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Extended Audio Sample Driving with the Top Down: A Novel, by Beth Harbison Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Beth Harbison Narrator: Orlagh Cassidy Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Three women, two weeks, one convertible: sometimes life doesn’t take you in the direction you expect.

Colleen Bradley is married, with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband’s first choice. When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, she also has a secret ulterior motive. Her one-woman mission for peace of mind is thrown slightly off course when sixteen-year-old Tamara becomes her copilot. The daughter of Colleen’s brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that people see her as a screw-up, but she knows in her heart that she’s so much more. She just wishes her father could see it, too.

The already bumpy trip takes another unexpected turn when they stop at the diner that served as Colleen’s college hangout and run into her old friend, Bitty Nolan Camalier. Clearly distressed, Bitty gives them a story full of holes: angry with her husband, she took off on her own, only to have her car stolen. Both Colleen and Tamara sense that there’s more that Bitty isn’t sharing, but Colleen offers to give Bitty a ride to Florida.

So one becomes two becomes three as Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty make their way together down the coast. It’s a road trip fraught with tension as Tamara’s poor choices come back to haunt her and Bitty’s secrets reach a boiling point. With no one to turn to but each other, these three women might just discover that you can get lost in life but, somehow, true friends provide a road map for finding what you’re really looking for.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This story tells the journey and self-discovery of three very different women. The struggles that the three characters face make them seem real. Each one has to figure out her life and make the necessary—and sometimes rough—decisions to make her life what she wants it to be. Harbison has a fantastic summer read with this story.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 ½ stars)

  • “Bad music, junk food, and drunken trips down memory lane—not all of them fond—accompany the women to Florida and back. Some of the ending comes out of nowhere, but it’s an enjoyable ride. Tam and Colleen are relatable, and Bitty coming out of her shell is a wonder to behold. Readers will want to pack this road-trip book in their beach bags.”

    Booklist

  • “Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty become unlikely companions on a road trip to Florida, each dealing with her own less-than-perfect life. Orlagh Cassidy gives each woman a unique voice, keeping a consistent pace and tone as the chapters alternate between each of them. Colleen, who is uncertain about her marriage, is the ‘mom’ on the trip, taking care of the others while sorting out her own problems. Cassidy gives her a perky-sounding voice in dialogue, but her uncertainty shows through in her thoughts. Tamara, Colleen’s teenage niece, alternates between being sullen and full of life, while Bitty’s slight Southern accent differentiates her from the others. Overall, Cassidy provides the perfect voices for this fascinating story of living the lives we have instead of the ones we envisioned.”

    AudioFile

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