The Ancestor: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Imagine a double of yourself that you never knew existed. Somewhere out there is a carbon copy or duplicate of you with features like your parents some good and others bad. The story takes us back in time to 1898 where will enter the modest home of our main character before he gets transported to the future. Married with a sickly son in need of medical care, he explains his rationale to his angered wife and sad son that his quest for gold and riches is his priority and will hopefully bring them wealth with lots of gold nuggets as the gold rush and the hope of striking it rich lured so many away and left others behind. Leaving his family, he never expects where he winds up years into the future for him as the novel is now set in our present the year 2020. Frozen in time and covered in ice he begins to thaw out but has no recollection of his past, where he is and his identity. Finally able to move about he tries to get his bearings and wanders the town where he sees something and someone setting him on a course that will bring his past into the present, memories of his wife and son flood into his mind with dreams so vivid he feels like he’s reliving these moments as flashes of his wife and son plus their final moments come flooding through. Wyatt Barlow is our frozen man; the setting is Alaska and the shock of seeing someone that could be his doppelgänger in the present sends him on a quest to learn more.
Wyatt has to adjust to our timeline and there are people along the way that he shares his time with but will they understand that he is talking about another time, another century or will they think he is mentally unstable. Meets several women and then gets taken in by a woman working in a brothel but will he understand what she really does as he is searching within his mind to remember his son and his wife. The author takes us back to where it all begins in 1898 when Wyatt books passage on a boat to Alaska and we meet those he travels with, the incidents that would stay with him long after and the murder he committed at the will of another.
The author switches back and forth between timelines and centuries as we travel with Wyatt on the ship to Klondike and then learning about the First Nations residents. Linking the past and the present we learn the gravity and importance that the Tlingit nation plays and why they are important to the central plot. Wyatt’s mind is stuck int eh past during the gold rush in Klondike and the expedition is shared through his drug induced remembrances in the past.
Wyatt is a strong character and he and Travis come face to face and the connection is electrifying. Realizing that they both seem to have to same face and expressions draws them together and forms an unlikely connection for both. Friendships are difficult for Wyatt in this new world and explaining himself and the fact that he hoping to find gold makes him a target for others to try and put him down, his appearance does not endear him to many and yet Travis, Callie and Eli seem to want him around.
The author along with Wyatt takes readers back to 1898 where it all begins being not before Wyatt takes some heroin to go back in a drug induced stupor.
Each character has something that they cannot reconcile with as Stu, reflects on how much he misses his son Bobby and the author shares with readers the differences between Bobby and Travis. Parents often compare their children but sometimes one is favored for some reason over the other and Stu is aiming to deal with the drug dealer that took his son’s life. Retribution and revenge. Wyatt has a need to be the most important one in Travis’s life and anyone that stands in his way must be eliminated no matter who or what. Callie needs to get away from Travis but her time in California makes her realize where she belongs. Can they find their way back to each other? Lives are on thin ice; families are broken apart and Wyatt handles things ways he justifies even if they are wrong.
Travis and Wyatt have the gold, but will wealth and the fishing business bring them together? What about Callie and Eli will Wyatt be a part of their lives and what happens when he tells Travis who he is and how he came from another era 122 years earlier? What would you do if someone told you that they were preserved for 122 years and unfroze? Would you believe that person? How would you react? Aylen who had a relationship with Wyatt realizes that change is needed to have a better life. This story is about hope, acceptance, forgiveness, understanding, family, searching for what was in the past and hoping to find it in the present as author Lee Matthew Goldberg creates an ending filled with mystery, as one man opens his eye, one frozen shut and then realizes that something is happening to him as he passes through time, not sure who he is, where he came from as the story draws to a close with and ending that makes you wonder if there is an beginning for someone but who? The Ancestor is one that makes you questions how far you would go to defend and get what you want and how much one man named Wyatt would go through in order to have what someone else does? A story told though many voices filled with heartbreak, sadness, defeat, betrayal, greed, power and most of all the hope of love and family. Author Lee Matthew Goldberg forces both Travis and Callie, Stu and Cora to look deep within themselves to see where they belong, how they can move on past the anger and defeat and find their way back to each other as Wyatt wants to be a part of them all, Papa and Wyatt shared a special lasting bond, and the story will make others want to research their pasts to find out if there is someone like Wyatt a part of their present.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews