Fear of Driving

Fear of Driving

by Daniella Brodsky

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I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Fear of Driving by Daniella Brodsky.

I’ve been thinking about mobility lately. How you have to have your escape route planned out — that’s why I always liked to drive to meet a blind date — and how important it is to be able to get away. I was just up in the XM cafeteria and the folks from Flexcar tried to convince me that I should sell my beloved Mini Cooper and just use their service. Sell the Mini? Never! Of course, living here in DC, a city with extremely limited parking, very enthusiastic parking police, and fairly reliable mass transit, I only drive once or twice a week. But I just have to know it’s there. I could leave if I wanted to — right now, just get in my car and get going. I won’t — but I could. And I don’t even like to drive, I hate paying attention and I’m convinced everyone else behind the wheel is insane or asleep. Am I afraid to drive? Not really. More like deeply suspicious.

As the title tells us, in Fear of Driving Daniella Brodksy’s heroine, Ruby Reynolds, is afraid to drive. Phobic, actually. She’s happily living in New York on the first pages of this novel, where she doesn’t need a car, so it works out just fine. But she also meets Ed — again, right at the beginning of the book. They marry in the first chapter, and then she’s off to be with her new husband in the relative wilds of Connecticut. Where she’ll have to drive. It turns out driving is just the first thing Ruby fears. It’s a nice metaphor for someone not willing to both take her fate in her own hands, and trust that those around her won’t drive her off the road. Ruby and Ed’s happy ending doesn’t come at the beginning with a wedding, but takes a book full of learning about being honest with yourself and your partner, and figuring out how to move on.

Daniella Brodksy is the author of Princess of Park Avenue and The Velvet Rope Diaries, and I have talked about enjoying both of them, but also enjoying watching Daniella grow as a writer. These three books are radically different in tone, but all feature heroines worth rooting for.

The book is Fear of Driving by Daniella Brodsky. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Fear of Driving by Daniella Brodsky.

Ruby and Ed meet, fall in love, get married and move off to his lovely Connecticut home. The end? No, the end of the first chapter. In this book, the conflict isn’t generated by a love triangle, but by the crippling fears that Ruby carries with her. She’s afraid to drive, but she’s also afraid that if Ed finds out who she really is, he’ll up and leave. Like her father, many years ago? Like when she was a child, the way her mother dragged her from town to town? Ruby has some baggage, enough to fill a trunk. In Fear of Driving, Ruby has to learn how to take the wheel, a handy metaphor for not avoiding living your life. She doesn’t know what’s around the next bend, but who does? Daniella Brodsky fills this book with warm, human characters who make mistakes — even crash the car, but we forgive them and love them anyway. Fear of Driving by Daniella Brodsky. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Fear of Driving by Daniella Brodsky.

Our heroine, Ruby, is doing alright in car free New York City. Then she ruins everything by meeting and marrying the man of her dreams — that means she has to follow him home to Connecticut. Ruby’s fear of driving is thrown up hard against the isolation of being carless in the suburbs. She suddenly has the time to take a look at what else she’s afraid of — lots — and then of course she has to decide what to do about it. Fear of Driving introduces us to the kind, flawed, smart and foolish people Ruby meets, and it was a pleasure to watch them help Ruby get on her way. Daniella Brodsky will be my guest this weekend to talk about her new book, her own Fear Of Driving, and what she learned when she left the big city. That’s this weekend at 6pm east Saturday and 10am east on Sunday on Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Fear of Driving by Daniella Brodsky.

Ruby and Ed, in defiance of convention, get married and start their lives together right at the beginning of this book. Ruby has a jewelry designing business and she can do that from Ed’s home in Connecticut, so its all great, except, oops — turns out Ruby is a quivering ball of insecurity, and she has yet to let Ed see just how afraid she is; driving is the least, although most visible of her fears. Underneath is the constant fear that if he sees the real her, he’ll be gone. Maybe a little like her father did, so many years ago? Fear of Driving follows Ruby as she slowly unravels the knots that have kept her from moving forward. Daniella Brodsky will be my guest this weekend, and we’ll talk about her own Fear of Driving, and how moving out of the comfort of New York to the wilds of Connecticut helped inspire this book. We’re on at 6pm east on Saturday and again at 10am east on Sunday. Fiction Nation is on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


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