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Travelling Light Paperback – July 31, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Adjunct faculty at Boston University, J. L. Morin is the author of the award-winning novel SAZZAE (Gold medal winner of the 2010 eLit Book Award, 2010 winner of a Living Now Book Award), started as a creative thesis at Harvard, followed by the novels: USA Best Book Awards finalist TRAVELLING LIGHT, on sex slavery; and TRADING DREAMS, a humorous novel that unmasks hypocrisy in the banking industry and tosses misogyny onto the horns of the Wall Street bull. Her writing has appeared in THE HARVARD ADVOCATE, HARVARD YISEI, THE DETROIT NEWS, AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, CYPRUS WEEKLY, LIVONIA OBSERVER ECCENTRIC NEWSPAPERS, and THE HARVARD CRIMSON.

J. L. Morin grew up in inner city Detroit, graduated from Harvard, and traded currency derivatives in New York while studying nights at New York University's Stern School of Business (MBA '97) culminating in a job at the Federal Reserve Bank posted to the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center. In 2001, Morin took to the road, traveling to Australia as a diplomatic spouse, a way of life that fueled an interest in the origins of cultures. After 9/11, she worked as a TV newscaster and currently writes for the Huffington Post and Library Journal.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Square Editions (July 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983321698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983321699
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,340,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Novelist and rooftop farmer, JL Morin grew up in inner city Detroit and wrote her Japan novel, SAZZAE as her thesis at Harvard. It was a Gold medalist in the eLit Book Award, and a Living Now Book Award winner. She took to the road, traveling around the world, worked as a TV newscaster, and wrote three more novels.

She is the author of USA Best Book Awards finalist, TRAVELLING LIGHT; and 'Occupy's 1st bestselling novel' TRADING DREAMS, a humorous story that unmasks hypocrisy in the banking industry and tosses corruption onto the horns of the Wall Street bull.

Her NATURE'S CONFESSION is a LitPick 5-Star-Reveiw Award winner, was picked as the top read by Marinovich Books, was included in "12 Works of Climate Fiction Everyone Should Read", and an excerpt received an Eco-Fiction Short Story Contest Honorable Mention.

Adjunct faculty at Boston University, JL Morin writes for the Huffington Post, and Library Journal, and has published in The Harvard Advocate, Harvard Yisei, Detroit News, Agence France-Presse, Cyprus Weekly, European Daily, Livonia Observer Eccentric Newspapers, the Harvard Crimson and others.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sheila M. Belshaw on September 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I found myself totally engrossed in this novel, held captive by the intelligence and insight of the narrator's voice - a voice that J.L. Morin's French/American protagonist Mackenzie - an out of work archeologist and mother of two young children, uses not only to drive this fascinating story forward at an unputdownable pace, but to enlighten the reader to the mostly hidden horrors of today's growing traffic in women as less than human objects of sex.

Morin exposes the everyday degradation of Mackenzie's seemingly ideal happy marriage, by the arrogant deceit of her handsome husband Charon, a diplomat and native of Styxos, the imaginary Mediterranean island to which he has been recalled, with its rigid and impenetrable customs of family life. She highlights the plight of women who are trapped in marriages that on the surface appear to be perfect, but in which the wife is virtually imprisoned unless she agrees to turn a blind eye to her husband's indiscretions - and worse - or give up her children for her freedom.

This novel is at once a serious treatise on the plight of enslaved women, but is at the same time a novel of drama and suspense - poignant and beautifully written.

The author's deliciously visual descriptions of the life and customs and delights of the imaginary Mediterranean island are nothing less than cinematic.

But above all, for me, it is the clever, quiet, understated dramatic build-up of tension that establishes Morin as a superb story-teller with a lot more to tell than just an intriguing story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan Weinstein on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
TRAVELLING LIGHT manages to combine a tense thriller with a serious shocking truth-the reality of slavery in our time. The story is told by Mackenize, an archaeologist with two kids and a diplomat husband. When he is recalled to his native island of Styxos in the Mediterranean, she leaves her old life and employment behind and gains her long-held romantic fantasy of life on a beautiful Mediterranean island. Problem is her husband Charon is increasingly withdrawn and emotionally removed from her. Thinking it's due to his father's recent death, she vows to bring back the warm earthy man she fell in love with-who bridged the west and his own ancient "collectivist" culture.

But there are scary portents when they arrive. On a visit to the beach, she is suddenly surrounded by three threatening men, until they realize she is with Charon. Her uneasy feeling grows, as Charon installs his family in his run-down boyhood home with his mother, a supposed temporary situation that becomes permanent. And he further withdraws, relating to her only as the caretaker of his children. But pragmatic and resourceful, Mac volunteers at a local site, paints the house and learns the Styxian language and culture. Despite wanting to put a positive light on her marriage, she becomes increasingly concerned about protecting her children from Charon's irrational temper.

With no income, living with a secretive angry amn, Mac's isolate is almost complete. So with relief, she accepts an invitation to an Investor's Gala, since Styxos is an aspiring EU accession state. The evening is full of intriguing people, the gorgeous talented Niovi and her fiancee the magnetic Farouk. Then a woman's body is disocovered in the hotel's swimming pool.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. E. Tingle on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was a voyage of discovery for me, and the place I visited was a realm of mature female sexuality that previously I'd only observed from the outside. Practically all of the contemporary fiction I've read has been from either a male or an omniscient point of view. J. L. Morin's first-person narrator, Mackenzie, is a fully seen American woman of what to me -- whose connoisseurship dates from the middle of the last century -- is a post-modern generation of worldly-competent janes-of-all-trades. (Morin's own bio mentions currency derivatives, an MBA, TV news and marriage to a diplomat.)

The novel is the whole record of Mackenzie's marriage to Charon, a distant and somewhat hostile member of the intelligentsia of Styxos, a Mediterranean island in the process of being integrated into the European Union. There's a maguffin in this picture, an offbeat one: the mouth of Hades, somewhere on the island, according to legend, and the object of an archeological dig that provides part-time work for Mackenzie, otherwise occupied with raising two small children. The maguffin makes its appearance eventually, at the end of a couple of years of ambiguous struggle with the increasingly remote and abusive Charon, during which Mackenzie finds herself crusading against a large but barely visible ring of traffickers in women and girls thrown on the economy of the West by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Morin's Mackenzie is a vivid and vivacious protagonist, judiciously aware of the power of her sexuality and fully in charge of it. The voice sparkles. Travelling Light suffers, though, from chancy editing and proofing -- enough from time to time to cause the reader to stumble over the sense. Too bad, because the story is engaging, the characters attract, and Morin can make you laugh when she wants you to. I intend to read her other stuff.
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