Riding the Bus With My Sister

Riding the Bus with My Sister: A True Life Journey - Rachel Simon

This is one of those novels that makes you feel good. It’s about making you stop and enjoy the smaller things in life, it’s about noticing someone other than yourself and it’s about realizing that we’re really all the same, we just go about life differently.   In this novel, Rachel is beginning to play a bigger role in her younger sister, Beth’s life. Growing it, Rachel was told numerous times that she would need to help Beth when they got older. Now both in their late thirties, Beth is finally playing an active role in her life, I found this pretty amazing. Beth is mildly retarded and is living on her own. She loves riding the bus and does so every day. I loved Beth’s fascination with the bus, its punctuation, and its individuals. Her life revolves around riding the bus, this line of public transportation. Riding over a dozen buses and over a dozen hours a day, I love watching people and talking to people but doing this every day, that’s a lot!

 

Beth has chosen which drivers she prefers to ride with, she knows which passenger they will be picking up and she knows exactly what time they will be arriving at each stop. But it goes deeper than this; Beth has become a part of some of these individuals’ lives. Not everyone is amused by Beth and her persistent talking.   Some people find her annoying and are reluctant to accept her into their circle, for they still see her as different, someone to distant themselves from. On the bus, Beth shares stories with the bus drivers and with passengers sharing their lives with her, gathering friends and acquaintances. I laughed many times as Beth talked on the bus, not afraid to share her opinion, very excited and opinionated about the subject at hand. She’s very vocal and not one to change her mind once it was made up. As Rachel joins Beth on her trips, it was interesting to see how Rachel would see Beth’s world. Beth makes some mind provoking remarks to Rachel that we both reflected upon. She sees the world in a different light; it’s the same world only her view is different. There were many things inside this novel that were moments that made me stop and reflect. I liked listening to Beth; she was knowledgeable, bullheaded at times and funny at others. I thought it was a shame that not all her family couldn’t get to know her, I thought they were missing out on a great person.