Anthony Renwick McGill
Anthony Renwick McGill (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (03/16)
“The Carver Inheritance” by Anthony Renwick McGill begins in 1874 when twenty-three year old Sarah Boyle journeys to Sioux Falls to marry sixty-two year old Mel Carver. In spite of their age difference and it being an arranged marriage, it is a real marriage with true affection.
Reverend Eli Bell and his young adopted son, Abe, are very close to the Carvers, and often stay in a cabin on their property when they pass through town. The Bell family plays a huge role in the lives of the Carver family. When Sarah gives birth to Zach, the Bells also figure heavily into his upbringing. Zach turns out to be a very difficult child and grows into a very dangerous man. When Mel Carver is on his deathbed, he entrusts Reverend Bell with his family’s legacy. This special legacy goes way beyond cattle, and extends deep into history. Bell is to pass this legacy on to Zach when he turns twenty-five. When it becomes apparent that Zach is not going to outgrow his sadistic tendencies, Eli holds on to the family secret a bit longer. As his own health begins to erode, he shares the information with his son Abe.
The Carver inheritance, becomes more than just an obligation to the Bells, it is also an albatross because of the tremendous responsibility that is behind it. Zach plays a huge role in the downfall of the Bells, and this makes them more determined to protect the secret. When Zach finds out that they are hiding something very important from him, he pursues every opportunity to try to steal back what he believes to be rightfully his, even though he does not really know what it is. Several generations of the Bell family have to work together to save this incredible legacy from falling into the wrong hands.
“The Carver Inheritance” really knocked me for a loop. I was expecting to read a historical tale that was set in the old west, but it evolved into something so much more! While most of the story is set in the old west, there are also pieces that go back further into the distant past and have some of “The DaVinci Code” style touches. I loved being thrown off guard and felt like I was really on the adventure instead of just reading about it. The author Anthony Renwick McGill does an outstanding job of bringing the characters and scenery alive so that it will be very real to the reader in spite of the extraordinary path that the storyline takes. I highly recommend reading “The Carver Inheritance.”