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 relive the insecurity of high school in her forties she decides to face the music and heads 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 recognize the women, or you just might be one of them.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Everyone needs a Beatrice in their lives, that’s what I thought!
Beatrice is a breath of fresh air. She’s a bright shining star in the dark of the night. She’s a splash of colour on a blank canvass. She’s the friend you wish you always had and once you have her you hope to never lose her.
When Marissa finds out about Beatrice’s arrival you get a sense that she is about to crawl in a corner and never come out. Thank goodness Marissa pulled herself together and went to see Beatrice on that fateful day; if she hadn’t have done that she would still be stuck in a rut right now and no more happier for it.
This book is about realising opportunities are out there if you know where to look or even just allow yourself to look. Vista Heights is a neighbourhood full of dull women. Okay, maybe that’s a little harsh. Not dull women, just women who keep plodding along thinking and accepting this is their lot in life. This group of ladies see themselves as ‘mothers’ and ‘wives’ but have forgotten they are not wholly defined by those labels. The appearance of Beatrice shines a light on these labels and slowly but surely they remember that they are ‘women’ first and foremost. And not just women, but women with dreams, dreams that have been lost along the way due to ‘life’.
I just loved Beatrice’s character and how she spiced things up. She made the ladies use their heads and actually think instead of bumbling along blindly and continuing on in life doing what is normally done. I love that Lorena has used Beatrice’s character to connect with her readers and show them that you can take chances in life, that there is a difference between the word and the person ‘woman’, ‘wife’ and ‘mother’, that women can follow their dreams and don’t have to give it all up to have a family.
Yes, this is what I would call chick-lit and by golly, there are times in your life when you are just crying out for this type of read. Beatrice has an effect on everyone in the book and no doubt she has also had an effect on readers. How can she not?! She is an energetic, fun woman who opens people’s eyes, which in turn opens people to new worlds, or worlds that were always there but got lost somehow.
Marissa’s journey was enjoyable to watch. To see her gain back some self-belief, some self-confidence – hell, even just some self! – was like watching a moth transform into a butterfly. The reading experience made all the more easier by having characters like Marissa, real women who are trying to juggle many different facets of life all at once, often leaving what they want as the last item on their to-do list.
I will also admit to shedding a few tears. This is a credit to Lorena and her writing ability; to have that effect on your reader shows, I believe, that you are willing to try and able to actually connect with your audience. Lorena also brought to this book an energy, I could feel it, and it makes me think that perhaps there is a bit of Beatrice in Lorena, or Lorena in Beatrice. Even the cover of the book is full of colour and energy!
Kudos to Lorena for creating an entertaining book which had all the ingredients of a good chick-lit read. Funny, even just thinking about the book now I feel more energetic than I did before I started putting together this review. Perhaps I can do away with coffee……..okay, probably not but it’s definitely been a good pick-me-up. If you have read this review and think Lorena’s book may be something you would enjoy then I encourage you to give it a go. There were a few minor editing errors along the way but not enough to take away from the story. If you are one of those who notice such things my advice would be to take that editor’s hat off, curl up in your favourite chair, sit back and enjoy the story that is Beatrice Munson.
Many thanks to Lorena for providing me with a copy of Beatrice Munson – thanks, Lorena!
Check out Lorena’s author profile by clicking here