I specialize in reviewing Print-On-Demand (POD) published books for my website and Midwest Book Review. Please query for a review by email to hgunther234@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


2021 Pine Lake Rd, Lincoln, NE
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: Good
ISBN: 9780595437948, $18.95, 295 pp.

Quoting from the back cover:

"In the summer of 1891, Orrin Leslie Elliott brings his wife and young son to Senator Stanford’s Palo Alto Farm in Northern California to work for David Starr Jordan, president of the new university being established there.

"The Elliotts find their new surroundings to be bleak and isolated: college buildings that look like a factory, little or no housing, and a murky water supply. Nearby Mayfield is peopled with cowboys serviced by numerous saloons and prostitutes. With faculty still to be hired, textbooks to be ordered, and dormitories only half finished, plans to open the university in four months seem ludicrous.

"This is the story of the founding of Stanford University, as seen through the eyes of the Elliotts, Dr. Jordan, and a sundry group of students. Rubin (Sosh) Weinberg is the only Jewish student in the class of 1895. Fletcher Martin, ex-U.S. Army officer, put his life on the line for others. Sally Forrest, whose father was slain by gunmen hired by the railroads, attempts to avenger her father’s death. Sam Cutter, a devious product of the streets of Chicago, performs act of chicanery-thievery, intrigue, and murder, including the tormenting of Sosh Weinberg."

Jerry Franks has done an excellent job of weaving factual elements into this fictional novel to create a feel for the times. The entire story takes place during 1891, beginning on March 16 and ending on December 31. This novel is the first of a trilogy. It is well written and well edited, and if you enjoy historical novels, you won’t be disappointed.

Reviewed by Kaye Trout - June 27, 2007