Traveler by Ron McLarty

January 7, 2007
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Traveler
Ron McLarty

Viking
01/07/07
Hardcover/280 pages
ISBN: 978-0-670-03474-1
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"The past is a traveler that shows up when least expected, leaving death and complacency in its wake."

The past is a traveler that shows up when least expected, leaving death and complacency in its wake.

Jono Riley picks up the phone and Cubby, one of his oldest friends, gives him the news: Marie is dead. The .22 bullet in her back is a traveler that took her while she slept.

Jono Riley,a semi-successful off-off Broadway actor and successful bartender, decides to go back to his hometown to find out why the girl he loved so many years ago died. Leaving his firefighter lover behind, Jono goes home to pick up the threads of his past and to find Marie’s murderer. He hopes to discover a clearer understanding of his own fears and what he really wants out of life in the process. Instead, he finds more than he bargained for. As he walks the streets of his childhood he is forced to come to terms with his present and his long postponed future in the lingering shadows of his past.

A bullet or piece of shrapnel that couldn’t be removed can suddenly travel and change everything. Ray McLarty’s Traveler is as much as about change as it is about understanding the forces that mold and make people who they are. By interspersing trips back into old memories with current happenings, McLarty creates a realistic interior dialogue that draws the reader deeper into Jono Riley’s mind. He weaves a spell that lays bare the tricks memory plays like bread crumbs along a shadowed path that were missed the first time around.

Taking Jono Riley back to the days of his youth when first and lasting love is heralded by the scent of roses, McLarty creates his characters layer by layer, exposing soul and heart, the true meaning of friendship and the cost of love. The narrative is clean and uncluttered with just enough description to provide a tangible sense of place without interfering with the action or the development of the characters. The language is evocative and the characters eminently believable. Traveler is a multi-faceted tale of uncompromising honesty that leaves an indelible mark on the heart and the mind.
Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell

 

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