ROCK OF FREEDOM by Noel Gerson

From the publisher:

An enthralling tale of the men and women who left Europe four hundred years ago to found the Plymouth Colony. Perfect for readers of Allan W. Eckert, Paul C.R. Monk and fans of the television series Jamestown.

They have escaped persecution, now they must survive in the New World…

9th November, 1620, aboard the Mayflower.

William Bradford and over one hundred other men and women stand on the deck of the ship that for the last ten weeks has sailed across the breadth of the Atlantic.

On the horizon they can see land … it is America.

They have come to this untamed place with few supplies, inadequate tools, and little experience in wilderness living, but what they do have is an unbreakable desire to build a new life for themselves and their families and faith that whatever may happen is part of God’s divine plan.

But how will they survive their first few months in this strange world as a brutal winter begins to envelop them?

And will the harmony of the Pilgrims, embodied by their newly signed Mayflower Compact, survive as relationships fracture and the stresses and strains of hunger, disease and death begin to take their toll?

Rock of Freedom: The Story of the Plymouth Colony is a thoroughly-researched fictionalized account of the Mayflower voyage and the settling of the Pilgrims in New England. It is a dramatic work of historical fiction that brings the lives of the men and women who made this journey to life.


Noel Gerson was a very prolific author of 325 books, mainly stand-alone novels of history.  He also utilized several pen names to write under and has to his credit best sellers as well as two screenplays.  Most readers will have seen “55 Days at Peking’ either in the theater or on one of its myriad presentations on T.V.

Gerson passed away in 1988 leaving a legacy that will certainly stand for many years.  “Rock of Freedom” is a reprint and is an excellent example of the literature that he presented. It is a fact-based story of the Pilgrims that left Europe in the sixteen hundreds seeking religious freedom in the New World. His bibliography cites various source publications that provide facts about events in the founding of the colony of Plymouth in what was New England. As in most other well-done novels including literary license interpreting a historical situation the interpretation makes it more readable and not at all dry while offering facts about the period and events.     

The author tells the story of the reasoning behind the group known as the Pilgrims leaving their homes which were located in both England and with another group living in Holland and travel 3000 miles to settle in a raw new land. They spent two months at sea in the Mayflower cramped and seasick and sailing through several hurricanes before coming to what was Cape Cod. The group learned to survive in primitive conditions with the possibility of attacks by tribes of native Americans always hanging over their heads.       

The writing and style are well done as I remember them being when I first came across Gerson thanks to a recommendation by one of my teachers who devoured his books. I certainly recommend that the reader try this novel and then seek out more when they are reprinted as I trust they will be.

12/2020 Paul Lane

ROCK OF FREEDOM by Noel Gerson. Sapere Books (October 5, 2020). ISBN: 978-1800550933. 184 pages.

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