Book Review – Beatrice Munson by Lorena Bathey

Posted November 12, 2011 by Melissa in Book Review | 6 Comments

Title:  Beatrice Munson
Author:  Lorena Bathey
Reading level:  Adult
Genre:  Chick Lit
Size:   Paperback, 307 pages
Release Date:  April 2011 
Publisher: Lorena B Books
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone          
Source: Author in exchange for an honest review

First Line:  Beatrice Munson was the girl you hated in high school.

Summary (from GoodReads):

In Vista Heights, the women of the neighborhood have started to look like their homes, varying shades of beige. Lost in this world of suburbia, Marissa Lyons learns her high school nemesis has bought the house right across the street from her. Afraid that her arch enemy, Beatrice Munson, will arrive with Marissa’s high school crush as her husband and cause Marissa to relieve the insecurity of high school in her her forties, she decides to face the music and head to Beatrice’s house with warm cupcakes. But what Marissa finds is something she never expected.
 How will Marissa and the rest of the women of San Martino deal with someone like Beatrice Munson, whose defining moment in her life was to get a boob job or go on a trip to Egypt. 
This story is about friendship, love, learning to look at things differently, and great parties. 
Step into the world of Vista Heights where you might not only recognize the women, you might be one of them.

Favorite Quotes from the Book:

It was as if the windows of their minds were thrown open to a fresh breeze which was causing the judges of Beigeville to lose their steam.” 

“It was funny to me that these women had come armed to bring down Beatrice Munson with their litany of questions and standards but instead she had brought them down to their humanity and womanhood with just a couple of sips of effectively spiked nectar.”

“armed with baked goods, loving support, and a swift kick in the butt we were ready to wake up from the slumber of suburbia.”

“But I believe that you can be afraid and you can change that into courage and bravery by doing things even when you fear them.”

The smell of printed paper lingered in the air, even though the printing was done somewhere else.  And I loved how words loitered here.  Not your every day slang, but words like plethora, sublime, antagonistic, and loquacious.  the words were suspended above the desks like invisible mobiles.  The smell of ink permeated the walls and you smelled it every time the door opened.  It had stability and character asking you to sit for hours.”

“I didn’t love myself.  And if I didn’t love myself, how could I let anyone love me in return?”

My Thoughts:

Beatrice Munson really surprised me!  I thought I’d enjoy it…I didn’t realize how much it would genuinely touch me. This book is so much more than just chick lit.  It is truly inspirational.

When Marissa’s old high school nemesis moves in to the house across the street, Marissa braces herself to relive all of the insecurities that she faced in her teens…however the whirlwind that is Beatrice has quite the opposite effect on, not only Marissa, but the entire neighborhood.

Day by day, the women who’d previously been trapped in the stereotypical suburban lifestyle rediscover themselves and begin to actually live for themselves rather than simply keeping up appearances.  One by one they rediscover their hopes and dreams and encourage each other to follow them.

My only complaints about the novel would be that the pacing just seemed a bit off at points and that I wasn’t too keen on how the issue of  the adopted child’s adjustment was handled.  A party being thrown for an adoption homecoming (especially an international one) was incredibly unrealistic and the child’s rollercoaster from handling the homecoming with no issues, to becoming troubled, and then to adjusting was glossed over to the point that it would have been best simply left out as were most of the back stories for the children in the novel.

Overall though, I have no reservations in recommending this novel to lovers of the genre.  This heartwarming story will draw you in, the characters will hold you, the gorgeous parties will amaze you and after a few laughs, a few tears, and some genuine soul searching of your own…you’ll be happy to have picked up Beatrice Munson.

Was it worth my Time? 

Check back on Monday for my chat with Lorena Bathey and a wonderful giveaway of 5 Beatrice Munson E-Books!!!

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