Thursday, December 8, 2011

Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven

About the book: In this spellbinding debut, Velva Jean Hart finds true love-and then risks everything to follow her dreams.

Set in Appalachia in the years before World War II, Velva Jean Learns to Drive is a poignant story of a spirited young girl growing up in the gold-mining and moonshining South.

Before she dies, Velva Jean's mother urges her to "live out there in the great wide world". Velva Jean dreams of becoming a big-time singer in Nashville until she falls in love with Harley Bright, a handsome juvenile delinquent turned revival preacher. As their tumultuous love story unfolds, Velva Jean must choose between keeping her hard-won home and pursuing her dream of singing in the Grand Ole Opry.

My thoughts: This story, which takes place in the Appalachians in the 30's & 40's, was a great read. It is a simple story of this young girl's life told in an easy to read fashion that touched my heart.  I enjoyed getting to know Velva Jean and look forward to her next book! The characters were interesting and some were colorful. The one character I wish had a bigger part in the book was the mysterious Wood Cutter, who befriended Velva Jean but mostly kept to himself in his cabin at the top of the mountain. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly!
Rating: A

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