Download Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back; A Memoir Audiobook

Driven: A White-Knuckled Ride to Heartbreak and Back; A Memoir Audiobook, by Melissa Stephenson Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Melissa Stephenson Narrator: Eileen Stevens Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2018 ISBN: 9781538539484
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A searing memoir about one woman’s road to hope following the death of her troubled brother, told through the series of cars that accompanied her on her journey

Growing up in a blue-collar family in the Midwest, Melissa Stephenson longed for escape. Her wanderlust was an innate reaction to the powerful personalities around her and came, too, from her desire to find a place in the world where her artistic ambitions wouldn’t be thwarted. She found in automobiles the promise of a future beyond Indiana state lines.

From a lineage of secondhand family cars of the late ’60s, to the Honda that carried her from Montana to Texas as her new marriage disintegrated, the ’70s Ford she drove away from her brother’s house after he took his life—leaving her the truck, a dog, and a few mixed tapes—and the VW van she now uses to take her kids camping, Melissa knows these cars better than she knows some of the people closest to her. Driven away from grief and toward hope, Melissa reckons with what it means to lose a beloved sibling.

Driven is a powerful story of healing—one for all who have had to look back at pain to see how they can now move forward.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "Driven is an edgy memoir of cars, crises, and coming of age.”

    Texas Observer

  • “Wanderlust is instilled in Stephenson from a young age, and cars both enable her spirit of adventure and allow her to get at intangible emotions while dealing with very tangible objects…We need more stories from women like [this]…[who] crave new experiences and knowledge and are frank about the compromises they have to make for their families.”


  • “Explores a woman’s relationship with her family and dead brother through the cars that came into their lives…Lyrical and eloquent, Stephenson’s book is a journey of pain, beauty, and healing that also celebrates the life of her tragically misunderstood brother. Raw, tender, and uniquely envisioned.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Driven is a restless road trip of a memoir…[as] Stephenson finds comfort and freedom in the cars that grounded the turbulence and restlessness of her life.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Stephenson’s memoir offers a rewarding twist on an American story and is filled with love, grief, grit, and healing.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A coming-of-age memoir about wanderlust, grief, and perseverance, Stephenson’s first book packs an emotional wallop.”


  • “Melissa Stephenson’s Driven does the hard and wonderful work of exhuming the beauty from which disconnection and heartbreak are woven. Perhaps no life, she reminds us, is ever yet fully lived; and there’s a beauty in that, too.”

    Rick Bass, author of For a Little While

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About the Author

Melissa Stephenson earned her BA in English from the University of Montana and her MFA in fiction from Texas State University. Her writing has appeared in such publications as The Rumpus, the Washington Post, Zyzzyva, and Fourth Genre. She lives in Missoula, Montana, with her two kids.

About the Narrator

Eileen Stevens is a voice-over actress living and working in New York City whose voice can be heard on cartoons, promos, programs for English-language learners, and audiobooks. She has voiced Iris on Pokémon. An Earphones Award–winning narrator, she has also directed and produced audiobooks for over six years.