The Drive

Trisha Todd, Author Naiad Press $8.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-56280-237-0
""I guess I tend to romanticize life,"" says Todd's narrator (also named Trisha) in this autobiographical, contemporary road novel. Trying to find her life's purpose and escape a broken heart, Trisha embarks on a lonely, soul-searching drive from Oregon to Iowa, where she hopes to rekindle the dying embers of a troubled relationship with Annie, whom Trish feels is ""the sun"" to her Icarus. Annie had moved to Iowa to reconnect with her family and leave lesbian relationships behind, and the reunion of the lovers is ill-fated and brief. In prose that is at times overabundant with metaphor, Todd uses the drive to Iowa and back as a time to meditate on her own life and loves, further blurring the line between fiction and memoir as she includes her real-life experience acting the title role in the groundbreaking lesbian movie Claire of the Moon. Fans hoping for an intimate behind-the-scenes look will be disappointed: the author only obliquely describes her work in the film. Details about the production are drowned in Todd's self-conscious vagueness: ""We made the film far too personal. I lost control of my performance. I was not shaping it, I was living it. I lost a piece of myself, and my performance clearly reflected this."" Todd is at her best when describing the physical world and concrete sensations: driving, eating and especially sex. Trisha's account of her second and longer trip to Iowa, and the reconciliation of the two women following Annie's suicide attempt, is abbreviated. Still, this tale is an honest, sensual and heartfelt addition to the road-trip genre, all the more stimulating because the driving force is love, and the person behind the wheel is a woman searching for herself. First serial to Curve; author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999
Release date: 05/01/1999
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