The Drive follows Teresa Bruce on her 2003 road trip through Mexico and onto the Pan American Highway, in a rickety camper with her old dog and new husband in tow. Bruce first set off on the exact same route in 1973, her parents at the helm and their two young daughters in tow, as a reaction to the accidental death of their youngest child, Bruce’s brother John John. Her attempt to follow the route, using her mother’s travel journal as an anecdotal guide, is as much about her need for exploration as it is about trying to understand her parents and their pain, and to finally begin to heal her own wounds over the accident.
Bruce is immensely talented in bringing scenery of Central and South America to life — countries from Mexico and Guatemala to Bolivia and Argentina are detailed with her innate attention to detail and sense of storytelling. The Drive details a really incredible journey through these beautiful, at times corrupt and war-torn countries, across roads that are as likely to be barricaded by guerrillas or washed out by floods as they are to be passable.
The Drive is travel writing at its best, combining moments of deep heartbreak with unimaginable joy over a panoply of unforgettable settings.