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Mary Dudley, a young Vermont woman with newborn twins, is abandoned when her husband and brother become Gold Rush adventurers. While the men experience the exotic American colony in Panama and the ungoverned gold fields of California, Mary is left to the mercy of friends and extended family. When her brother dies overseas, he bequeaths all family property, including the family home, to his Panamanian mistress. This shocking calamity threatens Mary and her children with homelessness and poverty. She must defy her brother’s curse in order to win her independence as a woman. In doing so, she is forced to consider a deal with a spurned suitor from her past.

It is a story of forgiveness, redemption, and the transformation of hearts spanning the tumultuous period of Antebellum America. The Inheritance expores the devastation done to families left behind by adventurous men and the hardships in the pursuit of wealth. It presses the question of what we truly inherit.

David C. Lavoie uses genealogical and local Vermont records to bring this historical New England family to life. With every page, The Inheritance is a lusciously realistic glimpse back to the early days of our nation.