Hell, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg. I can’t wait to share my review for this origional book with you all. Firstly, I want to say thank you to Emma at damppbebbles for the invite to this blog tour.
The Ancestor by Lee Matthew Goldberg
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…
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3n24ztn
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/348RfuM
Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3l0APvb
The Ancestor is a very unique and gripping story, I love the premise of this the entwining two timelines, a man waking up after being frozen in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness after a hundred and fifty years only to find his great, great grandson. It’s not my usual read, I don’t normally pick up Sci/Fi type books, as that isn’t my genre at all but there was something that caught my eye with this, I can’t quite put my finger on what, but I am pleased I went against my usual and gave this book a chance as I did enjoy it.
Those first few pages when Wyatt woke are thrilling and at the same time disturbing. Those first few pages actually made me think of the film; The Revenant, for those who have seen it may have an idea what I am talking about for those who haven’t all I will say is one man fighting for survival against nature.
There were moments that I really didn’t like and would have rather not have had to read, the wolf scene is one I really didn’t enjoy, as a animal lover I thought that was upsetting and disturbing. I can’t even watch those animals in need charity TV adverts, and would have preferred a little warning. I understand that Wyatt had to survive and that is a crucial part of his personal story, but I would rather that particular scene wasn’t in the book at all, or as detailed as it was.
The book opens to Wyatt Barlow waking up in the wilds of Alaska, with nothing on his person but a mirror and a diary which is dated; 1898 and no memory of who he is. When he comes across two hunters, he is astounded to find that one is the mirror image of him and worse still to come when he discovers that he was frozen only to wake in the year 2020 and the man he follows home and becomes obsessed with is his great, great grandson. The more he gets to know Travis and his family, the more snippets of his old life comes back to him. His memories start coming back thick and fast, he remembers a family he left behind and that in turns starts a chain of events which will have an effect on the entire Barlow family, especially Wyatt’s unhealthy obsession with Callie.
There is a darker edge to this, the way Wyatt becomes obsessive over Travis’ wife; Callie is at times at little sinister, but compelling to read. What really stood out to me was the authors beautifully detailed account of the Alaskan wilderness, the descriptions are vivid and beautiful, the beauty of Alaska really caught my attention and imagination. Overall, The Ancestor is an interesting, gritty and highly original story.
About the Author
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. His Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR is forthcoming in 2020. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. 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, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com