Harriet Beamer Strikes Gold, written by Joyce Magnin and published by Zondervan (2013) will keep you in stitches! The main character is a hoot. Harriet Beamer is a spunky lady in her early seventies who travels across the country with her donut-loving basset hound, Humphrey, to live with her only son, Henry and his wife Prudence.

Adventure follows Harriet, but at the moment she is feeling homesick and missing her best friend Martha. Martha also has an only son, but though she raised him well, he made some wrong choices. He is now in prison for armed robbery. She has handed the entire situation over to the Lord, and He has granted her peace in the midst of her heartbreak. Harriet also knows the Lord, but she tends to jump to her own ways and solutions when it comes to some of her choices. Harriet convinces Martha to come and visit her.

Henry, a stay-at-home writer, and Prudence, a busy lawyer, have several surprises for the-newly-arrived Harriet. The first one being that they will soon be adding a suite for Harriet onto their small house. She is thrilled as she learns she will now be able to unpack her beloved salt-and-pepper shaker collection. The second surprise is that after two miscarriages, Prudence is expecting again and Harriet will finally be a grandma!

Henry encourages his mom to get out into the town, make some new friends and engage in her hobbies. Harriet hits it off with a neighbor, and together they visit the Empire Gold Mine. Harriet is fascinated with the mine and wonders what it would be like to own or rent a gold mine herself.

Within the week, Harriet is dining at the cafe in town where she one day meets a seventeen-year-old named Lily. She feels sorry for the girl who seems lonely and appears to be in need. Her mother died quite a while ago and she lives with her father, Winslow G. Jump, or Win for short.

He soon shows up at the cafe and Harriet feels he is lacking in his parenting of Lily.In the course of conversation, Harriet learns that Win desperately needs a backer for a mine he will be leasing from a man named Old Man Crickets. The mine is a placer mine about forty-five minutes away.

If Harriet would agree to be a backer, her name would be on the lease and she might soon just come into lots of money. Harriet is intrigued. Before she knows it, she has volunteered to be the needed backer, handing over about five thousand dollars to Win.

Harriet, Win and Lily visit the mine, and then agree to stay in touch. She is promised paperwork giving her details about her newly leased mine. She decides not to tell her son and his wife about her investment, thinking they have enough to deal with.

In a few days, Harriet’s friend Martha arrives for a visit and Harriet spills the beans about the mine. Within the week, she has handed over even more money to Win and still has none of the promised paperwork. Martha worries about this situation and even though she has promised not to tell Harriet’s son, she tells him one day when Harriet is out. She asks him not to tell his mother where he found out.

Without divulging the outcome of the story, I’ll just say that in a very clever way, and with a moral to the story, all turns out happily. Harriet learns a valuable lesson about prayer, and her friend Martha finds the hope of a possible new start for herself.

All the characters in this story are adorable, but especially Harriet with her quirky ways and Converse sneakers. I’m sure you will fall in love with her and enjoy her adventures as I did.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”