• Paperback: 348 pages
• Publisher: All Due Respect (August 20, 2020)
A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike except for his own beard. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s.
After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.
A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future.
The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice…
Social Media #theancestor, and tag @tlcbooktours and @leematthewgoldberg.
In present day Laner, Alaska Travis Barstow and his best friend are out hunting caribou. At the same moment, a man wakes up out of an icy tomb not far away from where Travis shoots. The man does not remember much, but a mirror in his pocket and a journal dated 1898 will help him fill in the gaps. The man's first instinct is survival. Interestingly, Travis Barstow looks like the frozen man's mirror image. The man watches Travis from a distance and as the memories come back, he knows they are connected. The man remembers who he is-Wyatt Barstow, and what he was here for- gold. Wyatt engrains himself in Travis' life and makes his obsession Travis' own. Together, they hunt for the gold that Wyatt was so close to over 100 years ago. However, every day that Wyatt remembers more about his past, he envies Travis' present and feels the need to fulfill the life he left behind.
The Ancestor is a unique thriller blending past and present, family drama and psychological suspense. I was hooked from the very beginning as Wyatt thawed from the ice with no knowledge of who he was. The characters are completely created and each adds a separate element to the story. I was engrossed in Wyatt's unfolding memories and how it changed him as a person as well as my perception of his character. I definitely enjoyed Wyatt's journal entries from 1898 as well as the chapters written from his point of view while exploring Alaska in that time period with the descriptions of a beautiful and wild unsettled Alaska, small villages and Native settlements. I was amazed at how adaptable Wyatt was reentering a strange world more than 100 years after he froze as well as how careful he was with the truth of who he was. The mystery of Wyatt's condition and why he awoke when he did carried the suspense throughout the story as well as his intentions with Travis and his family. The plot slowly but thoughtfully layers as more details are revealed about Travis' life, Wyatt's history and the daily life of the residents of Laner. While I knew where the story was headed, I was still surprised by the ending and would love if the story continued.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of THE DESIRE CARD, SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR from St. Martin’s Press. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second novel in The Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming. THE ANCESTOR will be out from All Due Respect books in 2020 along with a reissue of his debut novel. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.