Jackie Sullivan and only child, twenty-one-year-old daughter Rebecca, set out on a three-week venture to beautiful Ireland; husband Rob will join them when he is able to take a break from his company in Sedona, Arizona. Jackie and Becca take a week-long, cross-country tour with Nomad Tours. The tour guide is the knowledgeable, handsome, and charming Sean Donovan. A budding romance between Sean and Becca is the true adventure in Driving on the Left: Jeep Tour Too by Gail Ward Olmsted. Becca recently (almost) graduated from a Boston college, and her plans are to return to Boston for grad school. Sean hails from a troubled family, where the siblings take care of each other. His job as a tour guide is well-paid, but he is on the road the majority of the time, resulting in little time for a new love relationship. Will this relationship continue, or end?
Gail Ward Olmsted's novel, Driving on the Left: Jeep Tour Too, is an engaging and enchanting story. While there is excellent individual character development, insights into relational aspects are also compelling. Becca's relationship with her parents is an excellent contrast to Sean's family situation. The long-term relationship between Jackie and Rob is also explored, as Jackie needs to make a major decision regarding Rob's wishes for their upcoming retirement years. The similarities between their marriage and Becca and Sean's new relationship are striking and thought-provoking. This novel is more than a light-hearted summer read; it is also a portrayal of the difficulties and joys in new love relationships and decades-long marriages.
- It is often a trip to a great, new and beautiful place that inspires a writer with a story and the same happened with the hopelessly romantic Gail Ward when she came up with Driving on the Left. It was her trip to Sedona, Arizona that put the writer in her. The writing frenzy drove her to write books such as Guessing at Normal, Jeep Tour and Driving on the Left. Olmsted has spent a large part of her life as a college teacher. Much like her main character from Jeep Tour, Olmsted is also a professor of marketing. Olmsted loves reading, traveling, listening to music and spending time with her three cats.
When the mother-daughter duo sets off on a trip to beautiful landscapes of Ireland, the world looks like a dream, more so to the young Becca, who finds herself falling for the irresistible tour guide named Sean. Unfortunately for Becca, she doesn't have the benefit of the doubt. She has two clear options in front of her; either to resist the temptation and take a safe road or repeat the same mistake her mother made.
An interesting summer read, Driving on the left is a story that most young girls can relate to. Packed with humor, relationships, beautiful settings and the folly of love, Olmsted manages to whip up a good read for the avid readers.
Jackie and her daughter, Becca, are going on a week-long group tour to Ireland. They'll be spending almost every waking moment together and with a group of strangers. Jackie hopes to have bonding time with her daughter on this vacation. While spending lots of time on the road with their sexy, Irish tour guide, Becca begins to fall for Sean's charm. Her mother is worried that she will make the same mistakes Jackie made in the past. During this trip, Jackie has some decisions to make regarding the future of her marriage. While juggling her emotions, she watches her 21-year-old daughter struggle with the ups and downs of a new love and her need for independence. Will true love win in the end, or are the obstacles too great to overcome.
The author has a descriptive writing style that pulls you into the story at the beginning. The book is written from a first person perspective, alternating between Jackie and Becca. The author uses this style of writing to show us the thoughts and feelings of both mother and daughter. Jackie is brilliantly portrayed as a loving mother and passionate wife. Becca longs for independence, yet still shows signs of her youthfulness and need for her mother. Although Jackie, Becca, and Sean are the main characters, Ms Olmsted is able to fully develop the secondary characters. Jackie's husband, Sean's family and the other members of the tour group all come alive for the reader.
The Irish countryside was also presented in detail. The author included descriptions of the towns and local food the group tasted. I've always had an attraction to Ireland and felt myself being drawn into the different areas they visited. However, I would have enjoyed more details about the Irish landmarks they visited.
I thoroughly enjoyed this light, entertaining read. The book seemed to be well-edited with no distracting grammatical mistakes. The love scenes were tasteful and appropriate to the flow of the story. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. Anyone looking for a fun, romantic novel will enjoy this one. I look forward to reading the first book and hope there will be a third one in this series.
Driving on the Left