With the assistance of professional biographer, Vivien Kooper, first-time author Shelly Hess manages to blend the suspense of a thriller, the poignancy of a grand tragedy, and the practical wisdom found in the best self-help books in her new memoir, “Final Drive”. This inspiring story has all the elements that make for compelling reading. It will appeal to women of all ages, to everyone who loves a powerful memoir, and to anyone who has ever loved and lost. 

The book chronicles the journey of a Midwestern family as they struggle through unspeakable loss, trauma, and survival. As the story opens, the reader instantly meets characters that are easy to recognize—a loving, committed, and hard-working father, a fiercely devoted working mother, and their two delightful older children. For all intents and purposes, this average family is living the American dream. They have a four-bedroom home in the suburbs of St. Louis, with two dogs in the yard. Both parents are gainfully employed. The kids are happily involved in school, sports, and typical teen and pre-teen activities. Everyone is healthy and happy. 

And then, overnight, everything changes. From that moment on, the story gathers speed and momentum, carrying the reader along through an emotional landscape that will leave them alternately crying, laughing, and gasping for breath.

So, fasten your seatbelts. “Final Drive” promises to be a journey not easily forgotten. This true tale of devastation, redemption, and ultimate triumph accomplishes what the best literature always does—it leaves the reader forever changed. 


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