A debut historical novel about a privileged young man in the 19th century who forsakes his fortune in search of a new identity.
Drucker May is a troubled man in 1890 Atlanta. In a matter of days, he will assume a leadership post at the Atlanta Southern National Bank, a position long held by his father. Although his succession seems natural enough, Drucker is dreading it. He’s never enjoyed bank work, and he’s desperate to find greater purpose to his life. At the eleventh hour, he leaves town in search of personal reinvention. He heads for Boston, where he hopes to locate a woman who served as his childhood governess. Unfortunately, the first of many traveling mistakes lands him on a train headed in the wrong direction. He disembarks in the small town of Clayton, Arkansas, where he assumes a fake identity to help the townspeople find a horse thief. As much as he enjoys life in Clayton, his involvement in a confusing romantic triangle makes him decide to move on. He travels to Austin, Texas, where he interacts with various politicians, including real-life characters such as railroad magnate Jay Gould. When another romance brings new complications, Drucker sets his sights on California. Yet again, unforeseen circumstances leave him waylaid instead, this time landing him at the center of a bizarre caper. As the story’s misadventures continue, the surprising twists and turns keep the narrative moving along. The tale is full of engrossing historical details, including information about the various towns and political climates that Drucker encounters as he travels west. It also effectively brings to life the experience of 19th-century rail travel. Despite the emphasis on history, Everett’s prose is full of compassion and insight as she explores the psyche of a character who’s discontented with the status quo. As Drucker tries to determine his place in the world, readers will find themselves rooting for him the whole way.
An inspiring tale of a quest for purpose, perfect for fans of Western fiction.