Marissa Lyons, divorced mom of two, is less than thrilled when she finds out that her high school rival, Beatrice Munson, has moved in across the street. All those years ago, Beatrice was popular and pretty and everything Marissa wasn’t. Marissa still harbors negative feelings toward Beatrice but reluctantly goes to Beatrice’s house to welcome her to the neighborhood. She is completely surprised to find out that Beatrice is nothing like what she remembered from high school. Beatrice is the exact opposite and quite likable. She begins winning over all the women in the suburban neighborhood Vista Heights, spending time with them and really getting to know them. She has an engaging personality and remarkable strength that all the women want to emulate in their own lives. They realize that instead of competing with Beatrice or being jealous of her like Marissa was in high school, they can actually learn from her to live their lives to the fullest.
Beatrice is a dynamic character with a contagious free spirit. It’s likely that readers will really enjoy her lessons. It would have been nice to get her point of view, perhaps alternating by chapter between Marissa and Beatrice as narrators instead of Marissa as the only narrator. Marissa is a genuine character who is in desperate need of a change in her life but doesn’t know how to go about it until Beatrice motivates her. The supporting characters are solid as well, but it is really Marissa and Beatrice who are the main focus. The pace slowed down a bit due to some overly descriptive scenes that were bogged down with details. There were also some extraneous scenes that didn’t quite flow as well as the rest of the book and probably could have been cut. Overall, Beatrice Munson is an inspiring story of courage, perseverance, and love, showing that it is not too late to follow your dreams.
Lorena Bathey graduated with a degree in English. She then traveled, learned about life, and developed great fodder for a book. Losing her mother to cancer and her own marriage’s demise encouraged her to find herself. She wrote Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother and found that speaking and empowering others were her passions. After writing her first book, Beatrice Munson came to life. When she finished it, she was inspired to write more novels and she knew that pursuing her passions was the best way to live her life. Today, Lorena has nine novels in her writing queue, all with screenplays in the works. When she isn't writing, she enjoys photography. After meeting the love of her life, they embarked on a path to follow their dreams, bringing their families along for the ride. Traveling, walking, enjoying new restaurants, and Italy are other loves that Lorena makes sure she has time for. To find out more and to connect with Lorena, please visit www.LorenaBBooks.com, Facebook, and Twitter.