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  • 2016 Winner of Readers Favorite International Book Competition for Best Historical Fiction Honorable Mention

  • 2014 Peacemaker Award Finalist for Best Western Novel

WEST: Journey Across the Plains

Read the first novel in the 2-part Jennings Papers, the one that started it all.
It is 1849 and the California Gold Rush is underway. Johnathan Jennings, a merchant from Pittsburgh decides to take his family to San Francisco to relocate his business. That will be the first of many decisions he makes that will doom his family, and it worsens when he leaves his daughter Sarah behind to die. The entire story is told through "found" journals and letters.

Take a walk into the past with this harrowing tale. Captivating and heart-wrenching, each word laid upon the foundation of hope. A historical fiction lover’s perfect fix.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez


An intimate story, heart breaking and touching, original and descriptive. In the end, family and love become more important than anything else.

Maria Beltran


Emotional and moving to the point of being incredulous. This is a story that will stay with you for some considerable time. An excellent piece of historical fiction—or fact.

Jane Finch


I was captivated by this novel from the very beginning. A must-read for anyone interested in this time period, the diary entries drawing you right into the characters’ lives.

Heather Osborne

Fast-paced and rapidly immersive with both its grit and unapologetic representation. Larson does not scruple in maintaining an authentic tone in the voice of this pioneering.

Jamie Michele


A riveting western fiction novel. Readers will be turning the pages in the hopes of seeing the family reunited out west. Larson seamlessly weaves the different characters' stories together.

Charity Tober

A masterful story that will keep you turning pages. The characters will stay with you long after you've finished the story, with scenes so poignant, tears will come to your eyes.

Tracy Slowiak


An intriguing historical tale that compelled me to continue reading. I was consumed with the need to find out what happened next. I wish there was a sequel.

Tina Gibbons


A dirty and gritty look at settlers who went west, its characters brought to life. Lovers of westerns will appreciate this look into the life of one family separated by thousands of miles.

Kathryn Bennett


Larson manages to ground his characters and pull us into their heads in such a way as to feel their authenticity. Filled with noble determined characters, a heartfelt, fast-paced read.

Kayti Nika Raet


An absolutely stellar book filled with awe, despair and hope—you will feel the heat and the dust. West is a book that will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.

Chris Fischer

Copyright © 2023 David S. Larson. All rights reserved.

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