She Drove Without Stopping

She Drove Without Stopping

by Jaimy Gordon


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780929701363
Publisher: McPherson & Company
Publication date: 10/28/1993
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 390
Product dimensions: 6.46(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.10(d)

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She Drove Without Stopping 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a page turner. You didn't know what was going to happen to Jane next. You will feel sorry for her, and feel a lot of hope for her. It was hard to read at some times due to events that happen in the book, but Jane always keeps her head up, in any situation.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sheesh! Where to begin? How do you boil down, summarize, explain or critique a story as big and complex as SHE DROVE WITHOUT STOPPING? It's a novel that is so unique it seems to defy easy comparisons. Jaimy Gordon has created, in Jane Turner, a character to be admired and pitied simultaneously. Because she is without question a victim, but she adamantly refuses to be a victim. Does that make sense? Probably not, but there it is. I'll try to explain this, but probably won't succeed. SHE DROVE WITHOUT STOPPING is essentially Jane's life story, or at least the first 21 years of it. She is the middle child (there are two sisters who remain minor characters) of a successful corporate lawyer who dotes on her for the first eight years of her life. Indeed there appears to be a pattern of inappropriate squeezing, groping and fondling on the part of the father, Philip Turner. And if there is one particular villain in the story it is the philandering father, referred to by even Jane as simply "Philip Turner." Jane's mother is something of a basket case who makes regular visits to her analyst, Dr. Zwilling, while attending to her daughters in a more or less robotic fashion.Confused by all the fatherly groping, Jane is nevertheless devastated when her father ceases to lavish attention on her and even begins to act as though he hates her and finds her repulsive. Jane's puberty and junior high and high school years are a tortuous horror for her. (But hey, isn't it for all of us, come to think of it?) But packed off to the unusually liberal "Harmonia College" in rural Ohio, Jane finally busts loose, buying a car and moving off campus and making friends with a rather grotesque group of locals, including Willie D. Usher, the Soul of Commerce; Felix the bartender at the Downtown Rec Club; Fred Blood the grocery clerk; Officer Rollo the local constable; unemployed actor Roger O. Booth (aka Albert Huzzy), who is the friend (camp follower) of California golden boy artist Jimmy Fluharty. Jane is smitten almost immediately with Jimmy and they move into an abandoned farmhouse together and spend a lot of time making the beast with two backs as well as other sexual shapes. Jimmy seems to be a person who loves himself more than anyone else, but Jane doesn't care - there's unquestionably a lot more lust than love in the relationship.But RAPE intervenes, and, finding justice not forthcoming, Jane flees, first back home to Baltimore where her parents are in the middle of a bitter divorce. So she hits the road in her "moneygreen Buick" for further misadventures. The secondary and primary roads west seem a lot like Huck Finn's Mississippi - filled with more characters, more "adventures." And when she hits Los Angeles and joins up with Jimmy again, another whole cast of grotesques assemble - Cochise and Mama, Billy and Marie, Raymozo the Rayman, and even Dr. Zwilling turns up again, transplanted to the west coast as a new-age therapist.Like I said at the beginning, this is a really BIG book, bigger even than its 390 pages might suggest. There is a whole life in here, Jane Turner's life, and how she interacts with an enormous cast of well-defined characters. Jane is highly sexed, confused and, most of all, ANGRY, although she's not quite sure why. Because, as she states more than once, she began life as an extremely happy baby. Her subsequent family life, however, is a horror, and things continue to get worse as poor Jane is alienated, humiliated, raped and scorned. (A sequence of events that left me feeling faintly guilty just for being male.) And yet, fear not, because at the very end there is the hint of a kind of redemption and freedom. And hey, if we're lucky, maybe even a sequel. The book is twenty years old now, and I can't help wondering how Jane's life turned out. So yeah, maybe a sequel would be in order. It's a BIG book, a LONG book, but by God - and pardon my cliche - it is "gripping human drama." Jaimy Gordon knows how to tell a story. And SHE DROV
earthwind on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is far too intimidating to review Jaimy Gordon who writes brilliantly and courageously. So very different is this tale from her National Book Award winner Lord of Misrule, yet the characters are just as complex but mysteriously lovable and stay with you long after the last page. Simply superb.