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Excerpts from Amazon

In Search of Helen from Two Locks

"In Search of Helen from Two Locks" was a compelling true story of a family mystery. Although sad, it was told in a compassionate and loving way. I read 200 pages in one sitting. This would make a great Netflix series. The author did a magnificent job weaving through the text, historical references, which I found to be interesting. Well worth reading.

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I read this book in a day. I could not put it down. It’s a true story and you feel like you are a witness. It was touching, and surprising at the same time. The author John McBride White has a way of placing you in his shoes as the story keeps unfolding as he writes it.

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I highly recommend this book. I got lost in the story, feeling as though I was there as each chapter unfolded. It also made me want to visit each of the landmarks, that were such an intricate part of bringing Helen and her experience to life in my mind.

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This book makes a significant contribution to local and Maryland state history, with an in depth description of a rare and debilitating genetic disease. Many details of early 20th century life along the C&O Canal.

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This book touches your heart and teaches you so much at the same time. Wonderful book.

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A beautifully written story of a son determined to know the beauty in his Mother. The writing style is amazing, the research and detail is unparalleled, and the love woven throughout is heartrending! A definite must-read on your list of books for 2021!

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I highly recommend this book. My family is struggling with the same rare disease which took Helen and Patsy at a young age. As the author described Helen and Patsy’s disease I knew they had the same disease I have watched my family struggle with and search for a cure. It was amazing how much history of Clear Spring, Springfield and Two Locks was included in the book. It felt like I was experiencing this journey alongside Sid.

Kansas City Star

Talented, skewed, well-written, stoned, splashy, colorful, sharp, loud, violent, smart. Read it.


Kirkus Reviews

A strong, compassionate first novel.

Publisher's Weekly

White deftly juggles several story lines as he brings his plot to a boil…White seems a promising storyteller who can handle complex subjects with aplomb.

Washington Post

Vivid images shine through.

Tulsa World

Most of the fine novels about the Vietnam War have been told by the soldiers who fought there and the politicians who sent them. Not so many are about the world at home. White rushes to fill that void with this emotional, intelligent first novel.

Debuts a writer of tremendous potential.


Will capture readers with its strident sound and genuine heart.

Vietnam Veterans of America

White balances his vicious scenes with others of touching sensitivity. His fresh, new characters stimulate a story line that will keep you reading. Thorough in his research, White has crafted a work that is historically correct and technically accurate.


The Beachcomber

Machine gun flashes of brilliance.

Toledo Blade

A charming debut novel. Much like John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, it balances the experience of growing up in the '60s with light-hearted humor and shares another Irving quality -- good character development.

The book is a page turner. His voice is passionate without being gushy.

In Carrie's Footprints


Everyone should read this modest book. Everyone.

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I couldn't put this book down. It rings true to so many important issues that many are so significant today...It hit me like no other how much we have lost in this country because of senseless repression. This is the real life story of the human spirit and should be required reading in the schools. Do yourself a favor and be inspired by Jack McBride White's excellent telling of this life time achievement for a family, taken from Warren Dorsey's own words. Mr. Dorsey is currently going strong at 97 years old.

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Coming from a rural background, I have had a taste of what it was like to grow up with relatively little, but nothing like the Dorsey family. The day Jack McBride White met Warren Dorsey was one special occasion at the very least. This is a story everyone should read and appreciate!

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This is a vividly told, excellently written book about a more or less forgotten perspective of local history that involved no small amount of racism and bigotry and one great amount of courage in enduring and overcoming it. A truly inspiring story, and one of the best, if not the best, local (Carroll County/Central Maryland histories) I have read. White, who has written extensively on history, politics and numerous other topics, is not only an excellent writer, he also has a deep passion for his subject, and it shines through on every page.

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A beautiful and universally inspiring story of perseverance overcoming hardship. Mr. White is a gifted storyteller whose crisp prose and a wry wit draw you in into the world and experience of the Dorsey family across several generations. With compassion and honesty but not a touch of sentimentality or indignation, Jack White’s excellent historical research and novelist’s skill at drawing vivid characters with clarity and economy make this a compelling must-read.

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It is such a moving story about an incredible family. The style this book is written in covers a long period of time and mentions numerous events, but it is a style which takes you on a journey. It makes you want to know more. It made me feel as if the story was being told right to me. I found myself rereading certain paragraphs...because I liked them. I like the wording, I liked the message. I took my time and felt bad when I knew it was coming to an end. I love it when a book does that to me.

The Keeper or the Ferris Wheel

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