The Travelers
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.

The Travelers Details

TitleThe Travelers
Author
ReleaseJun 18th, 2019
PublisherHogarth
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction

The Travelers Review

  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    I expect that this book will receive a polarized response - you’re going to love it or hate it. When I saw a 2 page cast of characters at the beginning of the book, I was a little concerned (it turned out that that wasn’t even all of the characters). The author is also a playwright, so I guess this approach is familiar to her. After the cast list, the book just plunges into the story without actually introducing anyone and it skips around in time constantly. I almost stopped reading pretty early I expect that this book will receive a polarized response - you’re going to love it or hate it. When I saw a 2 page cast of characters at the beginning of the book, I was a little concerned (it turned out that that wasn’t even all of the characters). The author is also a playwright, so I guess this approach is familiar to her. After the cast list, the book just plunges into the story without actually introducing anyone and it skips around in time constantly. I almost stopped reading pretty early on, because it was all very confusing. However, I decided that it was hypocritical of me to reject a book because it was different when I am constantly complaining about the fact that everyone seems to be cranking out the same tired domestic thriller with no originality. I don’t believe that anyone could complain that this book lacks originality and I was really glad that I didn’t abandon the book because I wound up loving it. This is the story of 2 extended families that intersect repeatedly over a period stretching from the 1950s to the first Obama administration. The story takes place in Georgia, New York, Vietnam and Germany, among other places. I won’t tell you that it isn’t work keeping the names and relationships straight, but once I got into the flow of the book I was captivated by the lives of these people who are white, black, gay, straight, married, single, young and old. There’s no melodrama to it, these are just decent people who bump into each other at various times as they travel through life. There are also charming black and white period photographs scattered throughout the book. The book also introduced me to Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to get a pilots license. What’s not to like about that?I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars Thanks to Penguin First to Read and Hogarth for the chance ot read and review this ARC. Publication is June 18, 2019.Once I read the synopsis of this book I really wanted to read it. Something about it pulled me right in. Once I started reading it however it was not what I expected. This is a debut novel by Regina Porter. A novel well written, with a huge cast of characters. So huge that it has a two page Cast of Characters list right at the beginning of the story. Most of the people are 3 stars Thanks to Penguin First to Read and Hogarth for the chance ot read and review this ARC. Publication is June 18, 2019.Once I read the synopsis of this book I really wanted to read it. Something about it pulled me right in. Once I started reading it however it was not what I expected. This is a debut novel by Regina Porter. A novel well written, with a huge cast of characters. So huge that it has a two page Cast of Characters list right at the beginning of the story. Most of the people are related, as the story basically follows two families. Keeping track of who was who did become a problem as the book advanced. The story was primarily written in a vignette type style. Often going from one generation to the next, showing the ties between the two families. I did find it hard in places to find the tie between the chapters, often feeling like each chapter was it's own small independent essay. I struggled at times to read through the book. I would not hesitate to pick up a second book written by Porter, but would indeed hope that the next book had many less characters and an easier flow to the story.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, let me say that I loved this book. It was intense and real and my heart was broken after just the first 25 pages. This is not an easy book to review, because I don't know if my words can do it justice, but I will try. The writing was beautiful and so frank that it took me a couple of chapters to get used to it, but then I couldn't put it down.The Travelers is a book about the story of so many lives. It's almost written like short stories, where every character gets a chapter to sho First of all, let me say that I loved this book. It was intense and real and my heart was broken after just the first 25 pages. This is not an easy book to review, because I don't know if my words can do it justice, but I will try. The writing was beautiful and so frank that it took me a couple of chapters to get used to it, but then I couldn't put it down.The Travelers is a book about the story of so many lives. It's almost written like short stories, where every character gets a chapter to show their lives. There are not frills or flowery language. The writing is raw and candid - things that had my heart ache, were described without many details. We just get a small glimpse into each person's emotions and for some reason that felt even more powerful to me than long explanations. Each person has gone through both happy and dark times, and the writing flow tells you that they kept living - do not dwell on one event or action. Though it may have shaped their lives or decisions, they kept moving on and so you go on with the story.Each person is connected to another, some by significant relationships and some by thin strings, almost like ripples in a pond. They are so real and everyone is flawed, so it was hard for me to choose a favorite. This book is not a straight forward story, it tells about one person's life and then takes a seed from that and grows it into another story and another person's life.There are so many things that addressed in this book, family, race, class, sexuality. I absolutely loved the diversity and I could really feel what each person had gone through because of prejudice. Especially during the earlier timelines, but even in 2010, race is a huge factor and dominator of the character's lives. The fact that interracial marriage of Ruffus and Claudia can bring together so many different people, I just couldn't help but hope that it would have a ripple effect for good on the characters, but its sad to see how ingrained it is in some people. The way that Claudia's mother Agnes reacted when meeting Ruffus for the first time was absolutely heart breaking.This story shows such a range of family relationships. There are characters who feel like family, but aren't actually related. There are people who go through horrible things together and are brought closer than family. There are secret relationships that survive or don't, but are never considered technically family. (There are a lot of references to infidelity and how it seemed almost a give in most families). There are family members who don't feel like family.Finally, I really loved the pictures included throughout the book. When I get my hands on the finished copy, I would love to see if there is more information about them because I believe they are real photographs.Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book. I was happy to give my honest review.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    The idea seemed fine the execution didn't quite make it.Traveling through time with two families and plenty of fluff.This one was so all over the place that 40 pages in I was ready to call it quits.So many characters thrown at you at once straight out in the intro that a required lists was needed before starting the first chapter.Everything led to nowhere with nothing that really left me wanting to read any further.Thank you to Regina, the publisher, Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for this h The idea seemed fine the execution didn't quite make it.Traveling through time with two families and plenty of fluff.This one was so all over the place that 40 pages in I was ready to call it quits.So many characters thrown at you at once straight out in the intro that a required lists was needed before starting the first chapter.Everything led to nowhere with nothing that really left me wanting to read any further.Thank you to Regina, the publisher, Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.Too much for me! Perhaps others will enjoy!
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Penguin Random House First to Read for a digital ARC. Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, describes this book perfectly: “In The Travelers, generations of two families—one black and one white—journey across time, race, geography, and the wounds of history.” This was a unique but engrossing read. A large cast of characters, so much so, there is a list at the book’s beginning. Chapters go back and forth in time and almost read as short stories. The effects of war and rac Thank you Penguin Random House First to Read for a digital ARC. Ayana Mathis, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, describes this book perfectly: “In The Travelers, generations of two families—one black and one white—journey across time, race, geography, and the wounds of history.” This was a unique but engrossing read. A large cast of characters, so much so, there is a list at the book’s beginning. Chapters go back and forth in time and almost read as short stories. The effects of war and racial intolerance and violence are dominant themes. This book will appeal to fans of An American Marriage and The Care and Feeding Of Ravenously Hungry Girls.
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  • Fiona Lansdown
    January 1, 1970
    This book had so much potential but it never quite came together. Following two families through time is a common concept, but here there were so many time zones and strands of the families and connections that it has hard to keep track of what was going on. A lovely writing style but it felt more like a series of linked short stories than a novel. Fab cover though!
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  • Jean Benedict
    January 1, 1970
    This was a hard book to get into and keep my interest. There were so many characters to keep track of . The story kept going back and forth between the families and no sooner I got famalarized with what was going on the story was back to another family.I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart, But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind." - Anthony Bourdain The Travelers by Regina Porter is a series of intersecting vignettes where she gives voice to a host of "travelers", what they take with them 3.5 stars “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart, But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind." - Anthony Bourdain The Travelers by Regina Porter is a series of intersecting vignettes where she gives voice to a host of "travelers", what they take with them and what they leave behind. Her characters travel to go to war, to escape their marriage, to seek out second chances with old lovers, to reunite with family they never knew they had. Although many reviewers have described this book as a saga of two different families - one white and one black, in my eyes it is actually one extended family. In exposing the roots of this family and how they came to be, Porter is trying to show us that there really is no difference between white and black, young and old, straight and queer. This is a history of America. With snapshots in time, the plot goes back and forth between critical moments in our collective consciousness - the Vietnam War, the Great Migration, the AIDS crisis. This non-linear plot along with the novel's large cast of characters made it hard for me to immerse myself in the book at times. To her credit, Porter provides the reader with an outline of characters and their relationships to one another. She also includes a picture and a timeline at the beginning of every chapter to orient the reader and set the tone for that section. The format of The Travelers is a varied style of prose that is sprinkled with letters and dialogue from plays. It is very hard to pull off a novel this inventive. Although some readers will get caught up in the details and miss out on the message I still think that Porter manages to do this. For a debut novel, Regina Porter's The Travelers is a very strong lead into what I think will be a promising career.Special thanks to Penguin Random House and Regina Porter for advanced access to this book.
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  • Joan Happel
    January 1, 1970
    The Travelers is a sweeping, sprawling and engrossing debut novel about two American families, one black and one white and the events that connect them. The story follows it large cast of characters from the 1950’s through 2010, but in a non-linear narrative. The central event of the novel happens in 1966 to one of the novel’s main characters Agnes Christie, a young black woman from Georgia. One night, while out with her boyfriend, they are stopped by two policemen who pull Agnes from the car an The Travelers is a sweeping, sprawling and engrossing debut novel about two American families, one black and one white and the events that connect them. The story follows it large cast of characters from the 1950’s through 2010, but in a non-linear narrative. The central event of the novel happens in 1966 to one of the novel’s main characters Agnes Christie, a young black woman from Georgia. One night, while out with her boyfriend, they are stopped by two policemen who pull Agnes from the car and rape her. From this incident all of the other characters and events seem to radiate and connect. The chapters are narrated by the various characters and each chapter feels like its own short story. We are transported from Georgia, to New York; from Vietnam to Germany and places beyond. While the large cast of characters and the varied time line may be hard to follow at times, the beautiful crafted story and lyrical prose make the investment of concentration well worth it. Keeping everyone and their relationships to each other straight is a bit like going to your new boyfriend’s family reunion, but some of the characters will stay with you for days after and you will be happy you made the effort. I would highly recommend this debut novel to fans of historical fiction, family sagas, literary fiction and book clubs.Thank you to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for the e-ARC.
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  • Seema Rao
    January 1, 1970
    Literary~ Thoughtful ~ Bittersweet/ Nostalgictl:dr: You have no idea about your parents or your kids, really. This story shares the lives of multiple generations of people with their varied flaws. The writing is somewhat mannered, with an idiosyncratic cadence and very little, if no, sentimentality. But, the first chapter alone reads like a satisfying short story. In some ways, the book isn't exactly new. People who are married mess up; their children live through it. But, the way the story is t Literary~ Thoughtful ~ Bittersweet/ Nostalgictl:dr: You have no idea about your parents or your kids, really. This story shares the lives of multiple generations of people with their varied flaws. The writing is somewhat mannered, with an idiosyncratic cadence and very little, if no, sentimentality. But, the first chapter alone reads like a satisfying short story. In some ways, the book isn't exactly new. People who are married mess up; their children live through it. But, the way the story is told feels satisfying. There is something of a truly American tale in how Porter shares this story of love and marriage, or maybe a story of people interconnecting with each other. I really enjoyed these read. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Seema Rao Write : Instagram| Blog| Twitter|
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  • Glenda Nelms
    January 1, 1970
    The Travelers is a multigenerational novel that travels across decades in America. The readers should focus on the diverse cast of characters. The novel is about two families and their perspectives during the 1950's to the Obama Era. Regina Porter uses the themes of place, culture, and time. The novel highlighted some historical events such as The Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement, racism and The AIDS crisis. There are moments will deeply move you, break your heart and teach life lessons. Porte The Travelers is a multigenerational novel that travels across decades in America. The readers should focus on the diverse cast of characters. The novel is about two families and their perspectives during the 1950's to the Obama Era. Regina Porter uses the themes of place, culture, and time. The novel highlighted some historical events such as The Vietnam War, Civil Rights movement, racism and The AIDS crisis. There are moments will deeply move you, break your heart and teach life lessons. Porter's ability to put many historical events and theme makes this book important, innovative and relevant to current events. It's serves as a reminder for all of us to love one another.
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  • Creager
    January 1, 1970
    In The Travelers, Regina Porter has encapsulated the full spectrum of the human experience. Ultimately the union of two families, that of James Vincent and Agnes Christie, their lives emerge full-bodied as they are interwoven with supple vignettes of their cousins, half-brothers, and estranged-wives as love and race; war and time shape us all. The Travelers is an ode to life and history. And Regina Porter is, quite simply, a writer’s writer.*the ending though...
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  • Daniel Cuthbert
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an ARC of this title from a giveaway, and leave my honest opinions below.)Regina Porter’s The Travelers is a powerful and thoughtful literary genealogy of two families, the Vincent’s and the Christie’s, who have loved, lost, and everything in between.What immediately stands out upon first diving in is the way it travels back and forth in time, reminding me at times of the way the movie Pulp Fiction sloshes back and forth between different periods, such that characters who die in the (I received an ARC of this title from a giveaway, and leave my honest opinions below.)Regina Porter’s The Travelers is a powerful and thoughtful literary genealogy of two families, the Vincent’s and the Christie’s, who have loved, lost, and everything in between.What immediately stands out upon first diving in is the way it travels back and forth in time, reminding me at times of the way the movie Pulp Fiction sloshes back and forth between different periods, such that characters who die in the previous chapter or chapters are reborn in subsequent ones. This is certainly something that could make it difficult to follow the storyline, but the order in which each of these characters’ backstories was explored made comprehension much easier. Porter is also extremely adept at grounding her drama so that events do not have to spiral out of control into fantasy. What happens to this family is not only realistic, but often powerfully so. By the end, you really got to know them and the power dynamics that have come to define their relationships. The writing is the crown jewel of what you will find here. Porter has a way of writing with a brevity that commands much while needing little. The fact that 36 different characters populate a book that comes in just a bit over 300 pages speaks to her ability at economizing while still providing the emotional heft that keeps you interested and engaged. You will not read these pages quickly. Not because what you will find inside is uninteresting, but rather that you will not want to let these characters go.
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  • Nicole Wagner
    January 1, 1970
    This was an engaging, beautifully written novel. The good: this novel swept across the Atlantic, across decades in America, across race and class and age and orientation. It's bittersweet because it has so much truth in it -- that we mostly can't control what happens to us in this life, only how we react to it. This will always be true. It's flat-out interesting, e.g. the author immerses us in so many different situations, cultures, settings, that are impossible not to picture in the mind's eye. This was an engaging, beautifully written novel. The good: this novel swept across the Atlantic, across decades in America, across race and class and age and orientation. It's bittersweet because it has so much truth in it -- that we mostly can't control what happens to us in this life, only how we react to it. This will always be true. It's flat-out interesting, e.g. the author immerses us in so many different situations, cultures, settings, that are impossible not to picture in the mind's eye. This is ultimately the story of family across time. Families hold secrets, loyalties, and cruelties that cannot be observed from without.The bad: Reading comprehension is made a bit more difficult because of the number of characters involved, and the fact that the timeline jumps around chapter to chapter. There's even a character list at the beginning of the text, but I didn't find it helpful. Each chapter reads like a short story, and though they're interwoven, I had a hard time keeping track of each character's relationships to whom, and when. The ugly: I was graciously provided an advance reader copy at no cost, and because it was an uncorrected proof, the beautiful photography was small and grayscale and hard to see. I think it reduced the impact of the book as I read.
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  • Diane
    January 1, 1970
    This a was a great novel, once you get passed the first few pages. Multilayered, great story telling weaving back and forth in time.
  • Jade
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a special, special book. It’s one of those books that I want to carry next to my heart and cuddle, a constant reminder to just be. Be alive, be present, be Love. The Travelers by Regina Porter is a beautiful piece of literature, a work of art, a brilliant web of recent history. Written as a series of vignettes, each capturing a moment in time, a person, and a piece of history, the book weaves the lives of two extended families together.There is no timeline in the book, the chapters This is such a special, special book. It’s one of those books that I want to carry next to my heart and cuddle, a constant reminder to just be. Be alive, be present, be Love. The Travelers by Regina Porter is a beautiful piece of literature, a work of art, a brilliant web of recent history. Written as a series of vignettes, each capturing a moment in time, a person, and a piece of history, the book weaves the lives of two extended families together.There is no timeline in the book, the chapters hop back and forth over a period of 60 or so years (1950’s to 2010), and while Buckner County, Georgia is a somewhat central location, The Travelers takes us to LA, NYC, Vietnam, Berlin, among other places. Each chapter contains a new person a new location, a new story, and little by little we begin to see the bigger picture created by the lives of the characters, and how they are all tied together. This book requires a certain amount of work from the reader, and cannot just be read with one eye open. There are many characters and storylines, and sometimes you have to stop for a minute and think about where this one or that one belongs. I loved this though, I felt like I was actually there, in each character’s life, learning more as I read, understanding more about the one who came before and the one who would come after. Readers shouldn’t be put off by the amount of characters, and by the fact that the story steps through time, because both elements make the book into something very special.I also love how Regina Porter managed to get so many important themes and historical events in her novel without overwhelming the reader. There is the Jim Crow south, the Vietnam War, segregation and racism all over the US, Berlin in the Bowie years and after the wall comes down, the Bronx over the years, all types of relationships… I don’t want to add spoilers, so I won’t say anymore, but there are moments that will break your heart, and others that will teach you, events that will make you laugh, and others that will make you love harder.Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy of this book – it’s not going to leave my mind for a while.
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  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    I did not care for this book. The way it is laid out, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who, understanding what time period events were taking place a lot, and even knowing who's race/color was what. There's even a list of the characters at the beginning of the book it help the reader keep track of who is who, so that says something.I'm not so sure where the story laid in this. The book jumped from different characters and events in their lives, and in some way they were interconnected I did not care for this book. The way it is laid out, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who, understanding what time period events were taking place a lot, and even knowing who's race/color was what. There's even a list of the characters at the beginning of the book it help the reader keep track of who is who, so that says something.I'm not so sure where the story laid in this. The book jumped from different characters and events in their lives, and in some way they were interconnected or related. It would've been better if the book focused on one person who connected everyone rather than jump all over the place and through time. I might have been able to remember who was who.One other thing I personally didn't care for in the book was the sexual relations and relationships that characters had in the book. But this is just personal preference.One thing that was neat though was that the author did a good job of including relevant aspects of the different time periods and places.This book just wasn't my cup of tea, but it was well written for what it is.I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and this in no way influenced my opinion which is my own.
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  • Jessika
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received through Shelf Awareness galley giveaways.This was a very meandering, quiet look at two families that were intertwined in interesting ways (an actual family tree and/or timeline would have been more helpful than the cast of characters at the beginning) but that never comes to any sort of climax or conclusion or big revelation. Honestly, I think probably a third of the perspectives could be cut without losing anything. I'm usually pretty good about keeping relationships in order while ARC received through Shelf Awareness galley giveaways.This was a very meandering, quiet look at two families that were intertwined in interesting ways (an actual family tree and/or timeline would have been more helpful than the cast of characters at the beginning) but that never comes to any sort of climax or conclusion or big revelation. Honestly, I think probably a third of the perspectives could be cut without losing anything. I'm usually pretty good about keeping relationships in order while reading, but I gave up on this one.
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  • Jenn Fields
    January 1, 1970
    Regina Porter’s debut novel casts a big, wide, engrossing net of an intergenerational family saga. It starts in the 1950s and ends in the Obama era. It follows not one but two parallel clans and sidetracks into unexpected, sometimes obscure branches of their family trees. It travels from the South to Michigan to New York to Normandy to Berlin. It tackles Jim Crow and gentrification and class divides and war and trauma. And it all requires a road map beyond the two-page cast of characters at the Regina Porter’s debut novel casts a big, wide, engrossing net of an intergenerational family saga. It starts in the 1950s and ends in the Obama era. It follows not one but two parallel clans and sidetracks into unexpected, sometimes obscure branches of their family trees. It travels from the South to Michigan to New York to Normandy to Berlin. It tackles Jim Crow and gentrification and class divides and war and trauma. And it all requires a road map beyond the two-page cast of characters at the novel’s open.*Full review: http://www.runspotrun.com/book-review...The Travelers opens with sparse, direct writing in the backstory of James Samuel Vincent, who rises out of a challenging childhood to become a well-to-do lawyer, then moves on to the warm embrace of an introduction to the promising student Agnes Miller, and her relationship with Eloise Delaney (which I won’t get into here. No spoilers). This is our first and perhaps strongest example of how Porter flexes a shape-shifting voice to tell different characters’ stories.Agnes’ story, from her upbringing in a middle-class household in Detroit to a fateful night in the South to raising her family in New York—is one of the pillars holding this novel together. The Man James’ story (as he’s called occasionally) feels more disparate. Perhaps it’s because he has a few marriages thrown in, or because he has a strained relationship with his son…well, one son. One plot point that feels like it could be a diversion to a side character turns out to be much more.These two families are intertwined, but you’ll have to wait, dear reader, to understand the intricacies of the link, and yes, there are late-coming surprises. Oh, are there. And you’ll have to hold on for some time-traveling as well: The Travelers skips from person to person and era to era with the start of each new chapter. There’s no chronological storytelling here, nor is there any logic, beyond the whims of Porter’s narrative, to how each chapter contributes to the whole.Some of these chapters—excellent as short stories unto themselves—set up major plot points, while others detour into a thoughtfully drawn character who, in the big picture, is an accessory to an accessory character. The complexity of the connections is true to how things are in real life, to be sure, but it’s a lot to put on the reader. It’s like going to a wedding and finding that you love all of the fascinating new people you’re meeting but have to keep asking your spouse how everyone’s related.I don’t want to pick too many nits over the sheer sprawl in a novel I’d put in the category of “stunning debut.” The writing is rich, the characters are unforgettable, and the themes—especially the myriad ways Porter tackles racism, subtle and outright, and post-traumatic stress disorder—are capital-I Important right now. But I found myself distracted with searching my memory for how the next new character’s story fit into the tapestry. And that was an unwelcome distraction with a voice with so much creative finesse, and such fine storytelling, when it was compartmentalized.The Travelers is a tale readers will rightly call ambitious and larger than life, and personally, I’ll be looking for Porter’s next book. And I’ll hope the next one has similarly compelling characters who have powerful stories to tell—but is a more taut read with bolder editing.
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  • SerenityRoad
    January 1, 1970
    I must admit when I turned to the Cast of Characters page I thought I am not going to like this. I did not want to read a play or a story in a play format. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good play;however, my reading mood was not there. Then there’s this storyline that hops all over the place...aargh!!! At this time, I don’t want to work to read anything; I’m reading to escape, relax, and reset my gray matter for the next day. From the first page, I thought what in the world is going on with these I must admit when I turned to the Cast of Characters page I thought I am not going to like this. I did not want to read a play or a story in a play format. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good play;however, my reading mood was not there. Then there’s this storyline that hops all over the place...aargh!!! At this time, I don’t want to work to read anything; I’m reading to escape, relax, and reset my gray matter for the next day. From the first page, I thought what in the world is going on with these characters. I have to read more because the family in chapter one is a real mess! What made them this way? What’s going to happen to this boy? What kind of person could he possibly turn out to be with parents that tell him crazy stuff like this?Each chapter/short story stokes the fire and leaves you wanting more. In a roundabout way, the author reveals how many of the characters are connected. The way she jumps back and forth on the timeline is apart of what makes this book work. She crafts this story in a way that you are always wanting more; you need answers. You have to really pay attention and have read that Cast of Characters list (don’t skip it). I did not want it to end...yes I had that impulse to swipe at the end hoping there were more pages along with that sad feeling you get when something great ends like a cruise, a three day weekend, or the last book or episode in your favorite series. Which is part of how I know that I truly enjoyed what I was reading. I received access to the galley for free through the First to Read program, in compliance with FTC guidelines.
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  • Anneke
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: The TravelersAuthor: Regina PorterPublisher: Crown Publishing/HogarthPublication Date: June 18, 2019Review Date: June 25, 2019I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb:“American history comes to vivid, engaging life in this tale of two interconnected families (one white, one black) that spans from the 1950s to Barack Obama’s first year as president. . . . The complex, beautifully drawn characters are unique and indelible.”Thi Book Review: The TravelersAuthor: Regina PorterPublisher: Crown Publishing/HogarthPublication Date: June 18, 2019Review Date: June 25, 2019I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the blurb:“American history comes to vivid, engaging life in this tale of two interconnected families (one white, one black) that spans from the 1950s to Barack Obama’s first year as president. . . . The complex, beautifully drawn characters are unique and indelible.”This is a debut novel. Everywhere I looked, readers are loving this book. I don’t. I was not able to keep track of the huge cast of characters, their families and their connecting relationships. There is a list of the cast of characters at the beginning of the book, much like a long Russian novel. However, it did not help me keep track of the characters. The writing was interesting. But I had trouble discerning a clear cut plot. It was like many mini-stories hitched together, but not hitched enough to make a real complete story. Plenty of interesting people, but I could not actually tell what the story was about. It’s just me, but I think the book could have used more editing. So, I can not recommend the book. I give it 2-3 stars at best. I wanted to like it, but couldn’t find a reason to. Despite my negative review, I am grateful that Crown/Hogarth approved my request. Thank you. This review will be published on NetGalley, Goodreads and Amazon #netgalley #thetravelers #reginaporter #crownpublishing
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  • Wendy Cosin
    January 1, 1970
    My experience reading The Travelers has been unlike any book I've read before. My first time through I was frustrated and didn't like it very much. I kept referring to the list of characters at the beginning, trying to remember who they were and how they were related. The novel jumps around a lot. Although individual chapters generally focus on one person, the time line shifts without warning. Sometimes you don't even know who is narrating a chapter until you read far enough to figure out the re My experience reading The Travelers has been unlike any book I've read before. My first time through I was frustrated and didn't like it very much. I kept referring to the list of characters at the beginning, trying to remember who they were and how they were related. The novel jumps around a lot. Although individual chapters generally focus on one person, the time line shifts without warning. Sometimes you don't even know who is narrating a chapter until you read far enough to figure out the relationships. Most of the writing is in the third person and, with all the shifting going on, I didn't get involved with the characters. I was reading for a story that didn't materialize. But I knew I was missing something, so I immediately started over. I have never done that before; in fact, I rarely re-read a book. This time I am loving it. It helps to think of The Travelers as great stories and character sketches about two extended American families beginning in the 1950's through the Viet Nam war to Obama. White and black; in the North, but more in the South and also other places in the world; mostly heterosexual, but with a few lesbian characters. Regina Porter writes a finely detailed narrative with believable dialogue and a very good sense of place, culture, and time. The relationships are complex and interesting. The characters reflect the racial temperature of the times. I am fully involved.I received an Advance Reader's Edition of The Travelers, which will be published in June 2019. I highly recommend it.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    The Travelers, by Regina Porter, is a standalone novel. The book opens with a list of characters, explaining briefly how they relate to each other. This list is two pages long, which just goes to show you how very interconnected they all are--even though, it turns out, most of them don't know it.The book covers more than sixty years' worth of time. You could almost call it a book of interrelated short stories. The thing about it is that each chapter, on the surface, has very little relation to t The Travelers, by Regina Porter, is a standalone novel. The book opens with a list of characters, explaining briefly how they relate to each other. This list is two pages long, which just goes to show you how very interconnected they all are--even though, it turns out, most of them don't know it.The book covers more than sixty years' worth of time. You could almost call it a book of interrelated short stories. The thing about it is that each chapter, on the surface, has very little relation to the others--because the characters are just people living their lives. They aren't overtly concerned with how they change over time, or how their families affect them, or how they affect others. They just get on with living, as best they can. So it's up to the reader to draw their own conclusions about all these things, which largely occur in between the parts that actually get written about.Honestly, I really enjoyed the format. The characters were all very believable, and you could tell there was a lot going on under the surface (which was the point). I can see how others might prefer a more linear story or one with more of a central plot, but, to those who like experimentation with form or extreme subtlety, this is done very well.I received a free print Advance Reader's Edition in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    My first impression was that this was going to be a challenging read and to a certain extent, it was but do stick with it. It read like a series of short stories, the same event frequently being observed by more than one character. Each individual is connected either tenuously or by a significant relationship. The narrative runs from the 1950 to the 2000s and addresses themes of family, race, class and sexuality. The writing is quite idiosyncratic but also beguiling. This is a rather unique nove My first impression was that this was going to be a challenging read and to a certain extent, it was but do stick with it. It read like a series of short stories, the same event frequently being observed by more than one character. Each individual is connected either tenuously or by a significant relationship. The narrative runs from the 1950 to the 2000s and addresses themes of family, race, class and sexuality. The writing is quite idiosyncratic but also beguiling. This is a rather unique novel the merits of which will no doubt be hotly debated. It is clever without being ‘smart’ and perplexing in its own way. I think I would have to read it again to truly get inside all the nuances and the messages it contains. If that makes a great book, then this is one. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    This is an odd little book which strangely I enjoyed very much. I say strangely because the format is put together almost like short stories and I didn't think I liked short stories. I will also say I was immediately put off when I first opened the book to the enormous list of characters that is the first thing you see. I thought, oh no, I will never get through this. But, I just jumped into the reading and acted like I never saw that list. Each 'chapter' in the book is a short story of several This is an odd little book which strangely I enjoyed very much. I say strangely because the format is put together almost like short stories and I didn't think I liked short stories. I will also say I was immediately put off when I first opened the book to the enormous list of characters that is the first thing you see. I thought, oh no, I will never get through this. But, I just jumped into the reading and acted like I never saw that list. Each 'chapter' in the book is a short story of several characters lives between a certain time period. Each subsequent chapter draws into a deeper or parallel life of those characters through some type of familial relationship. It's like building a big family tree that I found really interesting. Many thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read an advanced copy.
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  • chels marieantoinette
    January 1, 1970
    It was really hard for me to get into this book. I picked it up, started it, and put it back down at least 3 times.50 pages in, I felt confused and overwhelmed.I liked the “short-story” writing style. Apparently the author is a playwright, so it felt like a flow of different acts. Unfortunately, the flow wasn’t always obvious and there were way too many cast members.I loved the whole idea of the book -especially when I read that parts were set in Michigan- but I really felt some more editing and It was really hard for me to get into this book. I picked it up, started it, and put it back down at least 3 times.50 pages in, I felt confused and overwhelmed.I liked the “short-story” writing style. Apparently the author is a playwright, so it felt like a flow of different acts. Unfortunately, the flow wasn’t always obvious and there were way too many cast members.I loved the whole idea of the book -especially when I read that parts were set in Michigan- but I really felt some more editing and maybe some more detailed introductions would have helped.If you’re one of those readers who’s into making lists and notes so you can keep up with a book, pick this one up. The stor(ies) were beautiful, just too much for me.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    A large, and at times to be honest unwieldy cast of characters take the reader from the 1950s to 2010. This isn't a conventional family saga; it's not always clear how the individuals will hook back into the main but that's sort of irrelevant. Told in a series of what are more or less vignettes. it tackles many enduring American issues, most notably racism. It moves back and forth in time and place (the former can be a tad distracting as you reset where you are in the story.). If this seems like A large, and at times to be honest unwieldy cast of characters take the reader from the 1950s to 2010. This isn't a conventional family saga; it's not always clear how the individuals will hook back into the main but that's sort of irrelevant. Told in a series of what are more or less vignettes. it tackles many enduring American issues, most notably racism. It moves back and forth in time and place (the former can be a tad distracting as you reset where you are in the story.). If this seems like a lukewarm review, it's not. This is an intriguing and important book which I suspect will provoke much discussion. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. For fans of literary fiction.
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  • Jenn Fields
    January 1, 1970
    Regina Porter’s debut novel casts a big, wide, engrossing net of an intergenerational family saga. It follows not one but two parallel clans and sidetracks into unexpected, sometimes obscure branches of their family trees. It travels from the South to Michigan to New York to Normandy to Berlin. It tackles Jim Crow and gentrification and class divides and war and trauma. And it all requires a road map beyond the two-page cast of characters ... Full review at Run Spot Run.
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  • Faith Hurst-Bilinski
    January 1, 1970
    I gave myself a bit of time after reading this to see how it settled. There's a lot here. When it began, it was all background written in a short story kind of way. After that it changed. And it kept changing. I never felt like I settled in to reading a story. I never had that sense of losing myself in it. It was disjointed. Maybe that was the point. Even with time, I'm feeling this was good and could have been great if I could have just connected with characters for a longer period of time.
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  • Sally Stieglitz
    January 1, 1970
    Four pages into The Travelers by Regina Porter I knew I was reading an extraordinary book. The remainder of the novel did not disappoint. Reading The Travelers is akin to seeing a richly woven medieval tapestry illustrated with disparate everyday images, all bound together by slender threads, some seen, some hidden. Certain chapters felt as if they were written as stand alone short stories (were they?). This is a book with sticking power; it will have you thinking about it long after you finish Four pages into The Travelers by Regina Porter I knew I was reading an extraordinary book. The remainder of the novel did not disappoint. Reading The Travelers is akin to seeing a richly woven medieval tapestry illustrated with disparate everyday images, all bound together by slender threads, some seen, some hidden. Certain chapters felt as if they were written as stand alone short stories (were they?). This is a book with sticking power; it will have you thinking about it long after you finish reading. Highly recommended.
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