Sweet Sound of Bird Song is the 4th in a series of novels by Anne Wilensky.
The first half of book, Summer 2010 is a continuation of her life in Tucson with her husband Bill and their pets.
Other than the first 3 chapters which describe their relocation from NYC to Tucson 20 years earlier, which is dramatic, Anne and Bill are now happily settled in.
That half of book is their summer and fall of 2010, although there are day to day ups and downs, the experience of reading it is like lying next to a cat who is purring
The second half of book Driving Lessons is a total departure. It begins only a few months later, but Anne is suddenly and surprisingly on her own.
The first order of business is learning how to drive. Her husband's best friend Jim is teaching her to drive the stick shift on the truck.
They start right away. Jim has been driving forever and is a great driver, he thinks it will be easy to teach Anne to drive.
Anne's dad was the greatest teacher in the world, he taught her to ice skate, play tennis, everything. Learning from him was a cinch.
Both Jim and Anne entered into the enterprise with high hopes.
But Jim has never taught anyone before. He didn't bother showing Anne where the brake was and the first thing which happened is she almost crashed into her Mustang in her driveway.
She didn't know how to steer and when she backed up she kept going all the way into neighbor's front yard.
A month later Anne emails her friend:
My Higher Self says, "Jim is the most experienced driver in the world, but he is new at teaching.
"But driving lessons with Jim are the best thing to be happening in your life now.
"As the only purpose in your life now is to be completely happy.
"So even tho Jim has to take a tranquilizer each time he returns home after a driving lesson with you, and you have to plotz in front of the TV for 5 hours to calm down after a driving lesson with Jim, the next day both of your happiness has increased exponentially."
It is an interesting and unusual novel about a girl where life hit her with its best shot and she came up smiling. She holds on to her peace and happiness.
And even experiences the thrill of a brand new life.
As Anne says "I don't understand my new life but it is surprisingly easy to live it."
Most of the action takes place during the actual driving lessons with her friend Jim.
Anne is determined to learn to drive, her friend Jim is determined to teach her. It is a bumpy ride.
But Anne is having so much fun teasing Jim. Her husband didn't like to be teased, he frowned when Anne tried to tease him.
But Anne discovers right away a best friend is not a husband. She has so much fun kicking up her heels and teasing Jim.
It is the most high spirited of Anne's books..
And then there are adventures with her house, as Anne emails her friend:
"How does a girl from New York City who can do nothing at all.
Who had a husband who could do everything.
And did everything for her.
Manage having a house in Tucson?"
The happy and surprising answer to this question is part of this story too.
Her husband's wonderful cartoons make the book even more fun..