Velva Jean Learns to Fly : Velva Jean

  • by Jennifer Niven
  • Narrated by Emily Durante
  • Series: Velva Jean
  • 13 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Velva Jean Hart, the fiercely independent heroine of Jennifer Niven's spectacular debut novel, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, returns in a captivating adventure that literally sends her soaring. Bristling at the limitations faced by a woman in rural Appalachia and fueled by the memory of her late Mama telling her to "live out there," Velva Jean hits the road to pursue her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. But after a string of auditions, she begins to lose hope - until her brother pays her a surprise visit and treats Velva Jean to a flying lesson that ignites a brand-new dream: to become a female pilot. Funny, poignant, and utterly unforgettable, Velva Jean Learns to Fly will have fans cheering all over again.

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What the Critics Say

"Besides creating a gutsy heroine, who, despite the repressive times, never becomes bitter, Niven's writing shines overall. Cheers to Niven, Velva Jean." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Why change the reader?

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I liked the way Jenna Lemia read the first book in the series, and I felt like I was now a part of Velva Jean's family, rooting for her so much that I wanted to hear her next adventure, but this the new reader (Emily Durante) was so different, I was very disappointed. I felt as if my baby was switched at the hospital. The book is so well written, but the new reader obviously hadn't read the first book and didn't know the story line, so her interpretation was flat. Bummer.Regarding the story, I loved it, but I felt at one point, there was a forced event - when Gossy ended up on the same plane Velva Jean was piloting into history. The story didn't need it and I didn't buy it for a second that Gossy would put up with the military and vice versa. Also, the way it ended makes me feel that there's so many loose ends, there's gotta be another book soon.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Velva Jean Learns to Fly?

I love the way Jennifer Niven weaves a tale. I also like the way she's paints the landscape of discrimination, prejudice and how women were (are) treated. Good for Velva Jean!


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emily Durante?

Jenna Lamia.


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- Naomi

VJ Drives Better Than She Flies

VJ Learns to Drive was one of my favorites, the performance 5 stars. VJ Learns to Fly was barely bearable. Had I not been on bed rest I wouldn't have gotten through it. I did enjoy learning about the WASP's roll in WWII. Everything in the story was just too contrived. The narrator was horrible. I would have given her a zero if I could have. She is particularly bad in the first 1/4 of the book. She gets tolerable in the last 1/3. I really got tired of VJ going through the same old list of friends, experiences and lessons every time she faced a problem. The character just wasn't believable through this narrator or the story. VJ's life's dream goes from singing at the grand ole opry to flying bombers for the air force? Too big a leap. Even the "rise above it syndrome" doesn't explain this turn around in her to the point she is willing to die to fly. I would highly recommend VJ Learns to Drive, then she needs to stay on the ground! The book ends with hints at a sequel "VJ Learns to Fight."
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- Jbug

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio