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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The Balloon Man by Carla Trueheart mixes mystery with romance to tell a delightful story that will mesmerize readers. It is springtime in New England and a mysterious man catches the attention of Cammie York. Cammie finds herself following this man as he hands out free balloons to people, from one park to the next. She wonders who he is and wishes she knew, but she is content to just watch him, content to journal what she sees. She goes back to Tie-Dye Me, her father’s store, content. But when the Balloon Man offers her a pink balloon, everything changes. She is pulled into a magical journey with him to unearth his past and in this journey, they fall in love. The destiny of the Balloon Man is intrinsically linked to magic and this magic could destroy the love they have found. How far is Cammie ready to go to defend this love or is she going to just let it go?
Carla Trueheart has written a beautiful story about the strange workings of the heart and the gift of love and magic. The narrative is beautifully done in the first person and readers are absorbed from the very first page. When the story begins, readers see the Balloon Man has become a very important part of the life of the protagonist: “It’s five o’clock and I’ve missed him; I can tell by the silence that has fallen over Well’s Park. When The Balloon Man is here, pushing his white cart amid trickles of spring thaw or drips of summer sunlight, the park always pumps with excitement.” The balloon is very symbolic in this narrative — it speaks of freedom. The protagonist is mesmerized by the Balloon Man and she can’t understand how people are changed when they receive free balloons. Not until she receives hers. The prose is gorgeous, the tone exciting, and the characters elaborately developed. Fast-paced and filled with surprises, The Balloon Man is one of those stories that literally warms the hearts of readers. Delightful, indeed!