Buy “Velva Jean Learns to Drive Book 1 in the Velva Jean series Jennifer Niven 9780452289451 Books” Online

Velva Jean Learns to Drive: Book 1 in the Velva Jean series Paperback – July 28, 2009 by Jennifer Niven (Author)

Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven paints a rich portrait of life in rural Appalachia during the 30’s and 40’s and proves that smarts have absolutely nothing to do with education. Velva Jean is young and poor and determined to make something of her self. She’s brave, she’s fearless, and she doesn’t take no for an answer. This is a southern novel in its most optimistic form and a fun, yet poignant read. I especially enjoyed the truths woven in with the fiction regarding the role of evangelical preachers and creation of the Appalachian Trail just prior to WWII. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I tell you she does learn to drive by story’s end and her trip down the mountain is just the first of many adventures for Velva Jean. I cannot wait to see what awaits her as she comes into her own and explores the bigger world. I highly recommend this book (and its sequels) for anyone who enjoys well written prose, engaging story lines, and relatable characters. Thank goodness for people like Velva Jean who teach us to pursue our dreams wherever they may take us! Check it out!

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Niven makes some memorable moonspun magic in her rich fiction debut (after two nonfiction books) about 10-year-old Velva Jean Hart, a North Carolina kid determined to drive and sing at the Grand Ole Opry. After Velva Jean is born again, her daddy leaves and her mother falls ill, and not even Velva’s bargaining with God can save her. Her brother, Johnny Clay, is some comfort, but Velva Jean grows up fast after promising her dying mother to heal people with her singing. At 16, Velva marries charismatic Rev. Harley Bright, a moonshiner’s son, railroad fireman and part-time evangelist who later resolves to become a full-time preacher. But Velva Jean’s independent streak (she wants to learn to drive), her singing (which sounds sinful to Harley’s ear) and her friendship with a half-Choctaw, half-Creole blues musician fire up Harley’s controlling jealousy. 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. (Aug.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Velva Jean Learns to Drive: Book 1 in the Velva Jean series Paperback – July 28, 2009 by Jennifer Niven (Author) Review

great book. …I had to buy the other 3 and have loved them all. -Read Reviews-

What a treat to read about Velva Jean’s coming of age. I felt that I was right there in the sweltering Smokey Mts. with Velva Jean and her siblings as they try to find their way to a happy fulfilling life. The characters were complex and real. They struggled with the same feelings of insecurity, ambition, optimism and desire to do well that most of us remember from our teens. I loved that the Appalachian people and culture were described respectfully, not the usual pathetic hillbilly stereotypes. I can’t wait to read the sequel so I can continue to follow the lives of Velva Jean and her siblings.

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