One chapter of Grant Ginder’s “Driver’s Education” is titled “How to Map Your Memories,” and it’s an apt description of how this engaging new novel unfolds. It begins with an urgent request after Alistair McPhee suffers his first stroke. He asks his grandson Finn in New York to fetch Lucy, his trusty, beloved 1956 Chevy Bel Air, out of storage in Chinatown and drive it across country, delivering it to him in California, where he is now living with Finn’s father, Colin.
However, it’s not a straightforward journey that McPhee charts. He wants Finn to “collect the endings to all his stories.” He says, “I’ve forgotten. I’m forgetting.” He mails his grandson a map detailing a precise outline for the trip, a map crisscrossed with printed and scribbled lines that retrace important places from his past.