When Ron McLarty’s debut novel, The Memory of Running, appeared, the publishing world sat up and took notice. Now, McLarty is back with another reason to cheer the arrival of his distinctive new voice. Jono Riley is an aging part-time actor and bartender trying to make ends meet in Manhattan when he receives a letter from a childhood friend telling him that Marie, the first girl Jono ever loved, had just died in her sleep. As Jono makes the trip back home to the working-class neighborhood of East Providence, Rhode Island, McLarty deftly travels between Jono’s adolescence in the early 1960s and the present story of his return. Woven throughout are Jono’s endearing and funny memories of his coming of age with his three best friends—including a series of mysterious shootings that occurred back then, one of which lodged a bullet in Marie’s back when she was twelve.
When Jono’s girlfriend, a gritty New York City firefighter named Renee, joins him in East Providence, they find themselves drawn into an attempt to find the person responsible for the shootings so long ago. As the surprising truth unravels, Jono is forced to come to terms with a past that is not quite what he remembers, even as he makes new resolutions in the present. Traveler is a fine-tuned and riveting novel that will further affirm McLarty’s place in American fiction. Download and start listening now!