In a voice of stark reality and sincere intrigue, Cynthia Lang builds upon a personal legacy left to her in nine spectacular journeys. In 1806, her ancestor Sarah—mother of Gardner Colby, the benefactor of Colby College—married a successful Maine shipbuilder and lived a life of wealth, even extravagance, until the 1812 war destroyed the business and erased any traces of former fortune. “Having known what such adversity is,” Sarah wrote to a nephew who had fallen on hard times, “I can appreciate the distress you are in.”
Like Sarah’s letter, legacies may be handed on as houses, debts, baseball cards, or silver coffee spoons. Though not all are so tangible; take a journey and nothing may change hands but tickets. But now and then. . . in one story a train ride to Texas connects two orthodox students, each unmoored from their religions. A celebrated computer geek flies to the Caribbean to help his father through a change but finds his own future reprogrammed. The harmony of three musicians is altered for good after the trio accepts a booking at an Edinburgh night club. In Florida, a salvor dives into the deep to make sense of the past, seeking to understand an unexpected treasure.
Nine short stories collect legacies of all forms. Men and women, young and old, poor and privileged, their stories cover 200 years, two continents, and the Caribbean, commingling ethnicities and temperaments to spin a wonderfully interconnected world.