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When one is grieving, one does some really outlandish stuff to come to grips with that loss. Barbara Schoichet is no different. Suffering from the loss of her job, her girlfriend and the sudden passing of her mother sends her into a tailspin of self-discovery and coming to terms with her losses. While sassy she is definitely broken and a bandage isn't going to fix her. However, buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle and driving across country at speeds of 100 mph, meeting other bikers, and accepting the lack of control one has on the road just might fix her. Cutting herself off from her sisters and other family members, her trip across the US and the purchase of the bike is much more than the thrill of riding; it is the painful journey of self-discovery and coming to terms with herself, her relationships and the death of her parents.
Barbara’s story is told in a witty, sometimes sardonic manner with vividly rich details that makes the situation all the more real. At fifty, who in their right mind would get their motorcycle license and then drive across country on a huge hog? Especially since her experience and time spent on a motorcycle is less than the time it takes to uncork a delightful bottle of red rosé?
Her new-found friends – Dave and Dave, help get her started but the people she meets along the way help to steer her on her adventure filled journey through Graceland, the Appalachians, the Cadillac graveyard and more. I found myself laughing and crying and sometimes at the same time. The bike falling over on her and her exchange with the hotel clerk was priceless as was the conversation with the police officer.
The dialog resonated with the listener as it was too real not to. Barbara Schoichet’s story is told from the heart and a place that every one of us has been, will be and have not yet left. Very poignant and gut wrenching but comforting too. Schoichet gives her listeners an abundance of advice and guidance – one can make the journey but not without some pain, doubt and fear.
A beautifully constructed story that makes it hard to stop listening as you just know the moment you go to stop she’s going to do something else that will bring a slight smile to your lips or a nod of your head that you know what she’s talking about or a small tear sliding down your cheek as she hits home time and time again. Although therapy would have been a safer and traditional route to take, the Harley journey of a lifetime gave her the tools she needed to make the choices and grow the way it meant more to her.
The narrator is also Barbara Schoichet. She delivers a heart-felt performance that makes it even more realistic and hits the heart. The passion and humor she delivers each word is mesmerizing because she lived it! Schoichet didn’t just read the book to the listener, she delivered it with the passion and humor that connected the listener to the story even more. It was indeed richer being narrated by the author than if anyone else had done it.
This is a book for anyone going through the grieving process as well as anyone who just feels lost. I lost my father a short bit ago and found myself exploring, if not the same issues, very similar ones as Schoichet. This audiobook gave me comfort; it did not give me the courage to go on a cross-country bike ride, but it gave me comfort. This is a wonderful book - you will laugh and you will cry and you will be better for it!
There were no issues with the production. Everything was perfect, clear and concise.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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7 of 9 people found this review helpful
I laughed and I cried and I enjoyed the whole journey detailed in this book. I have added another person to my list of people I would like to have a beer with.