There are times when a reader wants to get lost in a heart-pounding romance – a nail-biting thriller – a complicated but exciting mystery. And then again, sometimes simple, easy and down-to-Earth is just the thing. Good storytelling can be found in a book with no major plot twists or high drama, and Driving Grandpa is a prime example of this. It’s a folksy tale of a grandson (author John Redstand) and his grandpa. The story is based on true events, but author Redstand has fictionalized the many mini stories here, resulting in an entertaining book with a very personal touch. None of the stories, on their own, is particularly powerful or highly dramatic, but put them all together and something magic happens. Love shines through and family bonds are highlighted. Redstand weaves stories of his life helping to chauffeur his grandpa around, after he’s “grounded” from driving. But Grandpa surprises his grandson by actually passing his driver’s license test (we’re not told how, but it’s a cute story). Their stories share life’s joys and challenges, and even though Grandpa is about 90 years old, he’s still “got it.” Some of the stories are simply a slice of daily life in nature. They focus on how the author, who cleans up and changes locks on homes that are being primed for bank sale, blends his job with being part-time driver to his grandfather. Because Grandpa comes with him on his jobs, they turn from routine into all sorts of adventures and misadventures. Other stories reveal a bit about Grandpa’s time in World War II. There’s even an encounter with the widow of his former friend – and it turns out, she and Grandpa briefly dated before their respective marriages.
Overall, the effect is that grandson and grandfather have a very meaningful time together and one knows it’s a time they will both hold dear. There will be laughter and tears as readers delve into the book, but it will become a memorable reading experience either way. It’s so refreshing to come across a wholesome book that doesn’t rely on violence, graphic scenes or shocking language. I highly recommend this easy-to-read book by a very talented writer.