Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Vestiges is the first book in Peggy Ann Shumway’s Faith, Freedom, and Posterity Series. A mysterious past will come back to haunt anthropology professor Oneida Graham when she is summoned to her dying grandmother’s estate in Hopewell. In her moribund state, Althea Graham makes her granddaughter promise to perform a task that Oneida’s father had failed to do—finding and retrieving a sacred stone box. Before the last breath within her ebbs, Althea dubs her granddaughter The Awaited One, and there is no turning back for Oneida to claim what is rightfully hers. Without any idea of what she is getting into, she joins forces with an archaeologist relative, Lance Graham, only to discover that they are not merely searching for a precious relic, but uncovering the mystery behind the death of their grandfather.
Age-old secrets and conspiracies have never been written with such simplicity and grace. Vestiges is very thrilling, and it starts to roll when Oneida becomes The Awaited One. There’s an interesting dynamic between Oneida and Lance as both are shaped by scientific disciplines that prove useful in their quest, one that combines detective work with anthropology and archaeology. They share a passion for knowledge and for the discoveries of links between the past and the present. Peggy Ann Shumway is off to an excellent start with this first installment. I personally fell in love with the way Shumway handles dialogue, and it reveals so much about her characters. Moreover, it presents moments of emotion, triumph, and a satisfying prospect of continuity at the end. Vestiges is a novel that you will find hard to put down for its consciousness of history, religion, and legacy, as well as its pursuit of truth and ownership.