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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
We don't typically make a practice of "discovering" a writer twice. In fact, we have a rule about such things. In Rachel Simon's case, we were caught by surprise. She was originally "discovered" in 1994 for her novel The Magic Touch, but her new publisher was unaware of her Discover distinction when submitting her memoir for consideration. It was so enthusiastically received by our reading group that we forgot to check to see if her previous work had run the Discover gauntlet. Eventually, we learned that it had; but Riding the Bus with My Sister was just too good for us to pass up, even if we're not "discovering" this talented writer for the very first time.
In her late 30s, Rachel Simon made a decision to end one relationship and to reconsider another. Unattached and work-obsessed, with a single-minded focus on "becoming a Somebody who would live a Big Life," Simon came to realize she'd erected barriers around herself, creating little room for others. But during a visit to her mentally retarded sister, Beth, a challenge is issued, and Rachel reluctantly makes a commitment -- to "ride the bus" with her sister for one year, recording her experiences.
With candor and newfound wisdom, gleaned both from her sister's straightforward and childlike approach to life, and surprisingly from the numerous bus drivers themselves (!), Simon alternates her bus-riding adventures with memories of her family's life. The resulting memoir is a touching journey to a richer, more meaningful life, and a story with a universal appeal. (Fall 2002 Selection)