counter create hit Traveling Light - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Traveling Light

Availability: Ready to download

From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life... Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life... Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's exactly what she needs... It all starts when Alissa impulsively puts a bid on an abandoned storage unit, only to become the proud new owner of Roger Hart's remains. Two weeks later, she jumps in her car and heads west, thinking that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life. She isn't wrong. Especially when Blossom, who just graduated from high school, hitches a ride with her to Texas, and Alissa has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Alissa's eyes to the road in front of her and to how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming.


Compare
Ads Banner

From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life... Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life... Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's exactly what she needs... It all starts when Alissa impulsively puts a bid on an abandoned storage unit, only to become the proud new owner of Roger Hart's remains. Two weeks later, she jumps in her car and heads west, thinking that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life. She isn't wrong. Especially when Blossom, who just graduated from high school, hitches a ride with her to Texas, and Alissa has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Alissa's eyes to the road in front of her and to how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming.

30 review for Traveling Light

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    "[M]ost people die exactly the same way they live. Angry people die angry. Broken people die broken. Lonely people die lonely. Burdened people die burdened . . . Live how you want to die. " Alissa is like a lot of people in life - she's going through the motions, playing a role, reading from a script that's been handed to her by happenstance. Never questioning why. Never entertaining spontaneity. Never stepping outside her comfort zone. She's pleasant enough, on the surface: Dutiful and loving da "[M]ost people die exactly the same way they live. Angry people die angry. Broken people die broken. Lonely people die lonely. Burdened people die burdened . . . Live how you want to die. " Alissa is like a lot of people in life - she's going through the motions, playing a role, reading from a script that's been handed to her by happenstance. Never questioning why. Never entertaining spontaneity. Never stepping outside her comfort zone. She's pleasant enough, on the surface: Dutiful and loving daughter, cordial but distant friend, astute newspaper manager. But she harbors some bitterness, has a snarky streak, and totes around a good bit of baggage - never taking a vacation to unload any of it. Until she bids on a storage unit and discovers one Roger Hart of New Mexico lurking within - or rather, his urn-filled ashes. In which she decides to drive him "home." "We don't always get the happy endings we want; but that shouldn't change what we try to make right." And from there, the eccentric, life affirming, slow awakening road trip begins. Alissa, nor her unexpected companions along the way, will ever be the same. "[I]n a minute, or day, everything you thought you knew about your life could unravel like an old pair of socks. You never know when you're going to need a little extra something to darn the holes." FOUR **** Fabulous Chick-Lit that will Warm Your Heart, Tickle Your Funny Bone, Lighten Your Load Brighten, and Your Day.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    Winning the bid for an unclaimed storage unit wasn't Alissa's favorite prize, but what she found inside actually changed her life. Alissa works for a local newspaper in North Carolina owned by her father and impulsively decides that she is going to take a road trip to New Mexico to return Roger Hart's ashes that were in the storage unit to his family. Alissa begins her journey with the ashes and her dog. When she stops at a restaurant and meets Blossom, her road trip and her life have an added pas Winning the bid for an unclaimed storage unit wasn't Alissa's favorite prize, but what she found inside actually changed her life. Alissa works for a local newspaper in North Carolina owned by her father and impulsively decides that she is going to take a road trip to New Mexico to return Roger Hart's ashes that were in the storage unit to his family. Alissa begins her journey with the ashes and her dog. When she stops at a restaurant and meets Blossom, her road trip and her life have an added passenger and some added changes. TRAVELING LIGHT is a sweet, lighthearted read and a read that will make you think about your own life and decisions you make and have made. I enjoyed Alissa because she was a good person, and I really enjoyed Blossom. Blossom had the perfect name because she just brightened up any place she was and helped Alissa see her life in a different perspective. TRAVELING LIGHT is a book to read when you need to be uplifted, when you need to hear good comments about mankind, and when you just need a change of pace that comes with beautiful, descriptive writing and marvelous characters. Enjoy TRAVELING LIGHT if you read it. It even has some sweet romances included. :) 5/5 This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    The author has created a delightful and surprising read in this new book. A quirky, yet never boring story, we are asked to tag-along on this very special journey. We get to follow along with Alyssa and her newfound friends she drives from North Carolina to New Mexico. Along the way she learns things about her life and herself from a very surprising young woman and other people she meets along the way. There may even be a bit of romance too. Yay! This is the first book I have read by this author a The author has created a delightful and surprising read in this new book. A quirky, yet never boring story, we are asked to tag-along on this very special journey. We get to follow along with Alyssa and her newfound friends she drives from North Carolina to New Mexico. Along the way she learns things about her life and herself from a very surprising young woman and other people she meets along the way. There may even be a bit of romance too. Yay! This is the first book I have read by this author and I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of the story and the beautiful craftsmanship that led to this enlightening, lighthearted, and delightful read. The author is a rather new addition to the women’s fiction genre but she captured me with this enthralling story. I fell in love with her writing and great storytelling ability. 5 stars!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Daniel

    What a delightful book! I loved the author's "voice". This book was both sweet and deep also. I laughed and teared up. The characters, especially the teens, were my favorite.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    3.5 stars. I was looking for a fun, light read on a gray winters day. This was just right. Al and her 3 legged dog, Casserole take a road trip to return the ashes of a dead man they don't know to New Mexico. As their journey begins they meet a young free spirited girl named Blossom. It turns out to be a learning experience in many ways for both. Cute story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    The premise of this book is fantastic: woman wins a 'Storage War', only to discover she is now the owner of a box containing the cremated remains of man (Eww!). After a bit of investigation, she hits the road to drive across country to return him home. Road trip books are my thing. Who doesn't long to hit the open road for adventure? So, I'm still puzzled as to how this book got it all wrong. The audiobook's narrator certainly didn't help. Neither did the lead character's frumpy, passive ways. N The premise of this book is fantastic: woman wins a 'Storage War', only to discover she is now the owner of a box containing the cremated remains of man (Eww!). After a bit of investigation, she hits the road to drive across country to return him home. Road trip books are my thing. Who doesn't long to hit the open road for adventure? So, I'm still puzzled as to how this book got it all wrong. The audiobook's narrator certainly didn't help. Neither did the lead character's frumpy, passive ways. Naturally she turns things around eventually, but you have to endure the VERY long, slow ride to get there. The two passengers she picks up along her route kept me listening, but only marginally. Oh well.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    “Traveling Light” is light chic-lit. Protagonist Alissa (Al) Wells bids on and receives the contents of an abandoned storage locker. In the locker is box of ashes (remains) with the name of the mortuary and the name of the deceased. Al is in her thirties, single, and an editor of a small town newspaper owned by her father. She wants to return the remains to the family, but the mortician won’t provide her with any information. She’s in North Carolina and the mortician is in New Mexico, so: road t “Traveling Light” is light chic-lit. Protagonist Alissa (Al) Wells bids on and receives the contents of an abandoned storage locker. In the locker is box of ashes (remains) with the name of the mortuary and the name of the deceased. Al is in her thirties, single, and an editor of a small town newspaper owned by her father. She wants to return the remains to the family, but the mortician won’t provide her with any information. She’s in North Carolina and the mortician is in New Mexico, so: road trip! Along the way she acquires a couple of nineteen year-old passengers who make her view the world differently. Her road trip takes some unlikely detours, which end up enriching her life. Character development ensues. Al has personal growth as a result of the road trip. All ends well. Cute story. Easy to read. Thank you Pamela for reviewing this book and drawing it to my attention

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    A fun, light hearted read. Perfect for summer. The name says it all. Good messages, especially for anyone who 'likes' things a certain way. I enjoyed the journey and would totally recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    I initially picked this up because I like road-trip novels for the most part, and the main character was on her way to Grants, New Mexico, where I used to live because my father was a geologist who worked in the uranium mines. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it would have earned another star if it the author hadn't used up her entire lifetime supply of semicolons in the book. (Seriously: It got to be almost an affectation, like Dan Brown's love of interrobangs.) It didn't get fewer stars bec I initially picked this up because I like road-trip novels for the most part, and the main character was on her way to Grants, New Mexico, where I used to live because my father was a geologist who worked in the uranium mines. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it would have earned another star if it the author hadn't used up her entire lifetime supply of semicolons in the book. (Seriously: It got to be almost an affectation, like Dan Brown's love of interrobangs.) It didn't get fewer stars because the characters were engaging, though I think their personalities could have been more fleshed out. (Don't get me started on the third-to-last page, where she uses "respectfully" when she means "respectively.")

  10. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Alissa Wells wins an unclaimed storage unit and finds a box of ashes. Reuniting the ashes with his loved ones is just the impetus she needs to take a deeper look into her life choices.We follow her on her cross country road trip and the people that she meets along the way. We also join in her memories discovering the why and how of her decisions. It was a pleasant read .Although the characters were fairly well fleshed out, I felt that I would have liked even more information on some of them. Per Alissa Wells wins an unclaimed storage unit and finds a box of ashes. Reuniting the ashes with his loved ones is just the impetus she needs to take a deeper look into her life choices.We follow her on her cross country road trip and the people that she meets along the way. We also join in her memories discovering the why and how of her decisions. It was a pleasant read .Although the characters were fairly well fleshed out, I felt that I would have liked even more information on some of them. Perhaps, this was just a taste of some of the characters and there is more to come. I did not see any notes in that regard. I enjoyed the storyline however it did not call to me to lose myself in it. It is an easy read while doing other things, if that makes sense. There were several very moving moments in the story yet it never delves too deeply.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Quinn

    I received this book as an advanced reading copy from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. I would give this book 4.5*. This is a nice light read about a Virginia woman who wins a bid on a storage locker's contents that has been abandoned. She finds an urn with someone's cremated remains inside and decides she needs to get this person's remains to their family in New Mexico. This story tells her journey across the United States and the people she meets along the way. She is very shy aroun I received this book as an advanced reading copy from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. I would give this book 4.5*. This is a nice light read about a Virginia woman who wins a bid on a storage locker's contents that has been abandoned. She finds an urn with someone's cremated remains inside and decides she needs to get this person's remains to their family in New Mexico. This story tells her journey across the United States and the people she meets along the way. She is very shy around men and pines over someone she says she had loved since sixth grade but never went out with. My one issue is that this woman who has always done what is right and seems a little repressed jumps totally out of character at times. For instance, in the afternoon she meets the father of a girl that she had picked up on the journey and that evening she is telling him she has problems with trust and intimacy. That is not what a shy repressed person would say. Overall an enjoyable reads. Good for a summer beach read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patrice M.

    Good story - fun characters and steady build on the plot all kept me reading. Quite enjoyable!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue Em

    When the contents of the storage unit she won contained someone's ashes, Alissa embarks on an adventure as she tries to return the ashes to his family. This charming story is the perfect antidote grey skies and wintry weather.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    4 1/2 stars Beautiful book, thoroughly enjoyed the story and the connections between characters! Was a little disappointed by the anti-climatic ending, but I really did love this book! Would recommend!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Nice light summer read. Likeable characters. Interesting plot.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather Hicks

    This book is about a young woman named Alissa living in North Carolina and she places a random bid on a storage unit. In going through the stuff in the storage unit she finds the ashes of a man named Rodger Hart with a card attached to the box of ashes and finds that he was cremated at a mortuary in New Mexico. She hops in her VW bug with her three legged dog named Casserole and embarks on a journey across the country in hopes of returning the ashes to a loved one. During her road trip she picks This book is about a young woman named Alissa living in North Carolina and she places a random bid on a storage unit. In going through the stuff in the storage unit she finds the ashes of a man named Rodger Hart with a card attached to the box of ashes and finds that he was cremated at a mortuary in New Mexico. She hops in her VW bug with her three legged dog named Casserole and embarks on a journey across the country in hopes of returning the ashes to a loved one. During her road trip she picks up a teenager named Blossom (a waitress at a truck stop) who wants to get back to her home Texas to start a better life for herself. The two girls pick up a few other things along the way and post about their journey on Facebook complete with pictures of Rodger Hart at every stop along the way. This is a journey that will make you laugh out loud and cry a little but it comes full circle on what it means to take a chance or leap of faith to take an adventure out of one's comfort zone. This was a light hearted and uplifting book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony Parsons

    Asheville, NC (Blue Ridge Mts.). Alissa Kate Wells (narrator, reporter) works for her father Oscar Wells who owns the Clayton Times & News. Other employees are: Dixie Weston, James Williams, & Ben. Alissa had entered a contest & won the contents of a storage unit at the Affordable storage facility in Wilmington, NC. She jumped in Faramond (1998, Volkswagon bug) & away she & Casserole (3-legged dog) went to claim the prize. It wasn’t much but a fancy box of cremated ashes of Roger Hart’s remains. 1 Asheville, NC (Blue Ridge Mts.). Alissa Kate Wells (narrator, reporter) works for her father Oscar Wells who owns the Clayton Times & News. Other employees are: Dixie Weston, James Williams, & Ben. Alissa had entered a contest & won the contents of a storage unit at the Affordable storage facility in Wilmington, NC. She jumped in Faramond (1998, Volkswagon bug) & away she & Casserole (3-legged dog) went to claim the prize. It wasn’t much but a fancy box of cremated ashes of Roger Hart’s remains. 1st. stop Newport, TN. Alissa got checked into a motel & off to eat. Blossom Winters (17, recent HS grad, waitress) suggested a few great things to eat. Later Blossom came to Alissa (aka Alley Cat) & wanted to ride along. Blossom & Alissa fun & adventures begin. Roger’s remains needed to go to Serenity Mortuary in Grants, NM. They plan on meeting with Mr. Harold Candelaria (owner/director). Stops along the way are: Nashville, Graceland (Memphis), Little Rock, AK., & Ft. Smith, AK., Oklahoma City, OK., Erick, OK., Amarillo, TX., Blossom had been secretly texting Dillion (ex-BF/father). He showed up & wanted a ride to Shamrock, TX. to go to work for his step-dad Ronnie Blevins. That did not go as plan so Dillion Montgomery stayed with the other 2. He & Casserole were buddies now. & Blossom had kind of taken over Roger’s remains. Would they make their destination? How will all their lives turn out? 1 of my top 25 books for 2017. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review. Only an honest one. A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. Wow, a very well written life adventure book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great life adventure movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars. Thank you for the free Goodreads; MakingConnections; Berkley (Penguin Random House LLC.); ARC; paperback book Tony Parsons MSW (Washburn)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    One never expects to be driving cross-country with a dog, a teenage waitress, and a dead guy's ashes riding shotgun, but if it happened, it would be great if it happened the way it does here.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ty Guillory

    It's ok. Almost half-way. --- Ok, done. I really did like this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam Asberry

    From the publisher: "This novel was inspired by real-life events: when the author was working at a hospice agency, an unclaimed box of ashes—with her agency’s business card attached—was discovered in a storage facility. Branard became intrigued by how the remains of someone could get lost—and how the discovery could be the perfect catalyst for a life change. "In TRAVELING LIGHT, Alissa Wells is the one who becomes the surprise new owner of remains—Roger Hart’s, to be exact—after she bids on an aba From the publisher: "This novel was inspired by real-life events: when the author was working at a hospice agency, an unclaimed box of ashes—with her agency’s business card attached—was discovered in a storage facility. Branard became intrigued by how the remains of someone could get lost—and how the discovery could be the perfect catalyst for a life change. "In TRAVELING LIGHT, Alissa Wells is the one who becomes the surprise new owner of remains—Roger Hart’s, to be exact—after she bids on an abandoned storage unit. She decides that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life. So she packs up her three-legged dog and starts driving from North Carolina to New Mexico. "But when a waitress named Blossom hitches a ride with her, Al has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Al’s eyes to the road in front of her—and how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming." I started this book late on a Saturday night. When I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer, I stopped reading just long enough to get a few hours of sleep. As soon as I woke up, I made a pot of coffee, poured myself a cup, and didn't stop reading again until I reached the end. Alissa's mother died when she was just five years old, and she has basically been living by a script ever since: first, as caregiver to her sister and her father, and then as a journalist, helping her dad run their small-town newspaper. But the discovery of the box of ashes prompts her to embark on her greatest adventure, a long and life-changing road trip. I absolutely fell in love with Alissa and all the friends she made on her journey. I lived vicariously through their many adventures; I laughed and I cried. And I was inspired by these words: "I realize that most people die exactly the same way they live. Angry people die angry. Broken people die broken. Lonely people die lonely. Burdened people die burdened...Don't forget, live how you want to die." Now I can't stop pondering the meaning of "traveling light." And I am encouraged not only to begin letting go of some of the things in my own life that tend to weigh me down, but also to choose my traveling companions very wisely. According to her website, the work of Lynne Branard (who also writes as Lynne Hinton and Jackie Lynn) has been compared to that of great writers like Eudora Welty, Rebecca Wells, and Jan Karon. And the journal Publishers Weekly says, "Hinton has a knack in her novels for tapping into a woman’s longings for lifelong, authentic, messy friendships." This is certainly true of Traveling Light. Five enthusiastic stars! Very highly recommended! NOTE: I received a copy of this book for FREE in exchange for a written review. There was no expectation that this review be either positive or negative, and I was not given any financial compensation to read the book or write the review. This information is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nan

    I recommend Traveling Light is a fast read with depth. This is the story of Al, a 30ish North Carolina, newspaper journalist who, thus far, has lived her life as a practical person, meeting expectations of others, and reacting to life as it is thrown at her. This is where the adventure begins. Al steps out of her everyday, mundane existence and bids on a storage unit and wins the bid which makes her the owner of its contents which include the cremated remains of a mystery man. She sets out on a I recommend Traveling Light is a fast read with depth. This is the story of Al, a 30ish North Carolina, newspaper journalist who, thus far, has lived her life as a practical person, meeting expectations of others, and reacting to life as it is thrown at her. This is where the adventure begins. Al steps out of her everyday, mundane existence and bids on a storage unit and wins the bid which makes her the owner of its contents which include the cremated remains of a mystery man. She sets out on a road trip to return him to his rightful geographical setting and if possible, reunite him with his family. Al's journey takes on the unexpected when she takes on a teenage female passenger, Blossom, her second day of the road trip. Suppressed Al, begins to decompress as Blossom's free and open way of embracing life's experiences and relationships (even difficult and heartbreaking ones) breathes new life into Al. Al begins to have perspective whereas until now, she has just been too busy meeting expectations. This story is filled with likable characters (and unlikable) and Traveling Light, besides a good story, is a good example of how living open-heartedly, even though risky, is the best way to live. This is my first Lynne Branard novel and I found her writing style unique and this unique element was applied consistently throughout the telling. What stood out to me may have a literary definition, but I don't have the vocabulary. Branard will build in the reader an anticipation by leading up to a particular something which she has drawn attention to and created in the reader a curiosity to know. However, as the reader develops the curiosity and desire to have an answer to the stimulated question that hovers in the storyline, the answer only the storyteller can provide, Branard puts the answer on hold (for at least a paragraph, sometimes longer) while she prior to the reveal employs the main character, Al, in a thought process with all kinds of background information and/or her theories as to what the answer may be. If my description makes any sense, yes, the literary technique builds even more anticipation for the answer and is also a bit frustrating but not in a way that is off-putting or boring. As the story progresses the reader reencounters Branard's style repetitively and becomes not only familiar but comfortable allowing curiosity to build and agitate prior to quelling. Satisfaction comes over and over again throughout the story and the technique keeps the reader's interest.

  22. 5 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/tr... Traveling Light By Lynne Branard ISBN13: 9781101989043 Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life… Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man’s ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn’t exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doi http://openbooksociety.com/article/tr... Traveling Light By Lynne Branard ISBN13: 9781101989043 Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life… Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man’s ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn’t exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it’s exactly what she needs… It all starts when Alissa impulsively puts a bid on an abandoned storage unit, only to become the proud new owner of Roger Hart’s remains. Two weeks later, she jumps in her car and heads west, thinking that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life. She isn’t wrong. Especially when Blossom, who just graduated from high school, hitches a ride with her to Texas, and Alissa has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Alissa’s eyes to the road in front of her and to how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming. Review: Alissa finds herself being the proud owner of a storage unit and all of its belongings. Among other things, she finds an urn with the remains of a deceased man. She finds out that the deceased is Roger Hart. What she cannot find out is why his ashes are in a storage unit in the first place. So she plans a road trip to return his remains to his family. Maybe she can find some answers to that question. Little does she know that she will find out so much more. She will meet some quirky characters and learn some important life lessons on her journey. The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick easy read. I found myself swiping page after page, totally enthralled with the story. I usually do not like reading books written in the first person, but this time it worked really well. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing. I could visualize the places that Alissa traveled through on her journey, such as Nashville and Memphis. I felt like I was right there, listening in on the conversations that she had with all those she met. The characters are well rounded and well developed. They really came alive on the pages for me. Who does not love her three legged dog, Casserole? I felt Alissa was a bit naive when the book first started but she grew as the book progressed. I enjoyed getting to meet and know Blossom. The relationship they formed and their interactions and conversations added another level to the story. This is the second book that I have read by this author and both of them were very good. She seems to have insights into people’s feelings and thoughts and she brings them alive on the pages. This book is a feel good story that will make you think about your own life. It is a story of learning to let go and seeing where life might take you. I would recommend it to anyone who would enjoy a humorous women’s contemporary read. *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    Have you ever wanted to just take off on an adventure? That is exactly what Alissa Wells, a 30-something single gal from Clayton, North Carolina does. After winning an abandoned storage shed in an auction Alissa finds a box of ashes inside. She decides it's time to take some of those vacation days and she is going to drive to New Mexico to deliver Roger Hart's ashes to their rightful resting place. Al, as she prefers to be called, has never left her hometown or her home for that matter. When her Have you ever wanted to just take off on an adventure? That is exactly what Alissa Wells, a 30-something single gal from Clayton, North Carolina does. After winning an abandoned storage shed in an auction Alissa finds a box of ashes inside. She decides it's time to take some of those vacation days and she is going to drive to New Mexico to deliver Roger Hart's ashes to their rightful resting place. Al, as she prefers to be called, has never left her hometown or her home for that matter. When her mom died young, Al took over caring for her dad and her sister. When it was time to find a job, she naturally went to work for her dad at the local newspaper and she has been there ever since. This road trip is just the diversion that Al needs in her life. The paper can manage without her for awhile and she is in no hurry to return. Al loads up her dog, Casserole and they are off on what will be a life-changing adventure for Al. During one of her restaurant stops, Al's waitress Blossom decides to hitch a ride with her as far as Texas. Blossom, a 17-year-old former hippie, has decided to go back and live with her dad in Texas and Al's road trip is the perfect opportunity to get there. Then, few stops later, Blossom's ex-boyfriend is also tagging along for a ride to Texas. These three characters who would have never crossed paths are now lifelines to each other as their lives intersect. Al's journey, both figuratively and literally, gets her to stop and assess her life. Since the story is told in the first person, the reader feels like they are riding right along with Al across the country. Stops in Nashville, Memphis, and Oklahoma City give the reader glimpses into the attractions and why Al and her entourage have decided to stop and visit. The characters are quirky, naive, and lovable. When each of them come to a crossroads and has to make a decision, the reader is cheering them on, hoping that the decision is the right one. Lynne Branard, who also writes as Lynne Hinton, has a talent for writing about friendships, unforgettable characters, and heart-warming stories. Much like her previous novel, THE ART OF ARRANGING FLOWERS, readers will enjoy the quick chapters and real-life situations full of funny mishaps and surprises along the way. Her witty metaphors and priceless wisdom fill the pages and will make the reader pause and reflect. Branard dedicated this novel to her many hospice patients she met as a chaplain. The title, TRAVELING LIGHT reminds all of us to let go of our burdens and to learn when to linger in life and when to move on. Maybe reading this book will inspire you to start your own life-changing adventure. Favorite quotes: "We do not let go of the details of those who shape our lives." "What I'm saying is that we don't always get the happy endings we want; but that shouldn't change what we try to make right."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Alissa Wells enters a contest and bids on a storage unit without knowing what its contents are. It turns out the most surprising item is an urn, with the cremated remains of one Roger Hart. There is only a business card for the funeral home attached to the top of the urn and with only that to go on, Alissa decides to travel from North Carolina to New Mexico in the hopes of finding family or a friend who knew Mr. Hart and can give his ashes the respectful end they deserve. She sets out in her lit Alissa Wells enters a contest and bids on a storage unit without knowing what its contents are. It turns out the most surprising item is an urn, with the cremated remains of one Roger Hart. There is only a business card for the funeral home attached to the top of the urn and with only that to go on, Alissa decides to travel from North Carolina to New Mexico in the hopes of finding family or a friend who knew Mr. Hart and can give his ashes the respectful end they deserve. She sets out in her little Volkswagon beetle along with her 3-legged dog. Before long her first ever road trip takes an unexpected turn when a 17-year old waitress named Blossom hitches a ride with her. Technically this would fall into the chick-lit genre, but it has a little more meat to it than the usual fluff found in this type of fiction. There’s nothing earth shattering here: the possibility of a little romance, several humourous stops along the road, and the predictable life-changing impact Alissa and Blossom have on each other. However, it was a fun read (and, believe it or not, even a little educational at times!) with engaging characters that made me want to pack up a bag and head out on a road trip! This would be a good, light read if you’re on vacation. Interestingly enough, the author was inspired by an actual event that happened to her when she was working at a hospice and an unclaimed box of cremated ashes was discovered in storage. How does that happen? (And how sad that it could happen.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lilith Thorn

    Branard's book Traveling Light gives light to something many of it's readers will struggle with... doing what's right. Though this isn't a story of morality, really, it's fun, easy to read search for who we are and what we're passionate about as well as who we're passionate about. Al (Alissa) does something she never thought she would, infact, she barely remembers bidding on that storage locker. It was an absent minded act that ended up changing her life. Bidding on and winning a storage locker f Branard's book Traveling Light gives light to something many of it's readers will struggle with... doing what's right. Though this isn't a story of morality, really, it's fun, easy to read search for who we are and what we're passionate about as well as who we're passionate about. Al (Alissa) does something she never thought she would, infact, she barely remembers bidding on that storage locker. It was an absent minded act that ended up changing her life. Bidding on and winning a storage locker full of mystery contents, just like the show Storage Wars and finding a box containing human ashes inspires Al to do something she's never done before. This decisions leads to another and another still that send Al on a cross country adventure tickled with fate and life lessons. The most pleasing aspect of Traveling Light is that it almost feels like a story about nothing. It is not high stakes drama. It is level headed, thoughtful and simple. Al and her friends appeal to the reader and are formed in their own unique image. Branard has not used stock characters to tell this southern story. Aptly named, this book travels light and each character faces their challenges without the extra burden that drama can bring to these moments. They do not need to learn their lessons twice, they are smarter than that and the reader is thankful that they are. It is pleasant, happy and uplifting. We're all routing for Al.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    . I enjoyed this book. It was a real change from the cozy mysteries and serious reading I’ve been doing. – Alissa Wells (everyone calls her Al) has always accepted responsibility and followed the path “handed” to her. When she was 5 she became “Mother” to her little sister when their mother died. She helped her father, the editor and publisher of the small local paper, and followed him in the newspaper business as she grew up. She was not one to challenge expectations. Now, in her mid 30s she di . I enjoyed this book. It was a real change from the cozy mysteries and serious reading I’ve been doing. – Alissa Wells (everyone calls her Al) has always accepted responsibility and followed the path “handed” to her. When she was 5 she became “Mother” to her little sister when their mother died. She helped her father, the editor and publisher of the small local paper, and followed him in the newspaper business as she grew up. She was not one to challenge expectations. Now, in her mid 30s she did something out of character… She bid on an abandoned storage shed and won the contents including the box of human ashes that was in the shed. The card on the box gave the address of the funeral home that had done the cremation. She decided that she would return the ashes to the person’s family. With her father’s good wishes, she took her first vacation. She took her three-legged dog, the box with the ashes, and set out in her old Volkswagen on a journey from North Carolina to New Mexico. In Tennesse she is joined by a young high school graduate named Blossom who needed a ride to her father’s home in Texas. Blossom, a smart, free spirited young lady with a good head on her shoulders made Al rethink many of her traditional ways of doing things. Maybe it was time for Al to rethink her life. – An uplifting, gentle book that makes you feel good while reading it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Frobisher

    Traveling Light is a lovely novel about finding oneself with a little help from friends. Alisa is endearing, though a bit naive, always seeing the good in others and opening herself up to strangers, which seems to work in her favor for the most part. The trip from North Carolina to New Mexico keeps the story moving as Alisa goes from town to town, finding new adventure at each stop, while also giving the reader an interesting back drop to the story. Branard's use of flashbacks bring depth to the Traveling Light is a lovely novel about finding oneself with a little help from friends. Alisa is endearing, though a bit naive, always seeing the good in others and opening herself up to strangers, which seems to work in her favor for the most part. The trip from North Carolina to New Mexico keeps the story moving as Alisa goes from town to town, finding new adventure at each stop, while also giving the reader an interesting back drop to the story. Branard's use of flashbacks bring depth to the story that would be missing if everything centered around the present. Traveling Light is a heartfelt and enjoyable read. SUMMARY: When Alisa decides to travel across the country alone, her family and friends think something is wrong. Maybe it is an early mid-life crisis, but all Alisa knows is that she is compelled to return the box of ashes she found in her newly acquired storage unit. Setting off with her three legged dog Casserole, Alisa soon begins to shed her burdens and pick up new friends, who push her into situations that stretch her beyond her comfort zone to do things she would never do on her own. Along the way, Alisa examines her life and lets go of so much of the hurt and heaviness that surrounds her, discovering for herself what it truly means to travel light.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Alissa Wells - an almost 40 year old woman- has been the diligent daughter. She had taken ownership of her family home after her mother died. She works for her father - who is the owner of the NC town newspaper. And, she has never married. Her high school crush broke her heart. In a contest, she wins the contents of a storage locker. Inside are the cremains of one Roger Hart from Texas. It becomes Al's quest to find Roger's family and home - and return him to where he belongs. But, where is that? Alissa Wells - an almost 40 year old woman- has been the diligent daughter. She had taken ownership of her family home after her mother died. She works for her father - who is the owner of the NC town newspaper. And, she has never married. Her high school crush broke her heart. In a contest, she wins the contents of a storage locker. Inside are the cremains of one Roger Hart from Texas. It becomes Al's quest to find Roger's family and home - and return him to where he belongs. But, where is that? Who was Roger Hart? All Al has is the name of the funeral home that handled Roger Hart's cremation - but it has no names for next of kin or former address. Al loads up her 3-legged dog, Casserole and the box containing Roger Hart - into her VW and takes off across the U.S. Along the way, she picks up a teenager, Blossom, who wants a ride to Texas to see her father. The trip to return Roger Hart turns into an adventure; seeing the country as they head from NC to Texas. And, at every stop - Graceland, blues museums, wherever - Blossom takes pictures of them - and the box with Roger Hart's cremains. A fun read for summer.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Gleckler Clark

    A great Summer Read!!!! Actually my Book Club’s August assignment. Thanks to Sandra Finlayson for her suggestion. ALISSA WELL has always (albeit unknown to her) followed a script for her life. When her mother died at the age of 31, Alissa stepped in (or up) to become the care-giver for her Sister and for her Father. Once her sister was grown, Alissa started working for her Father at his newspaper. Now, she wants to write her own script. This is Alissa’s story, though there are a few other charact A great Summer Read!!!! Actually my Book Club’s August assignment. Thanks to Sandra Finlayson for her suggestion. ALISSA WELL has always (albeit unknown to her) followed a script for her life. When her mother died at the age of 31, Alissa stepped in (or up) to become the care-giver for her Sister and for her Father. Once her sister was grown, Alissa started working for her Father at his newspaper. Now, she wants to write her own script. This is Alissa’s story, though there are a few other characters (players) we meet along the way (such as Sandra, Blossom, Dillon, Lou, Phillip, and Dixie). Our story begins when Alissa bids on, and wins, a storage unit. She has no idea what she will find inside or what she now owns. But, at present, the most important find is a box of ashes. Yes, the ashes of Roger Hart. Alissa (Al) feels its her duty to find out where Roger’s family are located and to return his ashes to them. This is the story of her quest to return Roger’s ashes, and her “Coming to the realization” that she needs to determine her own fate.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Murphy

    This novel is now one of my favorites by Lynne Branard (along with The Last Odd Day and The Arms of God). I did not find this a complex tale, but there was inspiration woven within the story that speaks to me. The characters are well drawn and the flow of the story carries the reader from page to page, wanting to know what happens next. Lou Winters remained mysterious ... and though I wanted to know him better, the mystery made him all the more captivating. There are two favorite scenes for me i This novel is now one of my favorites by Lynne Branard (along with The Last Odd Day and The Arms of God). I did not find this a complex tale, but there was inspiration woven within the story that speaks to me. The characters are well drawn and the flow of the story carries the reader from page to page, wanting to know what happens next. Lou Winters remained mysterious ... and though I wanted to know him better, the mystery made him all the more captivating. There are two favorite scenes for me in this book: one is the scene under the stars in Amarillo which made me think of how I feel when I'm at the Big Bend in Texas; second is the meeting with Georgia at the Denny's near Grants, New Mexico. Life lessons. And how delightful was Blossom? Traveling Light ... another novel that will stay on my bookshelf!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.