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Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying "Yes" to Living
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Driving Miss Norma: One Family's Journey Saying "Yes" to Living

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,157 ratings  ·  544 reviews
When Miss Norma was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she was advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But instead of confining herself to a hospital bed for what could be her last stay, Miss Norma—newly widowed after nearly seven decades of marriage—rose to her full height of five feet and told the doctor, “I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road.” 

And so
ebook, 256 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by HarperOne
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Andrew While this is an excellent book that may be interesting to younger readers, there are four uses of adult language found in the book, although none are…moreWhile this is an excellent book that may be interesting to younger readers, there are four uses of adult language found in the book, although none are used gratuitously. Also, this book could be difficult for some young readers (especially those that deal with anxiety or depression) as it deals with adult topics of medical conditions, medications (including purchase and use of lawful CBD/THC products), a brief discussion of recreational marijuana use, and end of life. Nothing inappropriate per se, just deep topics.(less)

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4.5 Stars

At the advanced age of 90, Norma Jean Bauerschmidt from Presque Island, Michigan had just lost her husband when she was given a diagnosis of cancer. Instead of spending days, months or longer staying in a hospital, or living a life spent in and out of the hospital, surgery, treatments, she opted for a different kind of medicine. Love. Family. Time.

She hit the road with her son Tim and his wife Ramie – and oh, yes, their dog Ringo, a Standard Poodle, living in a moto
Cindy Burnett
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Driving Miss Norma is an absolutely fantastic read. In the midst of these trying times, this book restored my faith in humanity and had me either laughing or crying the entire time I was reading it. When I started reading Driving Miss Norma, I was unfamiliar with the Facebook page that chronicled 90-year-old Norma’s extended journey across the United States with her son and daughter-in-law, Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle, and their dog Ringo. I chose not to seek out the Facebook page but inst ...more
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Driving Miss Norma is the real-life story of Norma, a ninety-year-old widow who is diagnosed with cancer. Instead of undergoing surgery, chemo and radiation, Norma decides to hit the road in a RV with her son and daughter-in-law. She had not travelled very much until then and her voyage resonated with many people along her path. She was honored, made new friends and became a star. The lesson I learned from this lovely little book is that we spend a lot of time working on the quality of our lives ...more
Sherri Thacker
A very heartwarming story! I remember reading about this woman on the news. She's really great!! ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
This was a "blind date" book - one of those fun books wrapped in brown paper at the bookstore with a few hints about what might be inside. I think this one just said, "Epic family journey". So, one $3 donation later and I had this book in my hands.

The book is both a family memoir and a travel log. The authors, a couple, write about taking their 90 year old, dying mother (in-law) for an epic road rip around the U.S. The authors are travelers, never really staying in one place for more than a few
I finished this morning and how I got through it without sobbing out loud is a miracle. Everyone is going to fall in love with not only Norma and her family (including Ringo), but everyone who embraced Norma and made her feel special. And Norma is a woman after my own heart. Not only does she love to read, but she loves to shop for new clothes and keep her haired permed. :-) I want to be just like her when I grow up and also hope to face what she did with the grace and dignity she displayed. As ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Might have been a great book if written by Norma. The authors are self centered and tone deaf about how demeaning they sound when describing their parents and how wonderful they are for the "sacrifices" they make in briefly caring for them. The daughter in law particularly comes off as in it only for the media and attention. Ugh. ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful inspiring story! May all of us have the courage to face death (and life) like Miss Norma did. What more could one wish for than adventure, the closeness of loved ones and a death free of artificial constructs.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It’s hard not to be touched by Driving Miss Norma which chronicles the last year of 90 year old Norma’s life as her son Tim and daughter-in-law Ramie take her on a motor home trip around the United States. I knew nothing about this book other than the description and a positive Goodreads friend review. But I gather that “Driving Miss Norma” formed the basis for a blog kept by Ramie as the trip was taking place. Shortly after Norma’s husband died, Norma was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 90. ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard one for me. I love what Norma’s son and daughter-in-law did for her, but throughout the book, I kept wondering if Ramie knew what a weak man that she was married to. That if anything happened to her, her husband Tim would not be able to take care of her. I have never read a memoir where a grown man would willingly tell his readers that he was too afraid of the world knowing his name, or having to leave a room when a bandage was needed. A man that left it up to his wife to be the c ...more
Just at the time that her husband has died, 90 year old Norma is diagnosed with uterine cancer. Norma lost a daughter to cancer several years prior to this, and knows the challenges ahead of her, the life with radiation and chemo, hospital stays, and pain. As Norma thinks over what to do with whatever life she still has, she is given an offer from her son, Tim Bauerschmidt, and his wife, Raimie Liddle, to travel with them in their motor home. Norma tells her doctor that she has decided to forgo ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inspirational book about a feisty lady who decided live her last days on her own terms. After witnessing both of my parents spend their last days in hospitals and nursing homes, I hope that I will be able to choose Miss Norma’s path instead when the time comes. It would be a challenge to make it through this one with dry eyes.
Merry Miller moon
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Shelf Awareness for the free ARC of this book. I really wished that I had heard of Miss Norma's story before this book, rather when Miss Norma was living her adventure/life. This is the true story of a truly remarkable woman and the loving family that helped her live out her life in the final months that she had remaining. Tim, Miss Norma's son and his partner, Ramie have written a wonderful book. ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*** Shortly after the loss of her husband, Miss Norma is dia ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
After following this story on Facebook, I was awaiting the release of this book when I fortunately won a copy through HarperOne publishing and Goodreads. The book is an inspiring story of newly widowed Miss Norma at age 90 and then is diagnosed with cancer. This book chronicles the last year of her full life as she shows that it is better to choose to be adventurous, try new things and meet new people. She shows that we should be open to opportunities and look for ways to make life more enrichin ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I adore Norma! I followed along on Facebook with their travels and was so excited to read the book. While I enjoyed it, I we also a little disappointed. It felt dry and they told me about their adventures but didn't really show me their adventures. I feel as though I know them little more now than when I started the book.

A book you should definitely read... But maybe don't rush out and buy it.

Copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wasn't aware of Miss Norma before I saw Shelf Awareness was doing a giveaway of this book. I won the book and really enjoyed it. It's inspiring. Also it reminds me why I love memoirs and it's a shame that I rarely read them anymore. I find people's personal true stories to be fascinating. ...more
Alex Fernandez
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Had a hard time getting into it as it focused more on the authors and their worries and inconveniences than on the person I thought the book was about, Norma. I kept finding myself thinking “who cares, I want to know more about what Norma is thinking and experiencing.”
Peggy Schuster
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I had followed Miss Norma's story through their Facebook posts and thought it would make a good read. The idea of travelling with an elderly woman who was free to explore was a great concept....which it is. I worried that the writing might be amateurish but it is well written. I think the problem, for me, is that the authors come across as making it about them; it's as if they are saying "look at me! aren't I cool? We are such good people." I understand that sounds harsh and they were good to ta ...more
Ah, readers you are going to love Miss Norma. Who wouldn't love a woman who when give a diagnosis of cancer tells the Dr. "I'm ninety years old. I’m hitting the road." Shy Norma then hits the proverbial road with her son and daughter in law in an RV and starts visiting places that she's never been to. And she hasn't been to many at all. Readers will want to start saying yes to life after reading this. And have a tissue with you as you read. ...more
Julie  Durnell
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A wonderful and heart-warming memoir, this was written with honesty; without sugar-coating the truth about end of life decisions. Their adventures as they traversed the United States were inspiring to say the least. It certainly gave me pause to think back to the care-giving I provided my parents before their passing and wishing it could have been different for them. I can only hope to go out in such style as Miss Norma! A worthy read indeed!
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
This book is not only the perfect follow-up to "Being Mortal," but the story shows what adopting the philosophy of choosing what kind of medical care you want and what kind of life you want to lead will take you. When Miss Norma rejects surgery and treatment for cancer, she, her son, and daughter-in-law embark on the greatest journey of their lives -- living.

Inspiring and worth reading.
A total mixed bag for me, since I, too, have a 90 year old mother. We have already traveled extensively over the entire country. Tens of thousands of miles. I was excited to read this.

Well, we weren't so well-off as these folks, and we didn't have the internet. We stayed in tents and cheap motels when we were younger, for our two-week vacations, and now, we don't travel as often, but we only stay with friends and in mostly motels that leave the light on for you.

On the other hand, we had statio
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
2 1/2 stars

I entered a contest to win this book because it sounded like a luminous journey of a woman who had never traveled much in her life and who, now that she was dying, had an opportunity.

Unfortunately I grew disappointed quickly because Driving Miss Norma seemed less about Miss Norma than Tim, the son, and Ramie, the DIL. I understand that Miss Norma became a fb sensation and then did further publicity, but I was unaware of any of that. In Driving Miss Norma, I never felt like I experien
Married couple Tim and Ramie had been living the life they always dreamed of. They lived in their AirStream camper and traveled the country with their dog Ringo. They rushed to Michigan when it was learned that Tim's father Leo was near death and his 90-year-old mother Norma had just received news that she had terminal cancer. Ramie had recently read Atul Gawande's "Being Mortal" and was impressed by his approach to end of life decisions. Norma's choice for her own health care was to not undergo ...more
This is a very heartwarming and inspirational book. Miss Norma, a 90 year old woman diagnosed with cancer, chooses to live her last few months traveling the United States with her son and daughter-in-law. Along the way she meets interesting people who fall in love with her, eats food she has never tried, visits places she has always wanted to see, and has adventures like taking a hot air ballon ride! What a woman! This is a very interesting memoir on living life to its fullest your last few mont ...more
Grace Sanchez
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Embracing life in the present moment Miss Norma foregoes treatment for cancer and hits the road with her family. I remember reading about her on her family’s Facebook page and commenting with best wishes for them. This is the story of being human and going with what life presents to you. Not all of it was easy but it was filled with joy and love and everyone along the way was touched by this family. I’m grateful that they have shared their story.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
A very engaging story which includes quite a good description of American places of value to those who have not ventured there. It is a very positive book indeed to the extent I can't help but feel the difficulties (of which there had to be many) must have been intentionally omitted. Ringo did not play too great a role though he is featured on the cover. ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book. We have to choose life and live it to the best of our ability. I enjoyed following Miss Norma's adventures on FB and I enjoyed hearing the story from the caretakers perspective. ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A good look at end of life and living but I would have liked to know more about Miss Norma and less about Tim and Ramie.
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