John Staven is forced into taking some time off work. He attends an auction and though not winning his two prized lots he bids and wins three boxes of odds and ends from a house clearance. Sorting the boxes he finds an old book. Inside the cover is an inscription but not in English. Interest triggered, he flicks through the book only to find a section in the middle is hand-written. He spends some time on the Internet trying to find out the language it is written in. He discovers it is in the Cornish Language. The writing is the diary of Kenan Ennor Lanyon. Kenan is a 17 year old man, who with seven other Cornishmen, is leaving Cornwall to go to America in 1835. John gets gripped with Kenan's diary and spends the next few days translating it. The diary tells of their ocean crossing to America in an old 30 foot Cornish Lugger they have patched up for the journey. It tells of the settlement where the men decide to live and the start of their life there. At this point the diary stops. John investigates a little more the Cornish link of the diary. He contacts the family and shows the granddaughter, Jen, his translation. They are confronted by Carl, a distant relative of one of the others mentioned in the diary. John and Jen find this worrying and interesting. As a result John and Jen fly to America to try to see what they can uncover. They stay at a small boarding house and with help from a couple of locals start to dig into the history surrounding Kenan's diary. They discover on a 50 year old map a name which requires more research and a visit to the land agent opens up a whole new side to the diary. John and Jen follow through this line of research which takes them all the way to Boston before they discover more of what happened to Kenan. The possibility of their being another part of the diary increases interest too. John and Jen's arrival in McKenzie and Boston signals a change in something for the first time since Kenan's death.
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