This historical novel seemed very real to me

Russell Dole’s book, In Search of Honor – Rockland to Round Top – is a work of fiction, but it seems so real that I had to check with the publisher, North Country Press, and ask if the recollections of Benjamin Dean, the narrator, were real.

Boy, the story seemed very real to me. But it turns out that Dean was not a real person. Dole did a superb job of researching the 1800s and writing a narrative that takes us right back there.

Dean’s story begins with the death of Joshua Chamberlain, Maine’s Civil War Hero, in 1914. We are taken back to the mid 1800s when Dean first meets Chamberlain, who became his mentor. There’s a lot about Dean’s family living in Rockland, and I especially enjoyed the section of the book about the family’s time in the north woods and Moosehead Lake.

The book ends with a tragedy at Ripogenus Gorge, a place where I love to fish. If I ever get back there, this story will be on my mind, for sure.

Dole is a retired history teacher from Rockland who now lives in Portland.

And here’s some really good news. This is Book One, with more coming. I can’t wait for the next one!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.