Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Driving Lessons

It's no secret to those who know me well that I don't like to drive. Actually, I loathe it. I would much rather ride a crowded bus with my earbuds firmly in my ears and my gaze fixed somewhere out the window in the hazy distance, not focusing on the road but rather spacing out until I arrive at my destination. When I read the description of Driving Lessons by Zoe Fishman, I knew the main character and I definitely had something in common.

An executive at a New York cosmetics firm, Sarah has had her fill of the interminable hustle of the big city. When her husband, Josh, is offered a new job in suburban Virginia, it feels like the perfect chance to shift gears.

While Josh quickly adapts to their new life, Sarah discovers that having time on her hands is a mixed blessing. Without her everyday urban struggles, who is she? And how can she explain to Josh, who assumes they are on the same page, her ambivalence about starting a family?

It doesn’t help that the idea of getting behind the wheel—an absolute necessity of her new life—makes it hard for Sarah to breathe. It’s been almost twenty years since she’s driven, and just the thought of merging is enough to make her teeth chatter with anxiety. When she signs up for lessons, she begins to feel a bit more like her old self again, but she’s still unsure of where she wants to go.

Then a crisis involving her best friend lands Sarah back in New York—a trip to the past filled with unexpected truths about herself, her dear friend, and her seemingly perfect sister-in-law . . . and an astonishing surprise that will help her see the way ahead.

Although I take the bus to work every day, I still drive about once a week so I'm not quite as hopeless at driving as Sarah is, but I still identified with her as she learns to drive again. I also think I would feel every bit as confused and lost as she did when she first arrived in suburban Virginia, way out in the middle of nowhere. I must admit Sarah made the transition more smoothly than I would though, because I am just not a suburban kind of gal.

I also completely identified with being ambivalent about the idea of having kids. Sarah, the main character, struggles with feeling like she's "ready" to start a family, even as she knows intellectually that she's getting older and at least on paper, she's at the perfect place in her life to do so, not to mention her husband is really excited about the idea. I think this is a struggle that a lot of women feel. It's a huge leap to take, and who is ever actually ready? The writing around that subject would probably really resonate with someone who was in a similar position (I'm in the no-kids camp, but I still found it really interesting).

The book is definitely a light read, even with the slight curveball in the middle of the story, and the resolution sure came together in a quick and tidy way, but it was a cute, easy read that would be perfect for tucking into your tote bag for a day at the beach.

Disclosure: TLC Book Tours provided me with a complimentary copy of this book to review. The opinions and views are all mine.


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I loathe driving, too. The less time I spend in the car, the better... This sounds like a cute, light read so I will have to keep this one in mind when I shift to summer beach-type reads!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

My mom had a similar experience when she moved from New York City to Maryland back in the 1970s. Sounds like she might enjoy this book!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.