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The LaGrange Legacy Paperback – April 5, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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From the Author
This novel is based on a family story that a LaGrange ancestor of the author was a French pirate off the Oregon coast. History would say it couldn't have happened. On the other hand, the author's grandfather maintained he spent the last of the pirate's gold. What really happened remains a mystery.
About the Author
Keeping in shape being in the chase. This includes chasing my bride, the good life, 13 horses, dogs, cats, and a macaw. Also chasing writing, family history, photography, social media, self-indulgence, weight control, and spare time.
Top customer reviews
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The LaGrange Legacy is a genealogist's dream come true for fiction. It's filled with the detailed lineage of the main character's family as he discovers it throughout the course of the story. No, there's no "so-and-so begat so-and-so", it's more cleverly written than that. And the manner in which Charles "Chuck" LaGrange, the main character, discovers his lineage is also a dream come true for a genealogist. More on that in a bit.
While I'm familiar with genealogy, I admit the subject doesn't hold my interest well. It takes good writing, and interesting characters and plot, to get me to finish a book with genealogy as a main subject. Not only did I finish The LaGrange Legacy, I thought the end was brilliant. I found myself smiling when I realized what Schindler had done.
Chuck began having "visions" at the beginning of the book where he engaged his ancestors in a two-way conversation. At first I thought the visions were strange, but later, when he learned to control them and go into and out of a vision state at will, they were cool. It gave him a distinct advantage over his adversaries. And he had more than a few adversaries.
If you're a genealogist, imagine being able to summon up an ancestor at will. You could ask who his father was, the names if his kids (if he had any), and other things like where he lived and whether he had been a pirate or not. (The premise of the story, for Chuck at least, is whether an ancestor had been a pirate or not. There was a family rumor that he had been. You'll have to read the book if you want to know what Chuck found out.)
The book has many elements of a rousing good time: the hint of pirates, gold and other loot, a rags-to-riches story, love, visions, touch-stones, scoundrels, and a cross-country trip in an old RV.
While it took me a while to warm to the story because I'm not real fond of genealogy, I enjoyed the book and think most readers who enjoy such elements in their books will enjoy it also.
It's a straightforward book in many ways -- no odd writer tricks, no offputting twists, just a straight-ahead, forward narrative -- but it's hard to describe without making it sound weird - which it's not. The chief character has to do some genealogical digging into his past in order to keep his job, and that research takes him around the country and also into some strange, unexpected and inexplicable dreams in which he is apparently talking with his ancestors. From these dreams come clues which, to his amazement, turn out to be real -- even in the form of buried treasures! And that's just the beginning.
It's not science fiction, it's not a ghost story (exactly), it's -- well, it's just a great read, with great characters -- a measure of Schindler's mastery is that he makes his chief character, who is a big loser, actually interesting. And the character's evolution and changes are interesting too.
I enthusiastically recommend this book as a good, solid, satisfying read. You'll be glad you read it.