Title: Learning to Drive
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books, New York
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Good +
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: First Edition.
First edition, stated; first printing, full number line. Inscribed, signed, and dated in blue ink by the author on the half-title page: "To Joyce / with best wishes-- / Mary Hays / 10-14-03." The author's debut novel. Book is tight and unmarked; spine slant; corners sharp, spine ends lightly bumped. Dust jacket is not price-clipped (original price $23.00); Brodart protected. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 001509
Synopsis: Raised as a Christian Scientist in upstate New York, Charlotte McGuffey has always striven to be perfect and has trusted the power of her thoughts to protect her from life?s troubles. But when her newly estranged husband dies on a trip out of town, leaving her to raise their two young sons on her own, Charlotte realizes that her problems are too complex for her to master with the power of her mind alone.
Accompanied by her boys, Charlotte goes to the family?s summer home in Beede, Vermont, where her husband, Mel, was last seen alive, to look for answers about his final days and to grapple with her feelings of confusion and guilt surrounding his death. As Charlotte explores this new world, she is befriended by her neighbors in Beede?a colorful lot who are concerned, helpful, very human, and decidedly imperfect. Among them are a kind and perceptive postmistress/reporter, a garrulous caretaker, and an unlikely suitor?a joyous and charismatic artist at war with conventional thinking.
In this eclectic environment, Charlotte begins to explore her own feelings and question the fundamental beliefs she?s accepted her whole life. To triumph, she must untangle her family?s doctored past and brave encounters with painful truths she has never wanted to face.
In this bighearted, lush, and graceful debut novel, Mary Hays portrays the strength of the human spirit in times of crisis and the ways in which community can foster individual growth. Learning to Drive stakes claim to a world in which all things solid seem to shape-shift, people juggle reality to fit their beliefs, and women are deeply passionate about the choices they make.
About the Author: MARY HAYS was educated at Bennington College and the University of Chicago, where she received her M.A. in humanities. She has written short stories and plays and, until recently, taught third and fourth grades at a rural elementary school. She lives in Corinth, Vermont, with her husband, Stephen Long. Learning to Drive is her first novel.
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