The Drive
The Drive follows Teresa Bruce on her 2003 road trip through Mexico and onto the Pan American Highway, in a rickety camper with her old dog and new husband in tow. Bruce first set off on the exact same route in 1973, her parents at the helm and their two young daughters in tow, as a reaction to the accidental death of their youngest child, Bruce's brother John John. Her attempt to follow the route, using her mother's travel journal as an anecdotal guide, is as much about her need for exploration as it is about trying to understand her parents and their pain, and to finally begin to heal her own wounds over the accident. Bruce is immensely talented in bringing scenery of Central and South America to life—countries from Mexico and Guatemala to Bolivia and Argentina are detailed with her innate attention to detail and sense of storytelling. The Drive details a really incredible journey through these beautiful, at times corrupt and war-torn countries, across roads that are as likely to be barricaded by guerrillas or washed out by floods as they are to be passable. The Drive is travel writing at its best, combining moments of deep heartbreak with unimaginable joy over a panoply of unforgettable settings.

The Drive Details

TitleThe Drive
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherSeal Press
ISBN1580056512
ISBN-139781580056519
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Travel, Nonfiction

The Drive Review

  • Marie
    June 26, 2017
    “It isn’t practical, my quest to find my rolling childhood home and say a thirty-years-too-late goodbye to a four-year-old-boy.”This is a memoir of Teresa Bruce who travels the Pan-American Highway in an avion camper with her husband Gary shortly after marriage. This trip mirrors the trip that Teresa went on as a young girl in 1974 with her parents and her sister 2 years after the death of her younger brother. The ultimate goal of the trip is to find the camper that her family had travelled in a “It isn’t practical, my quest to find my rolling childhood home and say a thirty-years-too-late goodbye to a four-year-old-boy.”This is a memoir of Teresa Bruce who travels the Pan-American Highway in an avion camper with her husband Gary shortly after marriage. This trip mirrors the trip that Teresa went on as a young girl in 1974 with her parents and her sister 2 years after the death of her younger brother. The ultimate goal of the trip is to find the camper that her family had travelled in and eventually sold before heading home. Ulterior motives include recollecting memories, exploring South America, reconnecting with people whose paths they crossed 30 years prior, understanding her parents better, and coming to terms with her brother’s death. She seems particularly interested in learning about her parents’ motives and grieving process during this journey. She does not recollect her parents talking about the death of her brother or even mentioning his name. It is obvious when meeting people along this journey that her mother spoke to others very much about her dead brother, a realization that surprises the author.To me, this journey felt very foolish. Both trips contained near death experiences. The travelers were pitted against corrupt police demanding bribes. The travelers made poor choices. For instance, Teresa brings a gun along, which haunts her the entire trip. They are continuously embarrassed by their apparent flaunting of wealth in their Avion with American plates as they drive through poverty stricken regions. The writing is disjointed, the characters are coming undone… So, for me, it was a tedious unenjoyable read.The journey begins after a visit to Teresa’s home and parents. What I couldn’t understand was why Teresa never engaged her parents in conversation about the past rather than decide to relive this journey, that for her, didn’t seem enjoyable the first time. I took a chance on this book from netgalley knowing that I needed to read a travel memoir as part of the BookRiot 2017 reading challenge. I almost gave up so many times. I’m surprised that I actually read to the end. The writing felt disjointed. It read like diary entries that had been slightly reworked with some facts and tidbits thrown in about the history & geography of the area that didn’t necessary fit with the driving themes of the book.Thank you to netgalley and Seal Press Publishing for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Alison
    May 9, 2017
    The authors parents in the early 70's decided to drive a home made camper, the length of the Pan American-Highway, through Mexico, Central and South America after a tragedy where they lost their young son John-John in an accident. They take off with their two young daughters on a thought out but not well planned trip. After reaching Bolivia and having had many breakdowns and lots of adventures on the way, they finally let go of their camper and move on. Now some 30 years later, one of the daught The authors parents in the early 70's decided to drive a home made camper, the length of the Pan American-Highway, through Mexico, Central and South America after a tragedy where they lost their young son John-John in an accident. They take off with their two young daughters on a thought out but not well planned trip. After reaching Bolivia and having had many breakdowns and lots of adventures on the way, they finally let go of their camper and move on. Now some 30 years later, one of the daughters, Teresa and her new husband, Gary decide to quite their well paying jobs and retrace her parents trip down the Pan-American Hwy in search of her old home, (her dads homemade camper). Armed with her moms old journals a camper of their own and a 17 yr old dog, they head out on their own adventure, wanting to feel what propelled her parents after their tragedy, but also wanting to put that tragedy (John-John's death) to some closure for herself.I love to read about peoples travels through Latin America and to see their reactions to places and situation, remote from their own. Having lived a large portion of my life in Central America, I can often relate to the reactions or even some of the places I am familiar with. For me this was a very fun read, which took me right from my chair into their camper, what a ride.Beautifully written, and this book will have some photos, once published. You can also see them and her parents trip on her website.I want to thank NetGalley, and Seal Press for the ARC of this book.
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  • Diane Prokop
    May 2, 2017
    A perfect book for the armchair traveler, as well as, a poignant tribute to one who was lost too soon but will never be forgotten. Think Wild on steroids.
  • Nancy
    June 19, 2017
    The armchair travel aspect of this title caused me to request an ARC. As much as I love a road trip this is a journey I'll never make. I tagged along on the author's incredible journey through her detailed and intriguing descriptions of regions and events. I gained considerable knowledge by the time "we" completed "The Drive" - from border crossings and indigenous peoples to mud, sunny beaches and friendships forged thirty years ago. As a girl of seven Bruce made a similar journey with her paren The armchair travel aspect of this title caused me to request an ARC. As much as I love a road trip this is a journey I'll never make. I tagged along on the author's incredible journey through her detailed and intriguing descriptions of regions and events. I gained considerable knowledge by the time "we" completed "The Drive" - from border crossings and indigenous peoples to mud, sunny beaches and friendships forged thirty years ago. As a girl of seven Bruce made a similar journey with her parents in a homemade camper. I found the comparison of the 21st-century trip and the notes from her mother's diary of interest; plus, the contacts she made with people met during the earlier journey evoking memories most dear from both sides. The original journey was a family escape from the tragedy of the death of the author's two-year-old brother. I understand an adult's desire to retrace childhood experiences and memories. However, I never completely understood how that retracing in search of the homemade camper was to bring closure or perception to the grief. Perhaps this only reflects on the fact that I have not had to face such tragic memories.Thanks to Seal Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
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  • Connie
    June 9, 2017
    I like to read memoirs about people living in places I’ve never been to. When I saw this book about a couple who decide to travel the same route her parents took through Mexico and onto the Pan American Highway, 30 years in the past, I was intrigued.I found the book very sad at times, because the entire family undertook the journey in 1973 after the youngest member of the family was killed in an accident. Throughout the book, Teresa mentions him. This time, Teresa’s aging dog also adds a degree I like to read memoirs about people living in places I’ve never been to. When I saw this book about a couple who decide to travel the same route her parents took through Mexico and onto the Pan American Highway, 30 years in the past, I was intrigued.I found the book very sad at times, because the entire family undertook the journey in 1973 after the youngest member of the family was killed in an accident. Throughout the book, Teresa mentions him. This time, Teresa’s aging dog also adds a degree of both delight and sadness to the story. I enjoyed reading about their adventures, the people they met along the way and the scenery. Teresa does a very nice job of adding the little details that helped me visualize much of the book. She doesn’t hold back on some of the more frightening encounters they have on the way, and times when they would both decide that they needed to go another way because the path they were on didn’t feel safe.While I wouldn’t want to try this myself, I did enjoy reading the book, and I recommend it to other armchair travelers.
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  • Jen
    June 1, 2017
    This book was hard to follow at points.
  • Teresa
    April 19, 2017
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