Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns

Your Driver Is Waiting is a novel about a ride share driver whose new romance sets off a dangerous chain of events. Damani drives for a ride share company to make enough money to care for her mother since her father died, trying to pay bills, and spends time with her friends. The city is filling up with protests by drivers and others against injustice. When she meets Jolene, a wealthy white woman who is an ally and cares about Damani, everything seems great, but as Damani tries to show Jolene the world she lives in, things go badly wrong.

This is a book that combines social satire and politics, particularly around what kinds of action people take and who that action helps, with a character focus that explores the varied life of Damani, who is torn in several directions but always has to return to the identity of ‘driver’ to keep existing in the world. The narrative starts quite slow and then builds up, reflecting the monotony of Damani’s days and then the whirlwind of everything that happens with Jolene. The depictions of working for a ride share company are good too, as you really get a sense of time and the desperation of needing pings on the app to actually make anything close to a living.

Through the narrative and characters, Your Driver Is Waiting explores axes of oppression and kinds of communities, particularly the coming together of people to build alternative communities to fight against societal structures in solidarity, and how other people don’t understand this. The way in which Damani thinks that Jolene’s points of connection with her—having read books, been to protests, and being queer—might bridge the large divides between them, and then her obsession with hearing from Jolene when they don’t gives the novel both emotional and political power, as structures impact personal lives.

Weaving together activism, romance, and fighting for the money to live, Your Driver Is Waiting is a gripping novel with satire and heart.Through the humour and anger, it shows how things are complex within and outside of activist spaces.