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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Jackie Sullivan and only child, twenty-one-year-old daughter Rebecca, set out on a three-week venture to beautiful Ireland; husband Rob will join them when he is able to take a break from his company in Sedona, Arizona. Jackie and Becca take a week-long, cross-country tour with Nomad Tours. The tour guide is the knowledgeable, handsome, and charming Sean Donovan. A budding romance between Sean and Becca is the true adventure in Driving on the Left: Jeep Tour Too by Gail Ward Olmsted. Becca recently (almost) graduated from a Boston college, and her plans are to return to Boston for grad school. Sean hails from a troubled family, where the siblings take care of each other. His job as a tour guide is well-paid, but he is on the road the majority of the time, resulting in little time for a new love relationship. Will this relationship continue, or end?
Gail Ward Olmsted’s novel, Driving on the Left: Jeep Tour Too, is an engaging and enchanting story. While there is excellent individual character development, insights into relational aspects are also compelling. Becca’s relationship with her parents is an excellent contrast to Sean’s family situation. The long-term relationship between Jackie and Rob is also explored, as Jackie needs to make a major decision regarding Rob’s wishes for their upcoming retirement years. The similarities between their marriage and Becca and Sean’s new relationship are striking and thought-provoking. This novel is more than a light-hearted summer read; it is also a portrayal of the difficulties and joys in new love relationships and decades-long marriages.