BOOK CLUB: Becoming Beth

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Becoming Beth by Meredith Appleyard is a very easy book to read.

It introduces us to Beth, who returned home after the breakdown of her marriage. Not long after she had shared this news with her parents, her mother had a stroke and passed away. 

Beth has always felt that she was a bitter disappointment to her mother, especially after a situation in her young teenage years that her mum took control of leaving her with no say.

Beth feels some guilt that it was the news of her marriage breakup that caused the stroke and consequent passing. 

Now, Beth lives with her aged father in the small town of Miners Ridge.  She has lost her mother, her marriage, and her job.  She feels that she must be there to care for her dad and has no idea how she will cope living back in this small town. 

She takes over her mother’s spot on the local Town Hall committee, and through this she meets and gets to know some of the lovely locals that she becomes very connected to, and begins to care about. Over time her life starts to change. She finds new connections, and a new direction in life.

I found Beth to be very likeable, and for me very relatable. She is someone who puts others first and buries her emotions for fear of upsetting others with her worries and cares. 

Meredith Appleyard’s writing flows along so effortlessly that each time I picked up the book I felt like I was just checking up on a friend.  Becoming Beth makes a wonderful summer read.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Becoming Beth by Meredith Appleyard. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

If you like this book, we recommend you read Birds of a Feather.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Becoming Beth

  1. Thankyou to Beauty and Lace and Meredith Appleyard for the opportunity to read and review Becoming Beth.
    I enjoyed this book and read through it quite quickly but found it a really sad book as there wasn’t one character that was having their best life. Beth came back home to Miners Ridge after a marriage breakup having to leave her home in Adelaide and her job and friends. Beth found herself, along with her elderly father, Chrisnursing her dying Mum after a series of strokes. Beth tried to replace her mothers on a hall committee and started to help the committee fund raise.
    The relationships between the older residents and old school friends takes Beth on a journey of discovery and secrets involving herself and her family, with old memories forcing themselves to the surface having to be dealt with before Beth can continue with her life.
    I have looked and found several more of Meridith Appleyards books and intend to read more from this author.

  2. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Meredith Appleyard for the opportunity to read ‘Becoming Beth’.

    This is a gentle book, by which I mean the story develops and is revealed slowly. I was expecting the ‘big thing’ to happen’ at some early point but, well, it doesn’t. The story progresses in a natural timeline and a number of ‘things’ are revealed over time, things I wasn’t expecting.

    Beths return to Miners Ridge after the end of her marriage, her care of her mother and her subsequent death and then her relationship with her father and brothers is revealed in a slow but satisfying way. As she takes on the role her mother played in the community and reconnects with old friends and makes new ones, Beth finds herself and reimagines her life in a small community.

    As I said I was expecting the ‘big thing’ to happen as it generally does in fiction, but this is so much better! Beth’s journey is a slow burn, revealing secrets and facing truths in a way that is altogether more satisfying and real!

    Well worth a read – I recommend this for anyone looking for something a bit different.

    Thanks again!

  3. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review Meredith Appleyard’s “Becoming Beth”.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a book that I very much looked forward to reading and it didn’t disappoint. The book is a gentle unfolding of the secrets and complexities which can behold families, particularly Mothers and their children. The story is told from 58 year old Beth’s perspective. Beth who finds herself having gone through a painful divorce, her Mother’s passing and the moving in with her Sweet Dad Alan at a country town called Miner’s Ridge. What ensues is a slow build up of characters and multi-layered revelations as the story takes you through the move to Miner’s Ridge and the people she meets along the way after joining in the community by raising funds for the local committee. Being that Beth is in her late fifties, and a divorcee, she finds herself forming friendships and the story brings the reader along through the revelation of family secrets, grief and a journey of self-discovery for Beth. I felt invested in the characters and in particular Beth. I highly recommend this beautifully portrayed and delightful read.

  4. Becoming Beth by Australian author Meredith Appleyard is a story of compassion, love, and embracing your true feelings whilst dealing with middle-aged.

    Beth, 58 find herself in turmoil. After fifteen years of marriage her husband has informed her, he has met someone else, the ground is shifting under her feet, and she is questioning everything she knew about their relationship. How did she miss the signs? On top of that her mother Marian becomes ill and has asked for help.

    Returning to the small town of Miner’s Ridge, South Australian Beth was full of mixed emotions; at sixteen Beth had suffered trauma, her mother took control of the situation which left Beth with long lasting impact on her life that she had repressed. Marian suffered a series of strokes and in her passing Beth stayed on with her father Alan to work out what she wanted to do with her life.

    Marian was a driving force in the local town hall committee, after she passed Beth stepped in her mother’s place to fill in some time. She fast became friends with the ladies on the committee and felt a sense of belonging in the small town.

    Whilst sorting through her mother’s belonging to research the town hall history, Beth is astounded by what she discovers. How could one woman keep so many secrets and what are the next steps Beth must take to move on.

    This story is so beautifully written. It is not your usual tale where the protagonist of the story is in their late twenties and wants to steam up every scene. This story is about mature people who understand the realities of life and have lived them in the most brutal fashion.

    There is such a lovely mix of characters all with their own quirks and personalities coming to life; Shirley, Sarah, Lucy and Beth’s Aunt, Marian who came to help. I loved the relationship Beth had with her father, it was very sweet and appealing.

    Appleyard brings the reader close to the setting with vivid descriptions and magical images of peace and small-town charm. I am not surprised that the characters all want to live in Miner’s Ridge. The casual narrative and believable dialogue gracefully intertwine with the unexpected darker secrets that elevate this novel bringing it to life.

    Thank you, Beauty and Lace and HarperCollins Publishers for the opportunity to read and review.

  5. Fifty-eight year old Beth Harkness finds herself back home in Miners Ridge living with her elderly dad, after her marriage breakdown and the death of her mother.

    While in Miners Ridge Beth has to face up to her past, and discovers some long buried family secrets. With a cast of older characters all facing their own issues, this has the potential to be a sad and downhearted story, but that is not the case. Written in such a way that the characters are relatable, this is a story of hope, self discovery and healing, that leaves you with a smile on your face at the end.

    I rather liked this book. Another enjoyable read from Meredith Appleyard.

    If Miners Ridge sounds familiar, When Grace Went Away, also by Meredith Appleyard is set there too, and a couple of the characters from that book appear in this one. Both are stand alone books

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  6. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Aus I was lucky enough to review “Becoming Beth” by Meredith Appleyard.

    Meredith returns home to Miners Ridge at 58 years of age after her marriage ends and she leaves her job, which is the same place her now ex-husband also works at. Upon returning home to work out what the next step in her life is, her mother has a stroke and Meredith ends up becoming her carer until she passes away. After this Meredith feels she now has to look after her elderly father.

    She joins the Local Town Hall Committee in honour of her mother and only plans to do this for a short time. These people become her friends and she starts to also discover many secrets of her mother’s past.

    Along the way, we also find out secrets of Meredith’s past as well. As she begins to look back on life and look forward at what is next, she really starts to discover herself more.

    She also reconnects with Ash, a boy she grew up around. They become close as time goes on.

    This is a great story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, a story of discovering secrets not only about others but finding out things about yourself as wel

  7. Becoming Beth is a story about finding yourself after major life upheavals and moving on.

    Beth is in her 50’s and back at her childhood home after an unexpected marriage breakdown. She has left her job and needs time to mourn not only her marriage but also decades of old hurt and the loss of her mother after a severe stroke.
    In Becoming Beth Meredith Appleyard highlights problems faced by small country towns with fundraising to maintain community halls. I loved how the townsfolk all worked together and helped each other. The whole book had a lovely community feel with people of all ages working together for the good of the community.
    I breezed through this book, it was such an immersive story with just the right amount of drama and a couple of mysteries running through it.

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