The Chandler Heritage Author:Ben Haas Spanning three generations and nearly a hundred years, this is a novel about a great Southern family dynasty, like the few that even today still wield immense power over the lives of thousands of people and entire towns. Packed with memorable scenes and characters, 'The Chandler Heritage' is an utterly enthralling saga from its first page to its... more » very last. A magnificent piece of storytelling, it is compulsive reading throughout.
We first meet the founder of the Chandler dynasty as a twelve-year-old fatherless boy, hopelessly mired in the poverty of his North Carolina valley during the black days following the Civil War. But then young Bolivar Chandler makes an astonishing discovery-that miracles do happen-and he decides that, given sufficient determination, anything is possible. Pursuing his goal singlemindedly, he grows up to be a stern, God-fearing man who eventually dominates the entire cotton industry from his personal fiefdom-the town named, naturally enough, Chandlerville.
His son, Heath, is a very different kind of man. Educated at Harvard, he seeks to avoid his father's stern hand and a heritage he hates by enlisting in the World War I Flying Corps, where the legends of his suicidal exploits in the air are matched only by the tales of his spectacular prowess in the bistros and boudoirs of Paris. At the close of the war, faced with a return to the mills, he defies his father and flees to New York with a most unlikely bride. There he carves out new careers, first as test pilot and then as playwright, and along with the remarkable woman his wife becomes, seems to put the captstone on his successful, sophisticated cosmopolitan life.
But the Chandler heritage cannot be dodged. Time and circumstance eventually reach out and pull Heath back during the depth of the Depression. In his own swashbuckling way, Heath builds his empire to even greater eminence, but it costs him almost more than he can pay in what happens to himself, his family, and to the all-important love and respect of the man he intends to make his heir. Only as his riproaring life is ending does he at last face squarely the question of whether the Chandler heritage is blessing or curse.
This is a novel with a narrative energy rarely encountered. Its quality is truly epic.« less