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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 (477 )
5 star
 (230)
4 star
 (176)
3 star
 (52)
2 star
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1 star
 (11)
Overall
4.3 (365 )
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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 (368 )
5 star
 (276)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    nanette 06-17-15
    nanette 06-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    46
    16
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    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
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    2
    1
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    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
  •  
    happywife 03-16-15
    happywife 03-16-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    27
    2
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    Story
    "Wonderful!"

    Really enjoyed this! Very well done. Story was great, reader did a fabulous job of bringing the tale to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Sovine 02-25-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sweet story, Interesting characters."
    What about Jenna Lamia’s performance did you like?

    She does a great job!! Usually when a narrator speaks in a voice of opposite gender, it is uncomfortable for me to hear. Not her though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norman H. Johnson 02-20-15 Member Since 2011

    nhjlayton

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Thanks for a look into the rural South."

    Narrator is fantastic! ! I often select a book because she does such a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betsy 11-14-14
    Betsy 11-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome narration! Extraordinary story!"
    What other book might you compare Velva Jean Learns to Drive to and why?

    Coal Miner's Daughter, Forrest Gump, the Hunger Games, Doll House, The Book of Bright Ideas


    Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia – was your favorite?

    Jenna Lamia was a pitch perfect Velva Jean. I wish she had narrated the entire series.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    All of the above!


    Any additional comments?

    I wish Jenna Lamia had narrated the rest of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joanne 09-19-14
    joanne 09-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    59
    12
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    0
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    Story
    "It was just OK"
    What made the experience of listening to Velva Jean Learns to Drive the most enjoyable?

    The book was entertaining but a little boring. I kept waiting for something, not too sure what, just something...It never came.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A little bit more drama would help.


    Any additional comments?

    Really not a horrible read, just ho hum, yawn....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    70
    20
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    "Like living through this personal history"

    I absolutely loved this book, from start to finish. I thought it was so well written, right from the start, that it kept my attention every minute. I have lived in rural areas for so long I could have known these families, understood their loyalties and values and respected their sense of honor in life. There is a tough pride that has come from doing things that had to be done, without complaining, with a simple acceptance of life and death that is a rare thing in our modern society. I found myself cheering Velva Jean on, wishing for her dreams to come true.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 06-17-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 06-17-14 Member Since 2014

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
    ratings
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    146
    143
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    14
    8
    Overall
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    Story
    "Wonderful Story - really enjoyed!"

    This is a lovely story and I really enjoyed listening to it. Jenna Lamia is one of my favorite narrators and, of course, she did a fantastic job with this book. It is the story of a woman coming of age during times of change. The story is pleasant - very little in the way of violence - which is a refreshing break. Walking through Velva Jean's life with her, in a tiny town off the Blue Ridge Parkway during the Depression was fascinating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Oneal California 04-16-14
    C. Oneal California 04-16-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    155
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    3
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    "Slow but good story"

    I enjoyed it and it didn't demand my complete concentration so it served it's purpose. I liked it well enough to get the next in the series. However the narrator of the next one was different and i couldn't get my head around the fact it was the same character. I wasn't thrilled with the accent of the first narrator but I lived through it and the switch just threw me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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