Why should you read this book?
The Travelers by Regina Porter centers around the lives of two families that includes a New York attorney, an African American woman, a married sailor on an air craft carrier in Vietnam, an interracial and academic scholar couple, a lesbian starting life over again in 1970s’ Berlin, a black moving man stranded during a Thanksgiving storm in Portsmouth and two half-brothers who meet for the first time in their adulthood. From the 1950s to the Obama’s presidency, The Travelers establishes a portrait of all these characters.
So, yes, this is one of those novels with several characters. From what I understand, Regina Porter also is a playwright and I think that had an influence over her writing choices and style. As soon as you open the book, you find a two-page list of characters like you do when you start reading a play. I think whether or not you will enjoy The Travelers will depend on whether you actually enjoy reading books with several characters.
What I have been learning as a reader is that I honestly don’t. I am definitely a character-driven plot lover because I love delving into the mind of a person, understanding the essence, the motivations, the self. What usually happens when I find this amount of characters is that I can’t connect to any of them. 300 pages weren’t enough to explore them in a way I needed to truly embrace the book. But, you see, this is personal. This is me as a reader. Because I think this book is a very interesting and untraditional take on fiction. That’s why I easily finished it. I liked how Regina Porter played around with the craft of fiction and the writing itself. So, if you don’t mind novels with many characters, you should definitely read this one! Regina Porter has a lot to offer as a writer and I’m curious to see what’s coming!
A gripping new novel with a distinctly American edge, THE TRAVELERS highlights the lives of two families—meet James Samuel Vincent—an affluent New York attorney who shirks his modest Irish American upbringing but hews to his father’s wily nilly ways; and Agnes Miller Christie—a beautiful African American woman who encounters tragedy on a Georgia road that propels her to a new life in the Bronx; Eddie Christie, a recently married sailor on an air craft carrier in Vietnam and the Tom Stoppard play that becomes his life anchor; an interracial couple, both academic scholars, who travel to far of Brittany to save their aching marriage; Eloise Delaney, the unapologetic lesbian starting life over again in 1970s’ Berlin; a black moving man stranded during a Thanksgiving storm in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and two half-brothers who meet for the first time as adult men in a crayon factory.
Spanning the 1950s to Obama’s first year as President, THE TRAVELERS is both an intimate family portrait and a sweeping exploration of what it means to be American today. With its piercing humor, dialogue and sense of place, THE TRAVELERS introduces readers to a cast of characters destined to make a lasting impression.
Publisher: Hogarth (Penguin Random House)
Published on: June 2019