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Velva Jean Learns to Drive Audiobook
Velva Jean Learns to Drive
Written by: 
Jennifer Niven
Narrated by: 
Jenna Lamia
 >   > 
Velva Jean Learns to Drive Audiobook

Velva Jean Learns to Drive

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2009 Jenniver Niven; (P)2009 Penguin

What the Critics Say

"It's a touching read, funny and wise, like a crazy blend of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, a less morose Flannery O'Connor and maybe a shot of Hank Williams." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (465 )
5 star
 (221)
4 star
 (175)
3 star
 (50)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.2 (354 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.7 (357 )
5 star
 (267)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Mary California, MD, United States 04-04-12
    Mary California, MD, United States 04-04-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    239
    15
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    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging, endearing, captivating"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I dread the end of this audio book. I've enjoyed every minute of it. Even my drive to work has been something I've looked forward to. I absolutely love Jenna Lamia, who totally captures the unique personalities, both male and female, of each character. She's amazing.

    Jennifer's Niven's writing is so well done, transporting the listener to another place, another time. THe only way I can face the end of this book is the knowledge that another follows. Thank you for the distinct pleasure of listening to this tale!


    What other book might you compare Velva Jean Learns to Drive to and why?

    The Secret LIfe of Bees


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to choose one.


    Who was the most memorable character of Velva Jean Learns to Drive and why?

    Definitely Velva Jean, but her grandparents and Johnny Clay were also admirable.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shauna 01-08-10
    Shauna 01-08-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    13
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Lovely book"

    This book is a wonderful read. It is a simple story of a girl and her dreams. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 11-05-09
    Kathy 11-05-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    10
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    8
    Overall
    "Great Book!"

    I loved this book, it kept my attention for the full 14 hours. I read it originally because the narrator is one of my favorites and she did not disappoint this time either. I only wish this author had another book, I would download it now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dot Brownsboro, TX, United States 05-16-16
    Dot Brownsboro, TX, United States 05-16-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable listen."
    What did you love best about Velva Jean Learns to Drive?

    I have known people just like the ones in this story. So funny.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Besides Velva Jean, probably Sweet Fern. Jenna Lamia portrays Sweet Fern so vividly, you can experience her emotions.


    What does Jenna Lamia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jenna Lamia is an incredible narrator. So expressive! Her reading is amazing.


    Who was the most memorable character of Velva Jean Learns to Drive and why?

    Velva Jean. She is the main character of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story. Would have been better for me without the curse words, but I understand they fit the characters being portrayed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard 03-29-16
    Leonard 03-29-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story!"

    Wonderful characters, great story. Did not want it to end. I want to know what velva Jean does next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda Harnish 12-09-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it."

    Story was very good and kept me engaged. Enjoyed some of the historical references. The narrator Was WONDERFUL and brings the story to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Imamomof4 07-19-15
    Imamomof4 07-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    9
    8
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    Story
    "Historical Fiction + Jenna Lemia = Enjoyment"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a sucker for historical fiction - especially stories that deal with actual people and events, not just stories who happen to be set in the past. In fact, it's my favorite way to learn about history. Even though some people are fictional, someone very like them probably did exist and lived similar lives. This story paints a vivid and fresh picture of life in the hills of North Carolina at the time that Skyline Drive was being cut through the tops of the mountains. It reminded me often of the story of Christy by Catherine Marshall, although this was bit more earthy. I truly enjoyed the reading as well (Jenna Lamia is winner!). Ms. Niven did a wonderful job creating believable period characters, yet mixed with a little of the outlandish to spice things up a bit. You'll simultaneously cheer for and shake your head at Velva Jean!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nick 07-11-15
    nick 07-11-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very enjoyable"

    This book was a great listen, which I highly recommend. I was always eager to get back to it. The story is engaging and at times moving. The narration also was high-quality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nanette 06-17-15
    nanette 06-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "depressing go nowhere"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    no. starts out with great promise and fades to disappointment. however VERY WELL READ.


    Would you recommend Velva Jean Learns to Drive to your friends? Why or why not?

    no. starts out with great promise and fades to disappointment. however VERY WELL READ.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Opening scenes are the best. The train wreck is pretty good.


    If you could take any character from Velva Jean Learns to Drive out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Velva & her brother what's-his-name


    Any additional comments?

    Good reading. The reader kept me in the book. I would have put it down had it been in print. Thanks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April M. Hargrove Laurel, MD 03-18-15
    April M. Hargrove Laurel, MD 03-18-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story Beautifully told!!"

    True characters, wonderful, tangible story line, great narration...I will definitely read this book again!! I look forward to Velva Jean Learns to Fly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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