|About the Book|
A legacy may be handed on as a fortune or a debt, baseball cards, a grandfather’s antique autos, or an aunt’s silver spoons. Sarah Carlisle’s River and Other Stories opens with a legacy. In the early 1800s, Sarah—the author’s ancestor and mother ofMoreA legacy may be handed on as a fortune or a debt, baseball cards, a grandfather’s antique autos, or an aunt’s silver spoons. Sarah Carlisle’s River and Other Stories opens with a legacy. In the early 1800s, Sarah—the author’s ancestor and mother of Gardner Colby, benefactor of Colby College—married an ambitious shipbuilder in Maine and helped him create a successful maritime enterprise. They lived a life of wealth, even extravagance, until the war of 1812 destroyed the business and erased all traces of former fortune. “Having known what such adversity is,” Sarah wrote, to tell her story to a nephew who had fallen on hard times, “I can appreciate the distress you are in.” Not all legacies are this tangible. Some take up no room at all. Take a journey, and nothing may change hands but tickets. But now and then . . . In one story an unwelcome train ride connects two college students, each unmoored from their religions. In another, a celebrated computer geek flies to the Caribbean to visit his father, about to make a change late in life, only to find his own future reprogrammed. The harmony of three musicians is altered for good after the trio accepts a booking at an Edinburgh nightclub. In Florida, a salvor, diving into the deep to make sense of the past, seeks to understand an unexpected treasure. Nine stories cover 200 years, two continents, and the Caribbean, commingling ethnicities and temperaments. Men and women, young and old, poor and privileged: each inherits a legacy. Collectively, they hand one on to the reader composed of remnants from past lives, a natural history that has the power to reveal current truths and predict future realities.