Book Review – The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey-Berrick

by Maryse on February 7, 2015 · 5 comments

in My Book Reviews

The Traveling Man (Traveling Series #1)
Beautifully written, super-sweet, wonderfully detailed and HIGHLY recommended by so many of my well-read fellow readers!

Andrea: The Traveling Man by Jane Harvey Berrick is the best book ever! But the cliffy just about killed me. Ughh!!!

Sherry: Just finished The Traveling Man!! So I’m love with this book. I’m still smiling

Kelsey: Jane Harvey Berrick’s The Traveling Man is a must read!

Jules: Really enjoyed this one. Can’t wait to read the conclusion to their story in The Traveling Woman!

Rebecka: Maryse The Traveling Man was Fantastic. I young love to adult love over several summers GAH! Cliffy at the end of #1 Book #2 to be released Spring 2012. So if you don’t like hanging on the cliff wait until #2

Sheena: I absolutely devoured the book and loved it so much

Well. Sounded like just what I needed! Cliffhanger be damned… I’m fine with it as long as the story getting there gives me that jolt, and keeps me hooked enough to want to jump into the next one. And while it didn’t necessarily turn my world upside down (I was able to out it down), magic… it was!

“You’ve been sprinkled with fairy dust, missy. The carnival is in your blood now.”

Yes!!! I read it with a smile on my face, and enjoyed the romance-angst that has no choice but to force a sweet connection like this, to struggle.

Struggle? Yep! ‘Cause these two had plenty going against them. Namely, they were from different worlds…

There was a gulf between Kes’s world and mine— and for some reason the thought made me sad.

HE only came around each year for roughly 2 weeks, and of course… we’ve got a few jealous players in this story that can’t help but put an extra monkey-wrench in their already deep yet precarious friendship. I got to know these two from a young age, during their exploits as children, through their teen years all the way to adulthood.

And their story felt authentic. Because while their young friendship and innocence was pure and perfect, that of their surroundings and the judgmental adults that dictated their lives was disheartening. And real. And even though at times… logical, the results were crushing.

So what’s it about?

Aimee’s from a strict family with a father that is… well for the most part, emotionally absent and uninterested in the women in his life other than controlling them.

Too much pleasure was rigorously policed in our house and doled out like cough medicine; pancakes were the Shangri La of breakfasts, only permitted on birthdays and holidays. Mom loved pancakes as much as I did . At times like this , it was me and Mom against the world.

Not many smiles in this family, until her father reluctantly accepts taking her to the local fair for her birthday and she ends up meeting “Kes”.

“I want to show you something,” he said. “Or are you too chicken?”

I was definitely chicken, and I already knew that he was going to get me into trouble…

Kes lives a nomadic type of life, traveling from state to state with a small-time “carnival” and each night, he and his team put on quite the show! He’s 100% talented, confident, but struggling with his schooling.

And despite the fact that Aimee’s family object to the idea of her becoming friends with the sweet (yet rough) Kes, and despite the fact that his own family and entourage discourage that he become friends with the townie, they become BEST friends. And they both teach each other.

“I tried to learn once, but I couldn’t. I guess I’m too dumb.”

“I don’t think you’re dumb,” I said with certainty. “You can do loads of stuff that I can’t. You’re amazing.”

Kes gave me his shy smile again and my heart was captured from that moment. I didn’t know it then; I didn’t understand what it meant, but whenever I looked at him, my skin felt warm, like my own personal sun was shining just for me.

And as they grow together seeing each other just a few weeks each year, their bond deepens. To the point that they eventually fall in love. *sigh* So sweet… and so angsty. FUN!! For me, because I got to feel it all (the heartache and devastation and absolute confusion). Yep. But definitely not fun for them.

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.

And then… well. I’ll let you experience the rest. Lots of emotional *oomph!!* throughout their lives, but that ending?! *gasp*!!

Is there a cliffhanger? Well.. yes. But I’m good with where it left off. There’s still so much more to tell, lots of stuff to discover, and even though they’re adults, plenty of growing up to do. And I simply can’t wait to see where the author takes them (and us) next.

You have a gift, Kes, an amazing wonderful gift. It’s special, just like you.” I whispered those last words.

4 stars!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry D :) February 7, 2015 at 10:24 PM

Such a great story! So glad you read it :)

Maryse February 7, 2015 at 10:42 PM

So glad you told me to. :P

Jane Harvey-Berrick February 8, 2015 at 2:55 AM

Thank you, Maryse! I’m so happy that their child and young love touched you from across their two worlds. You’ve made me smile. THANK YOU! <3 jx

MJ Fryer February 8, 2015 at 6:29 AM

Great review for a wonderful story!

Rebecka February 9, 2015 at 1:35 PM

So glad you enjoyed it Maryse! Fantanstic. I’m still giddy over this one weeks later!

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