Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Traveler's Gift

Last Thursday, I picked up several used books at my local Goodwill store, including a hardback version of Killer Angels (to replace my trade size paperback). Today, I finally had a chance to read one of those other finds: The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews.

I was intrigued by the storyline: “…an extraordinary experience awaits David Ponder. He finds himself traveling back in time, meeting leaders and heroes at crucial moments in their lives. From the European theater of World War I…from a Civil War battlefield…David encounters some of the wisest people who ever lived. Abraham Lincoln, King Solomon, Anne Frank, Harry Truman, and others teach him unforgettable life lessons.” Sounds promising, huh?

After the dedication page, I found myself reading a quote by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and immediately thought that I’ve read way too many Civil War books. Keep in mind that I’ve only been doing genealogical research for three years. Was it a coincidence that I had also picked up Michael Shaara’s Killer Angels? If you don’t know the premise behind Killer Angels, I won’t spoil it for you. Let's just say that Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain figures prominently in the Battle of Gettysburg.

I challenge you to read The Traveler's Gift and not experience your own epiphany. It's a combination of fact and fiction, history and how-to, and time-travel and transformation. From a genealogical point of view, what I wouldn't give to have just one of those conversations with my great-great grandmother, Caroline Bingham, or her mother and father, Margaret McDowell and Joe Bingham, or Margaret's mother, Harriet McDowell. What words of wisdom would they give me?

Question?  Comment?  Email me!

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