A fascinating look at life in the mid-1800s

Russell Dole has written a very interesting novel titled In Search Of Honor Book II: Bowdoin, published by North Country Press. I was very impressed with the details of life that Russell included in this story, from what folks had for dinner to the difficulties of traveling in Maine. Many people lived in poverty.

As the Civil War approaches, 18-year-old Benjamin Dean, the narrator of this story, works his way through Bowdoin College where Joshua Chamberlain was his professor. Benjamin worries about the national divide over slavery and talks about it often with professor Chamberlain.

The story includes plenty of tragedy along with times of joy. There is lots of romance in the story too. And it actually takes Benjamin an entire day to travel from Brunswick to his hometown of Rockland.

I had trouble initially believing this was not written by Benjamin because the details are so specific. Russell must have done a lot of research about what life was like back in those days.

You’ll get caught up in the story soon after beginning to read the book. I was really fascinated by the experiences of life lived by Benjamin, members of his family, and his girlfriend. And I think you will too.




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, georgesmithmaine.com, 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.