If you have spent any time on my Twitter or this blog in general you will know that Come From Away is my favorite Broadway musical. I have seen the show eight times; the last time being in November 2019. I was all set to see it again on March 12th, 2019 to help celebrate the shows three year anniversary but then everything went dark. Broadway was shut down due to COVID-19. This is where the next adventure begins to take place for original cast member Sharon Wheatley.
Drive: Stories From Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere is the result if this unexpected adventure. Part memoir and part travelogue, this is the story of Sharon and her family leaving New York City and winding up on an cross country journey in an rv. At first the plan is just to get out of the city during the pandemic and stay in Sharon’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Yet as more time passes, she and her family find themselves planning a cross country road trip in a rented rv. This journey was originally documented on a specially created Instagram and now the full story is in this book.
Sharon Wheatley took me back to that time with her words but also provided me a different version as someone who had just lost their livelihood for an unknown amount of time. Even as she is traveling through beautiful parks and landscapes, the worry is constantly there if she will ever be able to have a career again and perform in her dream show. She is enjoying this time with her family but reality is also still in the back of her mind. During this she draws on her relationship with her parents for strength and little nuggets of truth along the way. These passages are so heartfelt as are the ones where she is safely able to interact with people she knows in various locations. The sadder moments are balanced with happier ones, and always just feels like you are sitting down with a friend having a drink or two.
Drive: Stories From Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere is a beautiful reminder to take chances and enjoy what is around us. It is also a story of hope during the darkness of the pandemic. Admittedly, I’m a fan of Sharon Wheatley and closely followed the journey on Instagram but I think her stories will appeal to anyone looking for a comfort read in the midst of chaos. Her voice is like a much needed hug and a reminder that all adventures, even the ones in the middle of nowhere, have a way of forever changing you. Of course in the process you may also wind up leaving a part of you behind.
Rating: 5 Stars
**I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**