Thursday, September 11, 2014

Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven | Book Review

(Love love love this cover!  It hooked me.)

Throwback Thursday Review!

I originally read Velva Jean Learns to Drive in April 2011, with my book club.  It wasn't my month to pick the book; someone else recommended that we read it and I'm so glad we did!  On Goodreads, I gave the book 4 of 5 stars.  It's a great read and I personally enjoyed it, but it's not earth-shaking.

I'm a huge fan of books set in Appalachia, perhaps due to the fact that I grew up right on the edge of Appalachia in South Carolina.  Velva Jean Learns to Drive is set in the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  While the town where Velva Jean grows up is fictional, many of the towns around her fictional town are very real.  I love how the author draws on history to construct her novel.  While reading the book, I very clearly heard Velva Jean and her mountain accent in my mind.

We first meet Velva Jean at age 10, in the 1930s, and the book follows her through childhood and adolescence, into her late teen years and marriage.  This is a coming-of-age book, and Velva Jean grows up and into herself as she learns to drive a bright yellow truck.  While she doesn't lead a perfect life, Velva Jean leads a rich life.  I definitely recommend this book.

*I received my copy of Velva Jean Learns to Drive from my public library.

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