by Jerry Apps
Increase Joseph Link, an itinerant preacher, arrives in the wilds of central Wisconsin in 1852. A small band of followers who call themselves the Standalone Fellowship come with him. They take up farming near Link Lake, names for their revered spiritual leader.
The Standalone Fellowship almost immediately falls on difficult times. To earn money for the Fellowship, Increase Joseph takes his message of "listening to the land" to nearby towns where he preaches in a round tent and sells a special curative tonic for fifty cents a bottle.
Increase Joseph's preaching becomes known throughout the region for its content and especially for his powerful manner of delivery. His spellbinding oratory is based on the mysterious Red Book that Increase Joseph carries with him everywhere and allows no one to see.
He takes on wheat farmers, lumber barons and those who accept technology without questioning it. He speaks against war and slavery and the Fellowship becomes a part of the Underground Railroad.
With a cast of characters, real and fictional, Apps tells a fast moving story that examines human progress in a new light. The story of Increase Joseph Link is nuance with philosophy and history, and told with humor and Apps' special storytelling flair.
This hard-cover book contains 268 pages.