The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey-Berrick

Traveling, Book 1

Synopsis: I was ordinary. Nice. He was extraordinary. And he wasn’t always nice.

Moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful, Kes scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me. He challenged me, he took me out of my safe little box and showed me the world could be magnificent. He was everything I wasn’t.

Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.

Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough.

Review: Since small, magic is like a magnet for Aimee. It attracts her. The girl knows it exists, the books whispered it in her ear. And this year, she is convinced, she will finally see it. Her parents promised her. This year, for her tenth anniversary, they will take her to the fair because there, there is magic. Bouncing with excitement, she pulls her hand from her mother who does not walk fast enough, go faster, she wants to see everything, try everything. What she does not know is that Kestrel, a boy of the same age observes each of her movements.

This moment will change their lives.

The first part of the narrative focuses on the childhood of Aimee and Kestrel, about their encounter and their reunion over the years. They grow and evolve together on the playground of the fairground, leaving the bond that unites them to strengthen over time.

But nothing is so simple, especially when one comes from two diametrically opposed worlds.

In the second part, it is up the adults they have become who occupy the front of the stage. They followed their path separately, but destiny is determined to unite them. The hour of choices arrives: how to cohabit their two universes to be together?

The universe of fairs always attracted me, no doubt because of the stories told by my grandmother who was an extraordinary storyteller. I would have liked to be able to go back in time and walk in these fairs of another time that had made her vibrate. Jane Harvey-Berrick gave me a glimpse of it by immersing ourselves in the heart of the life of fairgrounds. Their way of life, their solidarity, their loyalty, their codes, the way they are considered, that they consider the others are accurately depicted and inspire a real originality to the narrative.

The story that links Aimee and Kestrel is strong, complicated, but it is especially beautiful. He is a volcanic artist, free like the air, who drags the handicap of his dyslexia like a ball around the ankle, she follows the objective she has set, she knows what she wants, has no tongue in her pocket. They love each other, confront each other, try to make their differences a whole, a weapon against the world. They are extremely touching, both separately and together. Far from being perfect, they make mistakes, doubt, deceive themselves, but have the rage to allow their love to exist and perhaps flourish.

I enjoyed this novel as you savor a candy bar, leaving the sugar of its words to melt on my tongue. I savored it as we enjoy a love apple, crunching with teeth in and regretting that the last bite is already there, too bad for calories or hours of sleep less. It was a long time since I had not been so embarked by a romance.

On the other hand, my nails did not withstand the end. When I read the last words, I turned the page saying to myself, the hope making it live, that no, it was not possible, that there had to be a hidden chapter. Hope was in vain. I will have to wait to get the volume 2 …




15 thoughts on “The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey-Berrick

  1. I love and hate this type of reads. The one that makes you ache after reading not because it was a depressing book but because you’re dying to know what happens.

    I hope you’ll get to read the next volume soon!

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