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Author Bio


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Boundless McLennan, a young Scottish printer, is sentenced to indentured servitude in the American colonies for the crime of seditious libel. Upon landing in the New World, he escapes and hears of a marvellous beast inhabiting the far western plains.


A trapper takes Boundless under his wing and seduces him with tales of endless grasslands beyond the Alleghenies where the buffalo are rumoured to be so plentiful that ‘Jehovah himself could not count the heads’. Together, they set out on an epic adventure across a thousand miles of wilderness full of dangers—from bandits, wild animals, hostile Indians, and a brutal war between France and England for possession of the New World.


Despite the perils of the journey, Boundless is determined to lay eyes on the mysterious creature that beckons him to his destiny on the vast, windswept plains.

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Lost and alone on the vast prairies of 18th century America, Boundless McLennan, an escaped convict, chances upon a striking rock monolith.  Awed by the teeming herds of buffalo that roam the surrounding grasslands, he becomes fixated with the idea of carving the rock into a giant monument to the prodigious beast.


Against a backdrop of war, disease, and personal tragedy, Boundless struggles to achieve his vision, pitting his fierce will against the implacable rock in an obsessive desire to ‘make the world sit up and take notice’.


One man’s determination to leave his mark on history begets a haunting, multigenerational saga of ambition, greed, violence, and greatness that is the story of America itself.

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Meditations on life, art, landscapes, love, loss, and grief


America emerges from the trauma of the Civil War to find itself convulsed by rapid and often violent social and political change. Millions of land-hungry emigrants from all over the world flock to claim a piece of the newly ‘liberated’ Indian territories.


The prospect of overnight fortunes attracts a flood of gold miners, prospectors, con men, gamblers, and homesteaders to the booming territories as the railroads open up more and more of the frontier for settlement. The dispossessed and impoverished Native Americans are swept by messianic movements that promise the return of the vast buffalo herds.


In the midst of this upheaval, Purchase McLennan fights to retain the family legacy—the great patriarchal rock—now the target of an unscrupulous speculator. The forces of greed, desperation, bigotry and ambition collide in a shattering climax that ushers in the new century and a profoundly changed America.


A badly-wounded stranger awakens from a fever to find himself in a cabin being attended to by a mysterious Indian woman. He has no memory of who he is, or how he came to be there. He learns that he is in New France, Quebec and that he was shot in a hunting accident while wandering the nearby woods. 


He adopts the name Jacob and slowly rebuilds his life amid the religiously conservative society of New France. He becomes a successful businessman and falls in love. At the height of his prosperity, he is forced into bankruptcy and becomes a reluctant participant in New France’s struggle for political autonomy. Following a violent mass protest, he is falsely imprisoned on a murder charge. 


Years pass before he is finally set free—having endured the loss of his beloved wife while still imprisoned. Embittered and grieving, he struggles to find purpose in a world to which he has become a stranger.


Finn Wheeler, a journalist from New France, Quebec, is assigned to cover the US presidential bid of Senator Joseph Anderton, a charismatic Black politician. Motivated by the discovery of a family heirloom, he decides to combine the assignment with an investigation into the origins of the celebrated rock buffalo monument in North Dakota.


Driving across the United States, he witnesses America in a state of near anarchy as public anger over racial injustice explodes. Once in North Dakota, he falls in love with Evie, a young Mandan woman, and becomes obsessed with ‘unriddling’ the enigmatic stone buffalo.


Shortly after winning the Republican presidential nomination, Anderton is assassinated, and a deeply-fractured United States totters on the brink of civil war. A shocked Finn reports on the crisis while at the same time struggling to come to terms with startling discoveries about his ancestral legacy.



Review of Testament: Meditations 1972-2022 by Brendan Frain

This slim volume of meditations, divided into four parts, contains a series of reflections on places, people, love, and loss over the span of many years. Each reflection is masterfully crafted with rich and often profoundly moving insights that create a tone of poignancy and longing which resonates throughout the book. Readers will find themselves accompanying the author on his sojourns from childhood in England, to rustic cabin in the woods, and many other life experiences.
It’s hard to imagine any reader not becoming deeply involved with both the humorous and heart-wrenching observations from the author, and the memories they evoke in each of us. This book is a must read for anyone who savors excellent storytelling peppered with wise and thoughtful commentary.


M.Ed Retired Professor of Education, Canada


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