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Driving With Dead People : A Memoir of a Girl Whose Obsession With Death Gave Her A Chance At Life - Monica Holloway

Driving With Dead People

A Memoir of a Girl Whose Obsession With Death Gave Her A Chance At Life

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At nine years old, Monica Holloway develops a fascination with the local funeral home. Small wonder, with a father who drives his Ford pick up with a Kodak movie camera sitting shotgun just in case he sees an accident, and whose home movies feature more footage of disasters than of his children.

In between her father's bouts of violence and abuse, Monica becomes fast friends with Julie Kilner, whose father is the town mortician. She and Julie preferred the casket showroom to the parks and grassy backyards in her hometown of Elk Grove, Ohio, where they would take turns lying in their favourite coffins.

In time, Monica and Julie get a job driving the company hearse to pick up bodies from the airport, yet even Monica's growing independence can't protect her from her parents' irresponsibility, and from the feeling that she simply does not deserve to be safe.

Little does she know, as she finally strikes out on her own, that her parents' biggest betrayal has yet to be revealed...

About the Author

Monica Holloway is the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Driving With Dead People. Monica lives with her family in Los Angeles.

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Driving With Dead People
 
3.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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3.0

Confronting

By Bimmer

from Melbourne

About Me Casual Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Relevant

Cons

  • Child Molesting Not Easy
  • Not What I Expected

Best Uses

  • Older Readers

Comments about Driving With Dead People:

The child molesting topic is not one I would chose to read about confronting

Comment on this review

 
4.0

just what the cover says

By jo

from wodonga

About Me Bookworm

Pros

  • Easy To Understand
  • Inspirational
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Travel Reading

    Comments about Driving With Dead People:

    keepsyou turning the pages to see what happens next,

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    An uneven first memoir offers more undigested anger than wisdom.Holloway was fixated on death from a young age. Her friend Julie's parents owned a funeral home, and Holloway liked to sneak into her favorite coffin, lined with pink silk, and imagine her own funeral. Kids with happy childhoods, of course, don't spend much time thinking about their funerals, and Holloway's interest in death is something of an escape from her horrible family life. Holloway's father is abusive, sometimes beating his wife so brutally that the kids fear for her life. Eventually, Holloway's mother summons some resolve, signs up for college classes and kicks her husband out. But Holloway does not offer the expected my-mother-is-a-phoenix line. No, mom turns out to be thoroughly self-absorbed, and deeply limited in her ability to love her children. Besotted with her new boyfriend, she virtually abandons her daughter, leaving her to make her way through adolescence on her own: "Can't you be happy for me?" mom asks her teenage daughter. "Why is everything about you? . . . I've done you my whole life. This is about me." Sections of this memoir are eerily lovely, but the overall narrative doesn't hold together. The funerary imagery that suffuses the opening chapters feels distractingly like a device, a symbol that, in the final analysis, doesn't have much to do with the family drama. The final third of the book, in which an adult Holloway finally reckons with her childhood, seems like an entirely different book - the voice is different, and the elegant prose of the beginning is replaced by cliches ("Sobs finally came. I didn't think they ever would") and self-help psycho-babble ("There was no other way for her to recover but to let the memories come, and I couldn't do that for her").For funeral-home-cum-dysfunctional-family tales, stick with Alison Bechdel's Fun Home (June 2006). (Kirkus Reviews)

    ISBN: 9781847390745
    ISBN-10: 9781416955122
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 327
    Published: 26th August 2007
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Dimensions (cm): 19.800 x 12.900  x 3.4
    Weight (kg): 0.232