The average rating for Velva Jean Learns to Drive based on 2 reviews is 4.5 stars.
|Review # 1 was written on 2016-01-28 00:00:00|
Velva Jean Learns to Drive started out as a buddy read with the lovely TL. Unfortunately she lost interest and didn't continue it. I did and am so glad that I did! There was a couple points early on that almost made me call it quits as well, but I stuck with it. Velva Jean believes her life will not have meaning or purpose unless she is saved by Jesus. Set high in the mountains in the 30's, we meet Velva Jean and her family. Her father wanders off at length for work and Mama is the glue that holds the whole family together. So when she gets ill while Daddy's away the family is at a loss. Mama doesn't survive, leaving Velva Jean to figure out what she meant with her cryptic last words "Live out there." Velva Jean and her brother that is closest to her in age, go on a mission to raise as much Hell as possible. For surely, no God would allow their Mama to die and their Daddy to abandon them… It's on one of these Hell-raising missions that Velva Jean first encounters the Moonshiner's son. Their paths cross later at the county fair when she wins the talent competition for her singing. Singing is all Velva Jean wants to do. Her ultimate goal is to sing at the Grand Ole Opry. She is saving her money to get there when her path crosses once again with the Moonshiner's son- only now he has a name. Harley Bright. Harley has grown from a miscreant to Revival Preacher. And Little Miss Velva Jean is quite taken with him. She soon learns the hard reality many of us faced when deciding where to go to school (or whether or not to go at all)- she is torn between her love for Harley and her love for singing. And she isn't sure she will be able to have both. The story progresses over time and we see the challenges faced almost daily for a lot of couples. Can we do what we love and still be with who we love? How do we walk that fine line of respecting our partner's beliefs and feelings without losing track of who we are at our innermost core? A coming of age story like no other, Velva Jean was a great read. Jennifer Niven wrote one of my most cherished books- All the Bright Places. I knew when I saw her name on this that I would have to get my hands on it. I'm not sure when I will continue on to the sequel of this book but I know when I do it will feel like coming home.
|Review # 2 was written on 2014-11-06 00:00:00|
What a powerful and moving book about finding and pursuing your dreams. In this Southern fiction coming of age novel, Velva Jean marries Harley Bright at the tender age of 16. Constrained by her role as a preacher's wife and blocked in by her life on the mountain, her dream of singing in the Grand Ole Opry begins to fade. But later a new dream emerges . . . Velva Jean wants to learn to drive. I found the characters well developed and real and the plot engaging. Perhaps my favourite character outside of Velva Jean was the Wood Carver. Many feared him, however Velva Jean develops an unlikely friendship with him and knowing her heart and dreams, he supports and encourages her. The story also takes place during the building of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Emotions run high, as some folks feel intruded upon and threatened. On the other hand, for others "if a road can bring you in, then it can bring you out". This book fully deserves a 5 star rating and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
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