Take the Wheel

photoDriving with Dead People had such an interesting title that I had to check it out. The first chapter got me hooked; the narrator discovers in the newspaper that a local little girl has tragically died. As Monica Holloway grows up in her small Ohio town, yearning to be interesting, she doesn’t realize that things at home are anything but. Suffering with an alcoholic-abusive father and passive mother, Holloway finds joy in her friendship with the daughter of the local mortician.

Holloway’s story becomes more and more interesting in every chapter. This is one of those memoirs where you feel overwhelmed that so much could happen to a person in a small town. As Holloway comes of age, her parents’ marriage crumbles. She is frequently living in the family house alone. When Holloway gets the chance to attend college and leave home, she finds herself looking back on her life and unearthing traumatic memories that she hadn’t remembered until now.

This was a memoir that I thoroughly enjoyed because I wanted to know what happens in the end. I wanted things to get better for Holloway. I was surprised that there was something in the past that Holloway hadn’t explained and I liked that she kept the readers in suspense. When she shows us the traumatic truth near the end of the memoir, it was chilling.

Holloway’s Driving with Dead People is a riveting memoir written with clear and poignant prose. My heart breaks from what Holloway had gone through, and her survival puts me in awe of the human spirit.

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