Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus

  • by Joyce Magnin
  • Narrated by Laural Merlington
  • 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Harriet Beamer, an aging, recent widow, 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-rays later, Harriet’s ankle - and her heart - are broken. She packs up, ships her huge salt and pepper collection to California, and prepares to move away from the only life she knows. The only catch? She’s doing it her way. Just wait till her daughter-in-law hears Harriet will travel cross country only by public transportation and alternate means.
What follows is a hilarious, heartwarming journey by train, metro bus, ferry, and motorcycle. Along the way, Harriet discovers that, although her family thinks it’s time for her to be put out to pasture, God has a different plan.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Harriet's Exciting Adventure in finding herself

Would you listen to Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus again? Why?

I enjoyed Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus, but I doubt that I would listen to it again. While a fun sort of read, it wasn't a compelling read. I have recommended the book to friends who I thought might enjoy the spry Harriet.


What other book might you compare Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus to and why?

I would compare this book to Saint Training by Elizabeth FIxmer. Mary Clare O'Brian, a young Catholic teen on the cusp of becoming a woman learns that the world is a challenging place and not all that one wants will happen. Bad things will always occur and change is inevitable. Harriet had similar naivity, but I so admire her spunk and stubbornness once she found her feet.


What does Laural Merlington bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

If I had read the book, I think I would have always compared Harriet to some woman I know. With Laurel's voice, she became her own person. Laural also did a marvelous job with Harriet's son and Humphrey the dog descriptive passages were great.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I both laughed and cried - laughed at Harriet's naive view of the world and cried as she wrote in her journal to her late husband. She had lived in a fog of widowhood for years before finding herself and asserting her own personality. How much more productive and content and contributing would she have been had she moved forward 10 years earlier?


Any additional comments?

Harriet Beamer Rides the Bus is a good read for anyone who has parents beyond the age of 65. The book really did help me understand that even in age, parents have dreams and a strong will to still be persons of worth, contributing. Sometimes they need to do more than prepare sandwiches for funeral dinners and be in the quilt circle. Sometimes they need to sprout wings and take flight. I smiled at how little Harriet knew about technology, but rejoiced that she took to it quickly. She named her Android phone Amelia - a perfect blend of the technology with the historic woman flight pioneer.

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- PJ Reader

Lots of Fun To Listen To

What made the experience of listening to Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus the most enjoyable?

The Story was engaging, funny and believable . Listening to it enhances the story for me.


What did you like best about this story?

It was different,funny, and completely flowing. It is a good read fro the older crowd. It was refreshing to have a story without all the cursing and sex featured in a lot of the current books.


What about Laural Merlington’s performance did you like?

She had the right flow and voice inflections to match the story.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes But rarely have the time.


Any additional comments?

Please offer MORE like these. How about the "Claire" books by Tracey Bateman? They are very funny LOL books. Not as good as Ann B. Ross but close.

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- sharon "love to read and love audio books!Favorite authors: Marcia Willett,Nevil Shute,Mary Stewart,and Jacqueline Winspear. I could go on and on but wont bore you! I belong to a book group and we often" Listen" to the books we have selected for the month while using a paper copy for the discussion notes. It really enhances the quality of the story."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-10-2012
  • Publisher: Zondervan