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  1 Driving Lessons: A Novel
Author: Fishman, Zoe
Click for Large Image
Class: Fiction
Age: Adult
Language: English
LC: PS3606.I
Print Run: 25000
ISBN-13: 9780062059826
LCCN: 2013017389
Imprint: William Morrow
Pub Date: 04/08/2014
Availability: Available
List: $14.99
  Trade Paper
Physical Description: 312, 12 pages ; 21 cm H 8", W 5.3125", D 0.7567", 0.56 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Insight Catalog: Adult
Brodart's TOP Paperback Titles
Starred Reviews:
TIPS Subjects: Domestic Fiction
BISAC Subjects: FICTION / Women
FICTION / Family Life / General
FICTION / Urban Life
LC Subjects: Cervix uteri, Cancer, Fiction
Domestic fiction
Friendship, Fiction
Life change events, Fiction
Pregnancy, Fiction
SEARS Subjects: Cervical cancer, Fiction
Domestic fiction
Pregnancy, Fiction
Reading Programs:
Brodart's TOP Paperback Titles | 04/01/2014
Moving from cramped and crowded New York City to Farmwood, Virginia was supposed to give 36-year-old Sarah and her husband the chance they needed to bring a baby into this world, but a phone call from a friend in crisis quickly sends Sarah and her husband back to New York, where Sarah plans to care for Mona, her best friend, as Mona faces a cervical cancer diagnosis and Sarah's sister-in-law welcomes a son into the world. (Original), 336pp.
Journal Reviews
Booklist | 04/01/2014
Sarah Simon and her husband, Josh, do something they never thought they would. They trade their hip New York City neighborhood for practically rural Virginia. While Josh settles in with his fellow professors, Sarah feels pressure to either define her career path or have a baby. Why not? She has nothing else to do, especially since she is terrified of driving. But a serendipitous run-in with a car (which turns out to belong to Ray, a driving instructor) has her getting out of the house with a combination of reluctance and gratitude. When she gets bad news from her best friend, Mona, Sarah runs back to New York to be by her side, as much out of desperation as out of friendship. But the more time she spends in New York, the more she realizes she is done with the city, especially when Mona makes her drive in Manhattan. Sarah is a relatable mess, Josh is a dream husband, and the supporting characters are mostly a hoot. Although the novel is a bit heavy on talk-out-our-feelings dialogue, it is a charming story. Maguire, Susan. 336p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2014.
Kirkus Reviews | 04/01/2014
A New Yorker's move to the South generates life lessons, and far too many platitudes, in Fishman's (Saving Ruth, 2012, etc.) third novel. Sarah, 36, doesn't mind moving from Brooklyn to Virginia, trailing her husband, Josh, who's been offered a professorship. She's burned out on her high-powered marketing job at a cosmetics firm; her snide, short-tempered boss; and her tiny walk-up apartment. Perhaps living in suburban Farmwood will help her come to grips with life's burning questions: What next? What was she put on this earth to do? Now that she has time off work, but limited time left on her biological clock, should she and Josh procreate before it's too late? For a while, this seems to be a fish-out-of-water Manhattan transplant story: Living in a public-transportation desert, Sarah needs to overcome her fear of driving, and she needs to get out of the house. At Farmwood's closest approximation of a shopping district (a tacky strip mall), she finds a job at a kitschy costume-jewelry shop, Bauble Head. And she takes driving lessons from a man in a mouse-mobile. (Don't ask.) Before these veins of potential humor can be tapped, though, Sarah's back in Brooklyn, nursing her best friend, Mona, who has cancer and must undergo a hysterectomy. Mona is worried that her new boyfriend, Nate, will flee when Mona tells him she can't have kids. While Mona has carpe diem, pre-surgery sex with Nate, Sarah babysits for Josh's brother Ben and his wife. Ignoring both the chaos introduced by her newborn nephew's arrival and her sister-in-law's graphic warnings about labor, Sarah loses all her reservations about motherhood--never convincingly portrayed--as soon as her period is delayed. Any conflict is further dulled by endless stretches of preachy dialogue as the characters discuss, but never seriously debate, assorted parenthood issues. What begins as a witty critique of the Mommy Trap ends as a sanctimonious screed. 336pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2014.
Library Journal | 02/15/2014
As a high-powered executive at a top cosmetics firm, newlywed Sarah seems to have all the glitz and glamour and a paycheck to go with it until her husband, Josh, is offered a professorship at a small Virginia college. Long accustomed to city life, Sarah hopes the move will be a fresh start for her. She is unsettled in her career and even more nervous at the thought of impending parenthood. In addition, Sarah must face her deep fear of driving with the help of a grandfather-like instructor who ends up leading her down new paths. In the midst of coming to terms with her new life, she returns to New York to help her best friend through an emergency situation. During her journey, Sarah makes fresh discoveries about herself, her career path, and the possibilities of life. VERDICT Although the characters are likable, Fishman's (Balancing Acts) latest novel offers a surface-level look at deeper issues such as cancer and the transitions in women's lives. Readers searching for a more in-depth read on these issues may appreciate Jodi Picoult's Sing You Home and Elizabeth Berg's Talk Before Sleep. Julia M. Reffner, Fairport, NY. 336p. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2014.
Publishers Weekly | 03/17/2014
In Fishman's latest (Saving Ruth), a former marketing director uproots her life in Brooklyn, New York to move to Farmwood, Virginia for her husband's new teaching position, thinking it's the perfect opportunity to slow down and discover what she wants out of life. Sarah already knows what her husband wants, "Whenever Josh brought up babies, a giant clock descended from the sky and hovered over my head like a UFO," but finding herself proves harder than overcoming her fear of driving. While Josh finds contentment being a professor for a small liberal arts college, Sarah struggles through driving lessons, missing her best friend Mona, finding work that isn't menial, and ignoring her husband's booming biological clock. When Mona is diagnosed with cervical cancer, Sarah uproots her life once more to return to New York and care for her friend. While there, Sarah connects with her sister-in-law and falls in love with her baby nephew, witnessing firsthand the joy and exhaustion of being a new mom. As one friend faces the possibility of never having children, and another acclimates to the intense ups and downs of motherhood, Sarah faces her biggest fear and decides what she wants. While the ending won't shock, Fishman effectively balances humor and tension, crafting an involving portrayal of three women coping with the idea and obstacles of motherhood. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary. (Apr.). 336p. Web-Exclusive Review. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2014.