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Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus (Harriet Beamer #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  325 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Aging and recent widow Harriet Beamer insists she’s getting along fine with her dog Humphrey in Philadelphia … until she falls for the fourth time, injuring her ankle, and causing her son and daughter-in-law to cry foul. Insisting Harriet move in with them in California, they make a bet that her ankle is broken, and she foolishly promises to move if they’re right. Four x-r ...more
Paperback, 311 pages
Published April 21st 2012 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 2011)
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Ruth Hill
Apr 24, 2012 Ruth Hill rated it it was amazing
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 encha
Shari Larsen
Jul 17, 2013 Shari Larsen rated it it was amazing
Harriet Beamer is a 72 year old widow, very happily living on her own with her basset hound, Humphrey in Pennsylvania, until she has fall when her son Henry and daughter in law Prudence are visiting. She makes a bet with Prudence, if her ankle is broken, (and Harriet is sure it isn't), she will move to California to live with her and Henry. Well, her ankle is indeed broken, and Harriet doesn't really want to move, but she isn't going to welsh on a bet either.

She sells her house, and as she is pa
Apr 26, 2012 Carly rated it it was amazing
There are few things better than a good road trip story and Harriet Beamer takes a road trip that would be a challenge for the most youthful of souls. I can’t imagine embarking on a journey like Harriet’s - travelling from Philadelphia to California relying primarily on public transportation. I prefer to travel by car. While this is not a journey I would ever want to take, I sure did love reading about Harriet’s adventure.

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus felt to me a lot like a coming of age story,
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
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 ...more
April the Librarian
Apr 30, 2012 April the Librarian rated it liked it
Senior citizen Harriet makes a bad bet. If her ankle sprained, she gets to remain in her lifelong home in Pennsylvania; if it is broken, like her son and daughter-in-law believe, then she is selling her home and moving to California with them. You guessed it, it is broken. Only when the time comes to head to Cali, Harriet makes a decision. She is going to be brave and make this a journey of discovery, not just a plane ride to California.

Harriet decides that she is going to see the country, main
May 01, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing
When seventy-two year old Harriet Beamer falls off of a kitchen chair, she bets her daughter-in-law that her ankle isn't broken. The bet is that if the ankle is broken she will sell her home in PA and that she and her dog Humphrey will move to California to live with them, and if it isn't broken she gets to keep her home. Well turns out she looses the bet and must move to California. While packing her things she realizes that she has only taken one trip in her life and decides that instead of fl ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Glenajo rated it it was amazing
Great Fun, Totally Enjoyable

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 trave
Beckie Burnham
Mar 16, 2015 Beckie Burnham rated it really liked it
Joyce Magnin’s books are always good for a good chuckle or belly laugh. Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus is no exception. When Harriet loses a bet to her daughter-in-law and is forced to move from her home in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to Grass Valley, California, she decides that she needs to have some purpose in her life and begins with a cross country trip that involves traveling on public transportation. With the exception of a planned visit to the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Harri ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Brenda rated it really liked it
Finding a novel featuring a 72 yr old widow who isn't portrayed as an old lady was refreshing. Thank you Joyce Magnin.

Harriet's son convinces her to sell her home in the US East and move to the US West. He doesn't count on her deciding she is going to do the trip by local bus as much as possible.

Harriet's adventures as she crosses the country, with stop to see the Salt Shakers Museum in Tennessee, is inspiring.

She meets a wide cross section of people, rides on interesting modes of transportatio
Roberto Mattos
Jun 04, 2012 Roberto Mattos rated it really liked it
The author did a magnificent job creating this wonderful character named Harriet Beamer. She is a sweet old lady that lives alone with her dog (Humphrey) in her home in Pennsylvania, missing her late husband (Max) and with her son Henry living in California with his wife Prudence. After breaking her ankle and loosing a bet, she sells her house in order to move to California, to live with Henry, but she decided to take the long trip to the new home. She ships her dog and most of her belongings (t ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus is a fun story about a 72 year old widow who loses a bet resulting in her moving across the country to live with her only son and his wife.

Harriet Beamer lived a quiet life in Philadelphia with her dog, Humphrey. She has a best friend, Martha, who she loves very much. Her son, Henry, and his wife, Prudence, live in California with their cat, Sandra Day.

When hanging Christmas decorations at home, Harriet falls and breaks her ankle. She didn’t think it was broken, so s
May 17, 2012 Sally rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I liked this book, even though it wasn't totally realistic. Harriet Beamer, a 72-year-old widow must move from her life-long home in Pennsylvania to live with her son and daughter-in-law in California. Realizing that she never traveled much in her long life, she decides to "take the scenic route" by traveling as much as possible using public transportation - in other words not by flying, driving or taking a Greyhound bus. She starts out on a local city bus, with no real itinerary except to make ...more
Sid Frost
Apr 24, 2012 Sid Frost rated it it was amazing
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
Linda B
Jun 10, 2012 Linda B rated it it was amazing
As someone with a huge salt and pepper shaker collection how could I not love a book about a woman who shares that interest!

Harriet has reached a certain point in her life when she knows she needs to make a change. Her husband has passed and she feels as though she has never accomplished anything. After losing a bet, she agrees to move in with her son and daughter-in-law. She packs up her huge salt and pepper shaker collection and sends her dog ahead to her son’s home. But Harriet decides that s
Bluerose's  Heart
Apr 25, 2012 Bluerose's Heart rated it really liked it
Harriet Beamer is 72 years old, and living all alone since her dear husband, Max, passed away. Let's not forget about her dog, Humphrey, though. She loves spoiling him to pieces by giving him glazed donuts(never jelly filled). When she falls from a chair and hurts her ankle, she makes a bet with her daughter-in-law, Prudence, that it isn't broken. If she loses? She moves across the country to live with her son, Henry, and Prudence. When Harriet finds out that she will indeed be moving across the ...more
Jennifer AlLee
Apr 24, 2016 Jennifer AlLee rated it liked it
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, ...more
Pat W. Kirk (author name Patricia Annalee Kirk)
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 course—deciding as she goes.

Henry worries as she calls to tell him about her ride on a helicopt
Brooke Berry
Apr 21, 2012 Brooke Berry rated it it was ok
Whenever I am driving to visit my family, the 10 hour drive to Idaho seems to take too long and I am always in a hurry. 2 minutes to hit the bathroom and grab a snack while we fill up with gas. Any longer and I'm leaving you there! Having made this trip 3-4 times a year almost my entire life, I have most of little towns and sights memorizes. We always drive passed these amazing towns with rivers for my husband to fish in and quaint gift shops for me. One day I would like to to have no timeline a ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
'Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus' by Joyce Magnin will sit on my "keeper shelf" for re-reading when I need some Harriet in my life! She reminds me of myself when I signed up for a tour of China. I was living alone then and had never been out of the country, but I decided to do it and have never regreted it. If Harriet was real, I would invite her over to share travel stories. She had a lot of amazing adventures on her trip!

At the beginning of the story, Harriet lives in Philadelphia with her basset
Apr 23, 2013 Laurie rated it really liked it
Harriet is a seventy-two year old widow that lives alone. Her son, Henry, had called from the airport, on his way home to visit for the holidays. While waiting, Harriet decides to hang some ornaments on the tree, and slips and falls. Knowing her son will arrive shortly, and thinking she severely sprained her ankle, she decides to just stay on the floor and wait for him. Henry arrives and believes his mother to be helpless as he finds her just sitting on the floor waiting. Harriet argues with her ...more
Aug 01, 2013 AbbyJoy rated it it was ok
In all honestly, I hate to be negative, but I really wasn't thrilled with this book. Maybe it was the age range it was aimed at, maybe it was something else. I don't know. I initially thought it was an interesting concept for a plot line, but it just didn't keep my interest.

In a last stroke of independence--or possibly rebellion...?--Harriet Beamer sets out on a journey across the United States to her children's home, where she will be living. However, she insists on using only public transporta
Apr 25, 2012 Kathy rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, realistic
Every now and again we look up and wonder, what’s it all for? What is the purpose of my life? Well, in Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus, Harriet sets out to discover just that. 72 year old Harriet is a widow who lives alone in Bryn Mawr, PA. When her son Henry and his wife Prudence discover that Harriet has fallen and can’t get up, they make a bet that if Harriet has broken her foot in the fall, she has to come live with them. Clear across the country in Grass Valley, CA. Give up the house her late ...more
Cathy Jo
Jan 27, 2016 Cathy Jo rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read:) Liked how the author developed the characters through description and experience. I really enjoyed how Harriet learned about the people she encountered as well as learning about herself as the story progressed. I will never think of salt and pepper collections the same:)
Mar 26, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
This was an inexpensive Kindle book offer. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It is the story of a 72 year old woman who makes a bet, loses, and ends up a winner as she discovers herself while traveling cross country on public transportation. It was thoughtful and humorous in turns.
Apr 24, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read

This was a fun book to read. Good clean fun! I enjoyed reading about all of Harriet's adventures. It almost inspires me to go on my own adventure! My mother collected s&p shakers, most of which I gave her and now I have them.
Mar 06, 2014 Patty rated it really liked it
My local librarian recommended this book to me. I really enjoyed it. Sweet story of an older woman moving from Pa to Ca to live with her son...decides to have an adventure. Travels cross country by bus,train, whatever she can find. Learns much about herself and the people she meets.
Feb 13, 2015 Brenda rated it it was amazing
I couldn't help thinking while I read this that I would love to see it made into a movie. Highly recommend it for a fun, quick read with a few touching moments, as well.
Pam Proctor
May 19, 2016 Pam Proctor rated it really liked it
Mom read this book out loud to me whenever we were in the car. It was such fun. It is lighthearted and yet interesting as a travel log, too.
Jun 02, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it
This was a fun story. I could picture my mom trying to do this. She had some interesting adventures that led to understanding herself better.
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Um, I like cross stitch, baseball, my children and grandkids, but not elevators or laundry. I've been known to run from mayonnaise and I play RPG video games. I don't have a favorite author although I read a lot.
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