illuminate history

Curiosity: forget “Cherchez la femme” (Look for the woman.) “Cherchez l’histoire.” (Look for the story.)

Comments from readers

  • “Although unfamiliar with locomotive engineering, I was riveted by this book, which is written in a way that I could understand. The family ties were most interesting;  I felt like I had known John, Francis and their families, at the same time learning more about the railroad involvement in our Civil War.”–Pat P., Cherry Hill, NJ

  • “It seems the President’s in town and there will be road blocks at various intersections all day long. And that’s what happened to me every time I started to write to you…blocked…overwhelmed by the many levels at which the saga of the Bailey family spoke to me…I had almost as much fun reading the “Afterword: Adventures in Research” as I did the book…What a detective you are!” Kathy F., NYC

  • “I know these people! And I wish I’d had a book like this when I was studying history in school…” Cindy A., Madison, IN

  • “I read about half of the book. I lost interest at the BLE area, though I did skim through the “Jackson connection” portion. Overall I liked it.”–Ray C., Jackson, MI

  • “I just finished the book, including your “Afterword: Adventures in Research”, which is as interesting and entertaining as the the story itself. You not only captured the “voices” of each person, you really brought the “reflections” to life.” Pat M., Baltimore, MD

  • “It exceeded my expectations.” –Gary P., Portland, OR

  • “I was transported to another century and felt that I was meeting John and Francis personally.  I felt the pain of their separation, the joy of having found each other and the lives they lived with only letters to bind them together.  The extensive research given to the project was extraordinary and I could not put the book down.  The narrator was alive and you could almost see the grease on his hands from working on the locomotive.  I have been telling everyone to read this book and have already loaned it to a friend who loves to read.  Wonderful adventure, indeed!” Ruth P., Portland, OR

  • Just a few quick comments about your book…. I found the family dynamics quite interesting.  The patriarch was quite something, to so distance himself from his “first” family. Those kids had to sink or swim quickly!  Ironic that your great-grandmother was the sister of the patriarch’s second wife.  I liked that you continued the story past John’s death. Railroad work was obviously alluring, but also so dangerous. Railroading gave John Bailey a good and prosperous life, yet it ultimately killed him. It was kind of fun that you caught John fibbing a bit about his war exploits! And of course, I enjoyed the addendum about your research adventures … kind of like knowing personally a History Detective! Suzanne B., Portland, OR


  • Additional comments are always welcome…

One comment on “Comments from readers

  1. Thomas S. Winslow
    October 12, 2011

    “What I enjoyed about this wonderful book is that history is brought forward through the recent discovery of hand written letters of times past, giving direct insight into the early days of railroading in Canada and the US. The author, being a direct relative of the central figure, John Bailey and his family added “extra” intrigue to the narrative. It is clear that tremendous research went into the blending of the letters with historical fact. I greatly enjoyed this read, and would definitely recommend it!” Tom W., Portland, OR

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