When iron ore is discovered in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the 1840s, entrepreneur Gerald Henning and his beautiful socialite wife Clara travel from Boston to the little village of Marquette on the shores of Lake Superior. They and their companions, Irish and German immigrants, French Canadians, and fellow New Englanders dream of a great metropolis at the center of the iron ore industry. Despite blizzards and near starvation, devastating fires and financial hardships, these iron pioneers persevere until their wilderness village first becomes integral to the Union cause in the Civil War and then a prosperous modern city.
Tyler R. Tichelaar holds a Ph.D. in Literature from Western Michigan University, and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in English from Northern Michigan University. He is the owner of his own publishing company, Marquette Fiction, and of Superior Book Productions, a professional book review, editing, proofreading, book design, and web design service.Tyler is the author of numerous historical novels, including The Marquette Trilogy (composed of Iron Pioneers, The Queen City, and Superior Heritage), Narrow Lives, The Only Thing That Lasts, Spirit of the North: a paranormal romance, and The Best Place. He has also authored non-fiction titles that include My Marquette, The Gothic Wanderer: From Transgression to Redemption, and King Arthur’s Children: A Study in Fiction and Tradition. An avid genealogist, Tyler has been fascinated by the Arthurian legend and medieval history since childhood, and has recently published the first book in his Children of Arthur series, Arthur's Legacy.
What happened to Madeleine Henning is finally revealed as secrets from the past shed light upon the future. Marquette’s residents struggle with a difficult local economy, yet remain optimistic for the future.
The novel’s main character, John Vandelaare, is descended from all the early Marquette families in Iron Pioneers and The Queen City. While he cherishes his family’s past, he questions if he should remain in his hometown. Then an unexpected event occurs which will change his life forever.
Mr. Tichelaar says of this work, "The Only Thing That Lasts is the first novel I ever wrote. I wanted to write an old-fashioned novel in the style of Louisa May Alcott or L. Frank Baum's Aunt Jane's Nieces, or even Marquette's own Carroll Watson Rankin, whose Dandelion Cottage first made Marquette the setting for a novel."
The novel explores the influence one person has, even in death, upon others, and it explores the prisons of grief, loneliness, and fear self-created by people when they doubt their own worthiness.