Saturday, August 27, 2022

Five top road trip novels featuring women

Before her retirement in 2014, Deborah K. Shepherd was the director of a domestic violence program in central Maine. Her essays have been published by Herstry, Persimmon Tree, Women on Writing, and Women Writers, Women’s Books. Her Covid-themed essay was a winner in the Center for Interfaith Relations 2020 Sacred Essay Contest. During an earlier career as a reporter, she wrote for Show Business Newspaper and the Roe Jan Independent, a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. She holds a BFA in drama from the University of Arizona and an MSW from Fordham University.

Shepherd's first novel is So Happy Together.

At Shepherd she tagged five of the "best road trip novels with women in the driver’s seat," including:
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Whenever I re-read this book, I’m gob-smacked that it’s a debut novel. Taylor Greer just wants to avoid the fate of her peers—unwanted pregnancies and dead-end lives in the small Kentucky town where she was born—when she points her Volkswagen Bug due West in search of something different. She has no idea how different her life will become when she stops at a gas station in Oklahoma and a stranger puts a small child in the passenger seat of her car. The story of how Taylor and the child become a family with the help of some unlikely friends, is one that’s stayed with me from first read. Kingsolver’s writing is quietly and deeply dazzling and paints a stunning picture of what it means to find sanctuary, family, and home in a way you never imagined.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue