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Jointly Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny
✯✯✯✯✯ Exquisite stars!
‘I felt safe and protected. I felt like I belonged.’
Okay; we just read what we’re sure will be a top favourite for 2015. We already knew that Jane Harvey Berrick is a master of beautiful evocative writing so that came as no surprise. However, we weren’t prepared for such an exceptionally stunning piece of emotional writing that demanded and consequently accepted our entire hearts as the characters captured us in every way possible. To say we loved everything about The Traveling Man is an understatement and we highly urge and recommend you pick this story up and fall in love with this Author all over again or for the first time as the case may be.
“Do you know what I dream about? My dream would be to die looking at the lights on the Ferris wheel. When I get old, when my body has given up, that’s what I want to see. And in that dream, you’re standing next to me.”
The Traveling Man brought everything we remember and love about the Fairground to the forefront of our minds; our memories, the scents and the sounds. We saw the bright lights. We could smell the enticing candyfloss and we could hear the laughter and murmurs of awe. It brought us back to a time before and we felt as if we were there in the thick of it seeing the story play out; feeling the emotions and succumbing to the passion and emotional heart-break of what transpired. We were mesmerized to the point where we just couldn’t put this story down; we read through romantic sighs as well as big heartfelt tears.
“I make mistakes and I move on. That’s what I do, that’s what I’ve always done. I leave, and other people leave. You’re the first person in my whole life who stayed. And then you were taken away. But now you’re here again….and you’re trying to leave me…”
We got to spend moments of a childhood with two very different, yet equally beautiful characters; Aimee and Kes who come from very different ‘worlds’. Aimee’s childhood is somewhat stifled, emotionally repressed in a way. Black and white with no colour nor laughter. She hasn’t got very much stimulation nor adventure except for that which she gets from her books. Aimee as a child was sweet, gutsy and adventurous; with an overwhelming sense of understanding and compassion. All of which carried through to adulthood. She was and is a fantastic heroine. One which we cannot help but root for and keep in our hearts. She was rational, pragmatic and we fully believed in her character and actions.
“I’ve never had a real friend before,” Kes said, his eyes searching out the edges of the horizon. “I didn’t know I was missing anything.” I heard what he wasn’t saying, at least I think I did. “I’ll miss you too.”
Aimee watches from afar as the carnival arrives in town and has but one wish; to go and experience her own version of exciting colourful mystique. A 10th birthday wish is reluctantly granted and she makes a discovery – a friend which will change the course of her life in every way imaginable. She meets a sweet carnie boy named Kes.
‘He could breathe fire, he could eat flames, but the word ‘love’ burned on his lips.’
Kes stole our hearts from the get-go. Our fiery and sweet boy who struggled with the carnie label preventing him to fully enjoy the friendship with a girl who saw the size of his heart and revelled in his presence. Their bond was tangible both as childhood friends and what came later. We marvelled at their friendship which grew spanning years with only a brief two weeks of togetherness every time. We felt it and we believed it.
‘I had two weeks of memories that shone as insubstantial as my dreams, and fifty long weeks to wait for my life to start again. I sat on the grass and cried.’
The thrill of their growing all-encompassing love felt incredibly real even many years later after all that was. Their journey which hasn’t ended is marred by perceptions, responsibilities and what transpires when two different worlds collide.
Kes’ story, of what we experienced, broke our hearts over the course of the book. It left us wanting to know his secrets and feel everything we possibly can as this beautiful and gorgeous man really did steal our hearts. We can’t describe how much we love our Kes. To the moon and stars – beyond the Fairground – as far as the eye can see from the very top of the Ferris wheel.
**Reviewed honestly from an ARC copy provided by the author with much thanks**