The Dream Shelf

Rated 5.00/5 based on 2 reviews
The Dream Shelf follows Sam Archer on a journey of hope, frustration, elation and shame as he struggles to uncover the secret of his father’s hidden past. Along the way it examines the basis of human motivation, asks whether doing the wrong thing can sometimes be the right thing to do and highlights lessons in sacrifice and integrity that one generation must pass on to the next. More

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About Jeff Russell

I am a tale-spinner. My childhood heroes were Jules Verne and Victor Appleton II, architects of fantastic adventures. Hemingway stepped in when I discovered that the trials and triumphs of real people – those with limited physical and financial resources – were even more intriguing than science fiction. Today I try to follow that example with my own characters. They are the ‘you and me’ of the world, ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances, beaten down perhaps and yet determined to succeed. Invariably they find adventure, romance and self-fulfillment, as should we all.

When not absorbed in the pages of some new author or hammering away at my latest manuscript I can be found living and running in Stowe, VT. Visit my website at and feel free to drop me a line at
Happy reading!

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marian librarian reviewed on on Aug. 1, 2013

This well-paced book held my interest on so many levels. First, the central story of Sam Archer seeking to uncover his father’s past appeals as a puzzle that needs to be pieced together. Russell unravels the story bit by bit, leaving the reader with enough clues to have something to think about between chapters, while at the same time keeping one in suspense. Next, the historical fiction that was woven into the plot serves two purposes, drawing a subtle yet important parallel between Robert Archer and the Civil War soldier Jeremiah Paxton. Both faced a moral dilemma of whether to follow their heart or to follow orders. All of the characters were well-drawn and very likeable. The relationships between the fathers and their grown children felt so comfortable. And lastly, the tender and subtle romance that unfolds adds one more element to an already great story. Overall, this an excellent book with wide appeal that I would highly recommend to lovers of family stories, historical fiction, puzzlers, and romance.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
Kristen Keil reviewed on on July 27, 2013

The Dream Shelf is a very touching story about a son's quest to truly know his dead father by uncovering his hidden past. This story is packed full of interesting references to actual historical events at times I had to stop and remind myself the story is actually fiction. My favorite part of this book is how the author very artfully wove together the back stories of three men from very different times but who all faced moral dilemmas, exasperated by war and whom all essentially gave their lives to do what they believed was right. The characters and heart of this book are moving and they will stay with you for sometime after you finish reading the book. I stayed up way too late reading the entire second half of the book in one night.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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