebekah, Emily and Adam and three grandsons, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren and one son-in-law, Joshua. Joyce lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania with her son, Adam and their crazy cat, Mango, where she cares for an eighty-year-old onion plant.