Word Wednesday: Legacy

From Merriam Webster online:

“In its basic meaning, a legacy is a gift of money or other personal property that’s granted by the terms of a will—often a substantial gift that needs to be properly managed. But the word is used much more broadly as well. So, for instance, much of Western civilization—law, philosophy, aesthetics— could be called the undying legacy of ancient Greece. And the rights and opportunities that women enjoy today are partly the legacy of the early suffragists and feminists.”

Legacy is another underlying theme of My One True Love. In the literal sense, Margaret’s widow inheritance is a major plot element. In a deeper sense, she’s impacted by the legacy left her by her late-husband and his ancestors: the echoes of slavery.

Slavery was abolished in the US on January 1, 1863 (History.com). My One True Love is set over fifty years later, in 1915. But the effects of centuries’ of abuse and misuse of power impacts Margaret’s life, as, sadly, it still does today for too many people in the world. It’s a difficult subject that I am doing my best to research, and respect, as it infiltrates the atmosphere of this story, a story that is at its heart and in its genre, a Romance.

Below is a snippet showing Margaret’s struggle to understand her new reality…

Why was everything here so hard, and everyone so… damn accepting of their lot, meagre as it was? She couldn’t remember a time when she couldn’t read, and yet almost everyone around her at Sugar Hill, couldn’t. Could Mr. Banner?

Margaret Sweeney from My One True Love

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A hard beginning makes a good ending.

~John Heywood

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