The Rocks – Frederick Morse

This was a great period story set in 1853-1857. It concerns a young man named Olin Collins; a 14 year old orphan who has been living in the local library since his mom died when he was nine. His aunt works at the library and had no room for him at home. Olin quickly became the most important person in his small town, making money to support himself, and using the knowledge he learned from reading books to help others in his town.

The Rocks Cover Image

He managed to save enough money to buy what was believed, by the adults, to be a worthless piece of land, full of huge rocks that would cost too much money to move. Gathering up several other orphan boys who got by on their wits, he created a town, “The Rocks”, that every single adult came to rely on for income or other necessities. Using what he learned from the books in the library, he managed to break the rocks, sell them to the town mason, tap the trees for sap to sell to the grocer, and use the timber he cut to build small houses for the orphans and himself.

There is a lot to this story, and many detailed scientific experiments. This is how Olin made his money; showing the men in town things that sounded impossible, but were perfectly easy to do because of science. He would charge a fee to see the demonstration, and they would pay it.

This story also touches on real issues that were going on in the states in this pre-Civil War era. Slaves were being transported to Canada where the laws could not force them back to their owners, states were fighting each other, and no one was sure what the future would hold.

If you enjoy history stories or period novels, I think this is one you would enjoy as well. If you give it a try, let me know how you liked it!

As you may recall, I reviewed another book by Mr. Morse, called “The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes”. This was the review I sent on to him only to find out that he had recently passed away. I will be passing this review on to his Widow as I promised I would, and will be reading another of his books in the near future. You can find that first review here:


I was So Thrilled to Post This Book Review…and Now I Feel Like a Complete Jerk because I Did!

As some of you know, some of my best books read and reviewed (in my opinion) are the ones I stumbled upon, chose to read, and am grateful I did. I will say straight-off that I do belong to a free ebooks website, and get 5 books a month through there. I also pick up random books at Barnes and Noble in their clearance bins, and buy books through Amazon because I like the cover.

I put myself out there (and many of you did as well), when I offered to read, edit, and review your works for free. I have met some amazing authors, made some great literary friends, and am glad I could help out others in a way that means so much to me!

Last month while perusing my free ebooks, I came across a story that I had to get. It was “The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes”, by Fred Morse. I love reading religious stories, factual, fiction, and whatever else may fall between the cracks. This story was fantastic, and I was so excited to post a review and also wanted to make sure I let Mr. Morse know. This book was too good to be on a free ebook site.

The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes Cover image

For the past couple of years of doing this blog, I would often post these types of reviews; but it was as of late that I thought I really need to make sure these authors know their stories are being read, and appreciated.

So as I have been so often doing now, I posted the book review, and sent an email to the author letting them know I reviewed their book, and included the link so they did not have to search for the review.

And then I was checking my email. I will admit I was anxiously awaiting to hear from Mr. Morse, and hoping he liked my review.

It was from his wife. He had passed away in September, and she wanted to let me know she appreciated me reaching out, and was happy I enjoyed his writing.

So many things ran through my mind. I was sad I never got to communicate with this great writer about his works. I likely opened afresh the pain his wife was trying to control during the Christmas holiday season. And more than anything, was I looking for approval from someone whom I did not know because I liked their writing?

I asked in my email that he let me know of any other books he had written, because I wanted to buy and review them. His wife was gracious enough to let me know, and with her permission, I will indeed be reading and reviewing them.

I never ask favors of anyone, but I would truly like any of my followers who enjoy this same type of genre to look up this book and read it. You will not be disappointed!

And to his wife, I would like to wish a Blessed, Happy New Year full of warm memories and comfort on how her husband’s writing truly did make a difference.

You can find my original review here:

You can find it on Amazon here:

It is the best 0.99 you will ever spend.