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5.0 out of 5 starsSearching for Lost Memories on the Pan-American Highway
Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2017
When I say I couldn't put this book down, I seriously mean "I couldn't put this book down." The intricacies of stories within this memoir are spellbinding. Beginning with the untimely and accidental death of author, Teresa Bruce's younger brother in 1972. Traveling away from the pain of this loss, her parents, with young Teresa and her sister, head down the Pan American Highway, through Mexico, Central America, to Bolivia, in a truck and homemade camper.. Years later, as a newlywed, Teresa and her husband Gary, begin their own journey - driving the same Pan American highway route in a truck and refurbished camper! Along with the harrowing stories of non-roads, passages requiring "bribes," guns, earthquakes, stomach upsets, doubts, fears, and the loss of Teresa'a beloved dog, "Wipe-out," are the stories of re-connection with people from Teresa's original journey with her sister and parents. Stories of accomplishment and relationship. With notes from her Mother's diary, and photo's from her father's "carousel," Teresa and Gary are guided in this re-adventure of discovery and resolution. I desperately, at points of high-tension in the book, wanted to " read the the ending first" in need to avoid some of the breath-holding, pain and fright of the adventure. However, I did not. Had I done so, I would not have experienced the soul-settling satisfaction of knowing that I TOO could be part of this journey as well as its mightily achieved conclusion!
I recommend The Drive for anyone considering a drive through Latin America. The author's personal back story is what animates the reason for the drive, but I would say that almost anyone who contemplates such a trip might have their own back story that connects them to such a project. And the author makes it clear that it is a project – and not one for the faint of heart. Teri Bruce is no slouch at putting words to big emotions and big ideas, and her and her husband's sense of adventure and discovery from their travel experience yielded a gem of a book for all of us.
Really enjoyed reading this book. I can’t say it inspired me to go on this particular trip lol but it was certainly fascinating to hear about! I was very impressed with their determination to stick it out through the many obstacles they faced. Well told story!
Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2018
I loved this book. It was almost impossible to put down --it is such a powerful (and powerfully-told) story. I am surprised it is not flying off bookshelves. Other "The Drive" fans need to tell the world!! This is one talented author, one of the best I've ever read.
The authors parents in the early 70's decided to drive a home made camper, the length of the Pan American-Highway, through Mexico, Central and South America after a tragedy where they lost their young son John-John in an accident. They take off with their two young daughters on a thought out but not well planned trip. After reaching Bolivia and having had many breakdowns and lots of adventures on the way, they finally let go of their camper and move on. Now some 30 years later, one of the daughters, Teresa and her new husband, Gary decide to quite their well paying jobs and retrace her parents trip down the Pan-American Hwy in search of her old home, (her dads homemade camper). Armed with her moms old journals a camper of their own and a 17 yr old dog, they head out on their own adventure, wanting to feel what propelled her parents after their tragedy, but also wanting to put that tragedy (John-John's death) to some closure for herself. I love to read about peoples travels through Latin America and to see their reactions to places and situation, remote from their own. Having lived a large portion of my life in Central America, I can often relate to the reactions or even some of the places I am familiar with. For me this was a very fun read, which took me right from my chair into their camper, what a ride. Beautifully written, and this book will have some photos, once published. You can also see them and her parents trip on her website. I want to thank NetGalley, and Seal Press for the ARC of this book.