Regular Middle-Aged Women Thrilled for Chance to Read Books About Rich Twentysomethings Who Ditch Everything to Travel the Country in RV’s

“I couldn’t put this book down. It was a great antidote to my pre-menopausal symptoms.”

Liz Lydic
Jane Austen’s Wastebasket
4 min readSep 21


Photo by Dan Dumitriu on Unsplash

Of Love and Honey, by Aubrey McMurphy

Life is idyllic for 23-year old Rose Dawkins. She owns a farm and teaches online knitting classes from her kitchen. When an older couple begins breeding honeybees in the land next to hers’, Rose buys a camper van and sets out on a road trip, desperate to hear how other twenty-somethings have solved problems with neighbors who love bees. This novel invites readers to examine their own lives, so full of love and honey.

Review by Heather Simkins:
I couldn’t put this book down. It was a great antidote to my pre-menopausal symptoms. I wondered, at first, how Rose would tolerate dizzying hot flashes in that van, but once I reminded myself she’s only 23, I just sat back and enjoyed Aubrey McMurphy’s uncanny wit and crisp dialogue.

I finished it a single day, when I’d called out from work because my forgetfulness was so bad, I could barely speak.

The History of the Traveling Motor Vehicle From the Empowered Woman’s Perspective by Delilah Jerkins

In The History of the Traveling Motor Vehicle From the Empowered Woman’s Perspective, journalist Deliah Jerkins interviews dozens of women who have used trust funds to purchase and renovate school buses, vans, and trailers to set forth on their most independent journeys yet.

Review by Char Gallagher:
This nonfiction book was on my summer reading list. I just retired from a county job after 40 years, and it was interesting to learn about women who never held regular jobs.

I loved reading how they went out by themselves alone, paid for their own food, and then parked their travel vehicles on friends’ properties. I took one vacation a year for all those decades I worked in public service, usually to a casino a few towns away.

The Frequency With Which She Travels by Lily Hedges

Clara and Melanie have been inseparable since second grade. Now, as young adults, Melanie decides to take a job that will have her working weekends, leaving Clara all alone on Saturdays. Floored by this change in Melanie’s schedule, Clara leaves in a run-down RV she buys sight-unseen from Craigslist.

Review by Susan Hensley:
I picked up this book because it had a celebrity-recommended sticker on it. Boy, was it a page-turner! Clara driving 200 miles with intermittent A/C, feeling terribly alone, stuck with me. My children are all gone from the home, and I’m having a tough time being an ‘empty nester.’ I barely talk to my husband anymore.”

I was really rooting for Clara at the end, when she called Melanie from a small-town Alabama gas station and easily reestablished their friendship. I was inspired to call my old college roommate, Gloria, to reconnect, but it turns out she died last year.

2009: Ascendent of the Open Road by Grace Fitzsimmons

Fifty cities in fifty days. That’s the plan. Serena Blackstone has packed, gotten her Prius tuned up, and is ready see the country (and maybe even get an engagement ring) with her boyfriend Carlos. But he has other ideas…like his gorgeous co-worker Brittany. Devastated, Serena buys a time-traveling pop-up camper and goes back to the day she met Carlos, hoping to change her life’s path.

Review by Patricia Newell:
I’m really glad this chronology adventure novel was chosen by my book club. I loved the part when Serena time-travels and confronts Carlos. It made me yearn for my husband, who had a heart attack last year, and for the time in my life that is now forever gone.

I also really liked the inclusion of Serena’s goldendoodle, Mr. Fuzkins. I always wanted to get a dog but my husband wouldn’t let me.

Setting the Table by Lauren Humphries

Cooking is at the forefront of this epic novel of heartbreak. After Bridget Snelgrove’s boyfriend of four months leaves the country for a medical internship, Bridget sells her upscale, successful Lebanese restaurant and uses the money to buy a new Airstream trailer. Without a map, Bridget finds herself traversing the country, stopping along the way to savor the communities, the people, and of course, the food.

Review by Sheila Detweiler:
This book was at my library on a display that said ‘Feel Good Reads.’ It really impacted me. Bridget’s chance encounter with a mysterious shaman named Velda teaches Bridget that the “recipe to life” is less complicated than she’s ever realized.

Here I’ve been, wondering just how to get a grip on my chronic depression as a regular old woman dragging around the burdens of domestic and work responsibilities.

If only I’d had a traveling vehicle or a shaman when I was younger, perhaps my life would have some purpose now. This book sharply reminded me of how useless dreams are at my age. Great read.



Liz Lydic
Jane Austen’s Wastebasket

Liz Lydic is a mom, writer, and local government employee in the Los Angeles area. She also does theatre stuff.