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Extended Audio Sample Driving with the Top Down: A Novel Audiobook, 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: August 2014 ISBN: 9781427239433
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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 co-pilot. The daughter of Colleen's brother-in-law, Tamara is aware that when 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 roadmap to finding what you're really looking for.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Harbison's light-as-a-feather novel about three women on a road trip is a drive-time pleasure no matter what ride you choose. People Magazine
  • “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.”


  • “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.”


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About the Author

Beth Harbison is the New York Times bestselling author of When in Doubt, Add Butter; Always Something There To Remind Me; Thin, Rich, Pretty; Hope In A Jar; Secrets of a Shoe Addict; and Shoe Addicts Anonymous. She grew up in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, DC, and now shares her time between that suburb, New York City, and a quiet home on the eastern shore.

About the Narrator

Orlagh Cassidy, an American actress of stage, television, and film, is an audiobook narrator who has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, as well as many AudioFile Earphones Awards. She is a graduate of SUNY at Purchase and a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation Scholarship. She has been seen on and off Broadway and in films, including Definitely Maybe and Calling It Quits. Her television credits include roles in Law & Order and Sex and the City and as Doris Wolfe on Guiding Light. She has done voice work for commercials in which she is probably best known for her role as the mom in the “BFF Jill” spots for AT&T.