1. White Widow by Jim Lehrer (1996)
Length: 211 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 31 December 2013
Finished: 2 January 2014
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 21 November 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Jim Lehrer is a new author for me.
Some bus drivers can go their whole careers and never cross paths with the type of woman known as a 'White Widow'. A White Widow is a wild card; a woman traveling alone who can change the course of a driver's life, and not always for the best.
Jack T. Oliver has a solid marriage, a cozy home in Corpus Christi, Texas, and a job he loves - driving the Houston to Corpus Christi route - for the Great Western Trailways bus line. In a few weeks, Jack will be promoted to Master Operator in recognition of his many years of perfect service and punctual driving record. It may not be everyone's idea of the most exciting life - but it's comfortable, it's good, and it's Jack's.
That is until a White Widow boards his bus, on a one-way ticket from Victoria to Corpus Christi. Suddenly, Jack Oliver's otherwise orderly life is turned completely upside down. Within weeks, without ever even learning her name, the White Widow's passage through Jack's life has been as unforgettable as it has been irrevocable. His unstoppable, ruinous passion for a complete stranger will ultimately cost him dearly: in ways that Jack T. Oliver could never have predicted - not even in his wildest dreams.
To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure if I would have chosen this book to read for myself. It's not that I would have dismissed it, it's just that I never actually saw it until Mareena brought it to my attention. It was an unusual premise to begin with, so I was drawn into the story for that reason. The story was also extremely well-written and poignant, and it held my attention right up until the end.
Now, Jim Lehrer is a very successful journalist as well as an author; although in the past, both his father and himself worked as bus drivers. This novel is loosely based on the author's true experiences during his brief time spent as a bus driver. While the story was certainly interesting overall, the author's appreciable and, at times, intricate knowledge of bus transportation was sometimes lost on me. However, I would give this book a B+!
B+! - (89-85%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight