Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beatrice Munson by Lorena Bathey

Meet Beatrice Munson, high school nemesis and boyfriend stealer. Well, that's how Marissa Lyons remembers her, anyway. Even after all these years she hasn't forgiven Beatrice for swooping in on Jeffrey, the love of Marissa's life - who in truth barely even knew that Marissa existed. So now that Beatrice has moved into the house right across the street, what's Marissa to do? After the initial panic wears off, she decides to meet her enemy head on! This is her turf, after all. She was here first! So Marissa does the only thing she can possibly do in this situation - She marches right up to Beatrice's front door armed with a plate of homemade cupcakes and welcomes her to the neighborhood!

And nothing in Marissa’s life, or Vista Heights, would ever be the same.

Beatrice Munson is one of those stories that really makes you think about what your life might have been like had you made different choices. Maybe it would have been better, or maybe not. It’s a sometimes lighthearted, sometimes emotional story about letting go of your past, opening up to the possibilities of the present, and learning to trust, to love and to let yourself be loved. It’s about accepting yourself for who you are, and accepting others for who they are, too. And, in my opinion, its most valuable lesson is to not be afraid of stepping outside the beige colored world you may have lost yourself in, and embrace life and the amazing colors it has to offer you.

While this debut, self published novel was not without some flaws – minor editing errors and some scenes that were a lot of “tell” when I would have preferred more “show,” I have to say that this has turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year, and a great introduction into the “what genre is that exactly?” world of Chick-Lit. Beatrice Munson had me laughing one minute, crying the next. Cheering for some people and booing others. And I enjoyed every minute of it!

Some of my favorite quotes from the story:
“It doesn’t matter. These are just things. You don’t get it, do you? I have substituted my entire life for things. I don’t have a man who loves or respects me. But I have the perfect shade of mushroom on my walls. I don’t have a son who feels like he can run and throw his arms around his mommy, but my dishes are perfect with no nicks in them. I have everything I thought was important and nothing that really is.”

“There are all kinds of pretty in the world, hon. But what you have is a depth of soul. You are beautiful way deeper than just skin deep. And your eyes, well a man could get lost there.”

As I left my house and moved down the street I looked up at the houses. Where before every house had looked the same and the shades of beige had been prevalent, I saw that now every house had a new color. Some were vibrant ochre, some were blue or green. There were new lights, more flowers and lots of sounds from wind chimes. Looking in the windows I saw people laughing, a few couples kissing in the window and an ease about the energy…
So, what are you waiting for? Get on over to Vista Heights where Housewives don’t have to be Desperate, The Burbs have never seen so much excitement, and Stepford doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell against Beatrice Munson!

I want to thank the author, Lorena Bathey, for asking me to read and review this book, and for the opportunity to get to know these wonderful people. I hope to revisit Vista Heights again someday, very soon.

4 out of 5 stars


  1. Thank you so much for the fantastic review! As a gift to your readers I am offering 20% off the eBook. Just go to and enter the code FV78G and you'll receive your discount!
    Enjoy meeting the girls!
    Lorena Bathey
    Author, Beatrice Munson

  2. I've just finished it myself and will be writing my own review. You say it well and I agree with you. I don't give five stars to chick lit, but I would give them to this one if the technical errors weren't there.
    I hope nobody will let those stand in the way of staying with this book until the end.
    It is terrific!

  3. Lorena, thank you so much for reading my review. And thank you again for generous discount code for my readers!!!!!

    And last but not least, thanks for allowing me to read this and meet the wonderful men and women of Vista Heights!

  4. Gayle, I absolutely agree with you! If it hadn't been for the few errors, this would have been a 5 star read, which is unheard of for me because 1. I don't usually enjoy first person POV and 2. It was my first venture into Chick-Lit.

    What a fun, emotional, heartwarming story!