by Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publish Date August 20, 2020
by All Due Respect Publishing
About the book
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…
“Lee Matthew Goldberg is an animal–there is no other way to say it. His prose is heavyweight ambitious, as visceral as a sweaty-toothed dog at your throat. He evokes Robert Louis Stevenson as much as he does a modern thriller novelist. And I’ll be honest: I expected a crime novel, but I got a spell-binding epic, an epistolary revelation, a tale as rich as a paying gold mine. –Matt Phillips, author of Countdown and Know Me from Smoke
“In The Ancestor, Lee Matthew Goldberg masterfully weaves together a story involving family and violence set against the backdrop of an unforgiving Alaska of both past and present.” –Andrew Davie, author of Pavement and Ouroboros
“From the icy opening battle of man vs. wolf, you feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller and that feeling never lets up.” –SJ Rozan, bestselling author of Paper Son “This thrilling novel is rich in descriptions of the vast, snowy, and deadly wilderness of Alaska; it ably captures the type of person who chases gold.” –Foreword Reviews
“A story that blends the familiar and the supernatural in a manner that calls Stephen King’s work to mind. That said, Goldberg’s book possesses a flavor all its own–a distinctive mélange of the sincere and the strange.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Beautifully written, and capturing the unforgiving grit of Gold Rush Alaska, Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner with an ache in its heart. I’m a huge fan.” –Roz Nay, author of Hurry Home and Our Little Secret
“One of the year’s best thrillers. Blake Crouch fans will love Goldberg’s Alaskan opus.” –BestThrillers.com
“A suspenseful historical thriller.” –Indie Reader
This has been one of may most anticipated reads of the fall and I am so glad to have been asked to review it.
Wyatt wakes up in the Alaskan wilderness confused and not sure who he is, but upon meeting a man named Travis hunting nearby who looks exactly like him, he has a flash of memories return. What he realizes is that he is from the 1800’s and that he has been frozen since the Gold Rush era, and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Certain that gold is still in existence in the area, Wyatt sees finding it with Travis as a way to win good graces into the family, most notably with Travis’s wife. Wyatt’s obsession with finding the gold, discovering why he was able to be preserved for over a century, and his infatuation with Travis’s wife makes for an intriguing read.
This truly was a page turner for me. I was driven by the idea of a person traveling through time as a result of being frozen (I mean if Megatron can do it in Transformers, why can’t we, right?).
With the blend of thriller, some supernatural aspects, a ton of mystery, and a mix of other genres that are thrown in there to give some more flavor, this book was like nothing I have ever read before. You will be captivated by the Alaskan history and the Gold Rush era, as well as completely taken by both Wyatt and Travis’s lives and personalities. All the different side stories throughout the book are brilliant and they eventually all come together in the end to a paramount ending.
This was a very unique and thought provoking book that will stick with you long after you read it. My anticipation was merited! Give this one a read and stick with it. I know you will feel the same. Oh and by the way….. this is listed under “movie tie in” category on Amazon, so, um,……. HINT HINT.
I just would like to thank Lee Matthew Goldberg, TLC Book Tours and All Due Respect Publishing for the gifted copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review.
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About the Author
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.
More information about Dan and his books can be found at leematthewgoldbeg.com.
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