Velva Jean Learns to Drive

Velva Jean Learns to Drive

Large Print - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
One Sunday when she is ten years old, Velva Jean Hart is saved. But being saved is not anything like she expected; her loving mother dies and her father leaves her for one of his "adventures."

But before she dies, Velva Jean's mother urges her to "live out there in the great wide world," and Velva Jean intends to do just that. She dreams of becoming a big-time singer in Nashville until she falls in love with Harley Bright, a handsome juvenile delinquent turned revival preacher. As their tumultuous love story unfolds, Velva Jean must choose between keeping her hard-won home and pursuing her dream of singing in the Grand Ole Opry.

"Velva Jean learns to ... not only drive, but to soar. This beautifully written coming-of-age story captivated me, and I recommend it to anyone who has ever longed to "live out there." - Ann B. Ross, author of the bestselling Miss Julia novels.

"Niven makes some memorable moonspun magic in her rich fiction debut ... It's a touching read, funny and wise, like a crazy blend of Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, a less morose Flannery O'Connor and maybe a shot of Hank Williams." - Publishers Weekly, starred

Publisher: Thorndike, ME : Center Point Publishing, 2009
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781602856059
Branch Call Number: LGP FIC Nive
Characteristics: 608p


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 30, 2014

My father grew up in Southwest Virginia Appalachia in an area much like the setting for this first Velva Jean book. Niven's descriptions, depth of characterization, and gradual progression of Velva Jean's story to her realization of herself and where she wants to go are very powerful. I would compare her to Harper Lee and Fanny Flagg. I will definitely be reading the other three books in this series and perhaps some of her non-fiction work.

Aug 17, 2013

A wonderful read! Velva Jean and all the characters in the book are engrossing and evolve in a heartfelt way over the course of the story. As Velva Jean grows up in a backwater town in North Carolina, you will become attached to her, her family and other foks who affect her life. I look forward to reading Velva Jean Learns to Fly.

rowanquincy Sep 25, 2012

What a great read. So well written, I just got locked ihinto the story, Velva Jean is such an interesting character, I couldn't help but root or her. Just didn't want the story to end.

Bierlingen Aug 25, 2012

An absolutely delightful read...chock full of heartfelt emotions and detail. It offers a good insight into rural Appalachian life... the good times (buck dancing and music) and also the difficulties (poverty and intolerance) encountered. It is beautifully written.

Jan 13, 2011

book club read this and I liked it - passed it on to my mother-in-law who is enjoying it too

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Find it at NWPL

To Top