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Learning to Drive

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Raised a Christian Scientist, Charlotte McGuffey has always been taught to solve her problems by denying their existence. But now, suffering from crippling insomnia, living with a husband she no longer cares for, and bewildered by a three-year-old son who still won't talk, Charlotte is starting to wonder whether this strategy is working. When her husband is killed in a sudden accident she packs her two young boys in the family car and takes off for Beede, Vermont–the town where her husband grew up and died. Here in Vermont, away from the watchful eyes of her older sisters, Charlotte begins to search for answers, making new discoveries about her family's past, her late husband's death, and the possibility of new love. Filled with gentle wit and uncommon generosity, Learning to Drive is a funny, poignant lesson in self-discovery.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 06, 2003 – The world of Christian Science healing forms the backdrop for this story about grief and the conflict between religious faith and physical experience. In December 1952, Charlotte McGuffey re-embraces her Christian Scientist beliefs and announces her intention to take her two young sons, the energetic Baird and the impulsive, autistic Hoskins, and leave her photographer husband, Melvin. Melvin agrees to a trial separation, thinking he will prove the folly of her plan, and departs for their country home in Beede, Vt. Just a few days later he is killed by a young, nervous driver. The following summer Charlotte packs up their belongings and brings the boys to Beede to search for information about her husband's last days alive. The town's denizens—including drifter Paul Bellini, "The Great Bellini," who lives in a nearby communal house and insists on watching over the country place for her, and the fiercely attractive artist Francis—begin to coax Charlotte from her mourning and loneliness. But when her beloved sister refuses medical treatment for the diabetes that killed their Scientist mother, and Hoskins reaches his fourth birthday without speaking an intelligible word (though he perfectly mimics the instructions in a driving manual, hence the title), Charlotte's own faith and healing are sorely tested. Mesmerizing prose and darkly complex characters draw the reader deep into Charlotte's world, raising fascinating questions about the power of mind over body and the emotions that bind the most unlikely people together. Readers who crave a slice of insight with their fiction will find this a thoughtful, provocative book.
Learning to Drive
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 30, 2003
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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