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Trolley Days
An historical novel
Robert T. McMaster

Order       |        About the Author        |        Days of Trolleys       |        Read Chapter 1        |        News      |     Trolley Days for Teachers


Trolley Days

  "...a special gem of historical fiction...<Read 
Winston Lavallee, author of "Dancing in 
 the Dark
" and "Tempest in the Wilderness"

"A joyful, engaging read from beginning to 
 end... what wonderful characters whom I 
now  know and wouldn't mind sharing more
 time with."
<Read more> Mark Ashton,
 Southbridge Evening News

well-written and intriguing story...a real 
<Read more> Maureen Doyle, 
 Google Books

 "Well written historical fiction with a compelling storyline...trolley buffs and WWI era aficionados will enjoy this book..."

<Read more> Jonathan Wyler,

  "If you love period pieces then this is the 
 book for you..."
<Read more> Mary Haggerty,


Cover design by Benjamin Christopher Martins    

“Going to Boston…in the middle of a blizzard…are you mad, son? Can’t it wait a few days?” asked Mr. Bowen, a family friend and dispatcher for the Springfield Street Railway Company. As he spoke a smile of affection and concern spread across his round, ruddy face.

“No, it can’t,” replied eighteen-year-old Jack Bernard. “It’s about a….a friend.”

Mr. Bowen leaned in and spoke softly, his words barely audible above the wind: “That must be a real good friend, my boy…a real good friend. Godspeed to you.” And he turned and walked away, the swirling snow quickly engulfing him.

Holyoke, Massachusetts, in the nineteen-teens. It was the Silicon Valley of its time, a breeding ground of new ideas, a cauldron of hope, ambition, greed. Powered by the waters of a mighty river, its mills roared night and day, drawing workers from nearly every farm in New England, from Canada, and from Europe. They came to forge new lives for themselves and their families; many were rewarded, some bitterly disappointed.
Trolley Days is the story of an unlikely friendship between two boys growing up in Holyoke in its industrial heyday. Jack Bernard is the son of a mill worker who emigrated from Canada, Tom Wellington the son of the mill owner. Jack is shy and socially a bit awkward, Tom self-assured and smooth-talking. But for all their differences, the two boys have much in common. They love fishing, sports, and all manner of youthful tomfoolery. Each has suffered the loss of a sibling, tragedies that have affected both families deeply.

In the opening chapter a blizzard is approaching as Jack boards a train for the long trip to Boston. He has received a cryptic letter informing him that Tom is in a Boston jail. Despite a recent falling-out between the two, Jack still considers Tom his best friend, and he refuses to allow a snowstorm to prevent him from going to Tom’s aid. Soon Jack will be plunged into a mystery that calls on all his courage and determination to solve, even as Tom’s freedom, perhaps his very life, hangs in the balance. To save his friend, Jack will need the assistance of Tom’s sister, Anne, but that will require Jack and Anne to reconcile their fractured relationship.

Does friendship have its limits? Can bonds of trust, once broken, be repaired? Can we learn from life’s tragedies and move on, or must we carry them like lead weights on our hearts forever? In Trolley Days, it seems it is the young who bear the heaviest of life’s burdens and must marshal the strength to free themselves and their parents.




Unquomonk Press
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  Williamsburg, MA 01096 USA

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