VELVA JEAN LEARNS TO DRIVE by Jennifer Niven
Hmm. Second favorite. I’ve blogged before of my love for Haven Kimmel’s A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY.
Velva Jean is very reminiscent of Zippy. A backwoods Zippy, maybe. Or maybe Zip is a suburban Velva Jean. Such a Sophie’s choice to choose favorites, though. Thank goodness I can have them both!
VELVA JEAN LEARNS TO DRIVE is a coming-of-age story about finding your dreams that will make you laugh out loud and then shatter your heart. Again and again and again.
Velva Jean’s dying mother tells her to live her life in the great big world instead of in the moonshining hollers of Appalachia, something ten-year-old Velva Jean doesn’t understand. At 16 she marries Harley Bright, a hell-fire tent preacher, and it seems she’ll escape like mama wanted. But Harley’s world closes in on them, and threatens to suffocate Velva Jean and her dreams. Then she meets a bright yellow truck.
Favorite line(s) …
“And I always chose a new book to take home with me, something Sweet Fern would approve of because she wanted to know the name of any book I brought into the house. I love Little Women and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which was so beautiful and sad that I wanted to throw it at the wall.”
I loved everything about this book, right down to the character names … Sweet Fern, Ruby Poole, Aunt Bird, Uncle Turk, Aunt Zona, Beachard, Johnny Clay Hart, Swill Tenor, Harley Bright, Root Caldwell, Clover, Celia Faye, Lucinda Sink. And of course, Velva Jean.
How could you not want to hang out with them for 400 pages??