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Driving with the Top Down: A Novel
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Driving with the Top Down: A Novel

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,569 ratings  ·  248 reviews
Three women, two weeks, one convertible: sometimes life doesn't take you in the direction you expect...

Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son, a modest business repurposing and reselling antiques, and longtime fear that she was not her husband's first choice. When she decides to take a road trip down the east coast to check out antique auctions for her business, sh
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Published August 5th 2014 by Macmillan Audio (first published August 1st 2014)
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Driving with the Top Down is a standalone, women's fiction novel written by author Beth Harbison. The story follows three different women, in three very different stages in their lives who unexpectedly end up on the same road trip together. Each character is experiencing a significant struggle, and the strength they share with each other during their time together binds them together and the result is beautiful. Driving with the Top Down is real, heartfelt, funny, and just a great book! It's bee ...more
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Susan Parham
I'm so horrible with writing reviews but I really wanted to write one for this book. I have loved every Beth Harbison book that I have read and I had no doubt that I would love this one as well. This book ended up being my favorite of hers so far. It made me laugh and it made me cry. I found myself wanting to give "Tam" a big motherly hug (and I'm not a mother). My heart just broke for her. I won't get into what it is about because you can read that in the synopsis and I don't want to give any s ...more
I only gave this 2 stars because it's not something I would recommend to another person. I didn't hate reading it and I certainly made it to the end, but the characters were not necessarily that interesting the story felt a little too contrived.
I was lucky and won this from a Goodreads giveaway. So thank you to Goodreads, St. Martin's Press, and Beth Harbison.

I really enjoyed this book. It's a great book for summer!
Karen Waskewich
This was my first time reading a book by Beth Harbison; I have no idea why considering I have about 3 of her books sitting on my book shelf. I guess with everyone going on in my life and new books coming out every month, I just put them on the backburner. However, have no fear because all of those old books just got boosted up in the TBR list! Driving with the Top Down is a fun and spunky novel that is the perfect escape and will make you want to go hug your girlfriends and family right afterwar ...more
What a fun book to listen to! It is about three women on a road trip to Florida searching for items for Colleen's shop. Colleen is questioning her husband's love for her and her place in the marriage. Tamara is Colleen's 16-year-old niece with an absent father and a young life that is leading to nowhere. Bitty is Colleen's college BFF who is on the brink of suicide. What follows is a heart-warming story with laughter and tears filling every inch of the car and the trailor.

Go Cards! L1C4!

I received this book as a first reads copy and I was excited when it arrived.

Every woman in this book had their ups and downs. Their stories were sad in the beginning of the book. You had Bitty who didn't marry her childhood sweetheart and was in a horrible marriage, Tamara was a struggling teen with an absent father, and Colleen that didn't know what she was truly searching for. Colleen was an aunt to Tamara and Bitty was her college friend. Each lady had an interesting story to tell and it al
Mary Mack
This is the first book by Beth Harbison that I've read. It's funny, romantic, and has something that all women with identify with.

In the first chapter all three main characters have a perfect life, when you get to chapter two you find out that it was totally fabricated, that was the life that they all wished they had. That's when things get moving.

Colleen Bradley has a vintage shop where she buys antiques and repurposes them into something clever that people pay her for. Everyone's dream right?
I was a lucky First Reads winner and received this ARC in the Goodreads Giveaway. I want to thank both the publisher and Goodreads for this opportunity. It was a reading pleasure!

This was my first Beth Harbison novel, and I am sure it will not be my last. It was great chick lit, an easy summer beach read that was both enjoyable and heartwarming. I liked that the main characters were not your typical “let’s go on a road trip” BFFs, but rather an unlikely combo of Colleen, (age 34, who is traveli
I simultaneously love and hate Beth Harbison's books. I love them because they enrapture the reader. Never have I ever found an author that has made me laugh and cry between covers...and I hate them because I read them way, way too fast. Because they're that good.
The only qualm I had with this book was the prologue, which could have been stronger and a bit less confusing. The entire book I was waiting for a tie in...not until I was about 2/3 of the way in did I realize the prologue was fantasy-
Terri Davidson
I really enjoyed this book. It was a feel good book for me, even if the ending was a bit predictable. I liked the characters of the book, although I do feel they could have been developed a bit more. I found myself anxious to finish the book once I started it. I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for a good read.
This book pulled me in from the beginning and I couldn't put it down! The three story lines were so well developed although it wasn't hard to guess how the video issue would turn out but her character was so well written that I didn't mind. The only thing was that it was so easy to get drawn into each woman's sadness that I felt sort of depressed myself while I was reading. I enjoyed the fact that there was a happy ending for all.
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Sue Marie
I kind of loved this. It's the improbable story of a road trip with three women who have problems to face, and quandaries to solve, and questions to resolve. But somehow it's believable and wonderful, and the perfect summer "beach read."
I'm so glad I didn't give up on her after the last novel! What a great tale of 3 women taking a road trip in unorthodox circumstances only to learn about life and themselves in ways they never thought. Great read!
Nancy Brady
Full disclosure: I received this novel as a First Reads Goodreads giveaway, but that in no way affects my review.

Road trip...with two women: one a surly, unruly teen, the other her aunt. Add to that, a suicidal old friend and therein lies the makings of a contemporary, fun chick-lit novel.

Colleen is a wife, mother, and small businesswoman who creatively refinishes and refurbishes antiques. Her husband and son are heading off on a guys-only week-long trip so she decides on a trip down the East co
I really wanted to like this book. I chose it as the first of several audiobooks I'd received to review because I just loved the concept -- three gals, a road trip. "How fun!" I thought. "They will get into all kinds of fun adventures! It will make me want to grab my besties and hit the open road!"

Unfortunately, it did not. Admittedly, their lives all kinda sucked (except for Colleen, who was just making her own drama for no good reason), but this book to me was basically just them whining about
Each woman in this book is having a hard time with life and certain people or things involved in their own. The three women, Colleen, Tamara, and Bitty, are all connected through Colleen and are each searching for something that seems to be missing in their lives. Colleen doesn’t quite know what she is searching for, Tamara is a troubled teen with a past, and Bitty is struggling in a horrible marriage. These three women end up together for a two week car ride up the coast looking for new items f ...more
I won this book through Goodreads' giveaway program, and I am very glad I won it.

Premise: I have never read a book in this genre, and I was very skeptical going in. I have never pictured myself reading "chicklit" or anything like it, but I signed up to win this book as a way of broadening my horizons. I really enjoyed it. The story line was simple, but surprisingly engaging. The kind of story you can relate to, and really allowed you to focus on who the story was happening to instead of what wa
Andrea Wahle
I won this ARC in a Goodreads Giveaway.

I've only read one other Beth Harbison book - When in Doubt, Add Butter - but definitely put her books in the category of beach read or brain candy. There is nothing wrong with brain candy, sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. Getting the balance of "don't expect too much from the reader" and "entertain the reader and keep her interested" is something many writers fail at. Beth Harbison has it down solid.

I liked the characters in this book. Colleen
Colleen is questioning her ability as a wife and mother. Her business has not had a good year. So when her husband and son go off on a father/son trip to Cooperstown, Colleen plans a trip of her own. She repurposes antiques and unique items, and takes off to find new treasures. What she wasn't expecting was a passenger. She is asked to take her 16 year old neice, Tamara, who has made one too many bad choices. With resentment, Colleen agrees. To her surprise, Colleen finds Tamara funny and engagi ...more
What a pleasant and refreshing road trip through friendship, heartache and life lessons.

When we first began this story, we wondered just where this journey would take us. We enjoyed the author's skill at weaving not only a story, but stringing together a collection of words that kept us listening (as we enjoyed the audio version of this book).

Needless to say, we look forward to reading more from is author. We can recommend this to anyone who wants a fun, easy read and a satisfying conclusion.
I won this as an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway and I would say this is more in the 3.5 stars range but I'll push it up to four because three just seems too low. It is what I consider as a beach or pool-side read, something entertaining enough that it holds my attention but something I don't have to be totally focused on or I'll miss something important. It's a story of two women and a teenager who end up on a road trip together, the friendship that develops and the issues each are facing. It's a b ...more
Not a monumental book, but for some reason I enjoyed hanging out with these characters for the past few weeks
Jamie Melim
Easy and quick to read.

Driving with the Top Down is a fun and quick read about three women of varying ages fundamentally dissatisfied with the life they are leading. The book is told from the viewpoint of all three characters, so you get inside their head to see what is not being said and frankly it is just downright sad. Bitty is completely lost ever since her separation from her husband. Tamara is a teenager completely lost ever since her mother passed away and she has made so
Kathleen Hagen
Driving with the Top Down, by Beth Harbison, Narrated by Oragh Cassidy, Produced by Macmillan Audio, downloaded from

Coleen Bradley is married to Kevin and they have a teenage son. Coleen feels her life is totally out of wack. Kevin works too hard and isn’t home. Her son, Jay, doesn’t listen to her or follow her orders. She feels like a bad wife and mother, and she has believed throughout her marriage that her husband was in love with someone else and married her, Coleen, as second c
Three females find themselves on a trip down 1-95. Colleen Bradley owns a business that restores and refurbishes finds, this is a trip she needs - troubles at home, worries in her marriage, but she finds that she has to care for her troubled niece Tamara on this journey and wonders how this escape is going to go well. Tamara has lost her mother, has a father that isn't interested in her, finds herself making bad choices over and over, and is between spiraling and being lost, how can she remove t ...more
Megan Treseder
3.5 stars. It kept my attention. A very fun chick lit read. Perfect for the summer!
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Driving with the Top Down 11 40 Aug 30, 2014 05:33AM  
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Beth Harbison grew up in Potomac, Maryland, in the shadow of Washington, D.C. Apart from the occasional irritation at being held up in traffic by a presidential motorcade, she has remained fairly uninvolved in the politics that define her home town.

More about Beth Harbison...

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