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Good Endeavor

A Maryland Family’s Turbulent History 1695-2002

  • In this historical novel full of colorful characters, Ned Tillman conjures up five generations of his family in an engaging look at how they might have dealt with the critical social, economic, and political issues of their time. 
  • The book, centered on the 300-year-old Good Endeavor homestead (where the author grew up) incorporates family stories, unusual family traits, and a host of heirlooms passed down through time. 
  • The protagonist discovers artifacts which inflames a desire to know more about the past. The book takes the reader through the lives of five generations and brings the reader right up to the present day. Along the way the family members encounter vigilante justice, piracy, bounty hunters, abolitionists, suffragettes, land conservationists, barnstorming troupes, union strikes, integration, and war and environmental protests.
  • The novel humanizes our collective ancestors and brings their stories, our touchstones to the past, to life. These examples of their lives throughout the great American experiment might help us all find our better selves in the struggles we face in the twenty-first century.

Buy Now:

Good Endeavour is a great read and loved by readers who like:

  • Engaging stories
  • History
  • To know more about their ancestors
  • Family sagas
  • A more personal look at the past
  • Book discussions
  • To delve into their own family stories
  • To gain perspective on the challenges we all face today

Reader’s Photo


Liz Bobo – In reading the historical novel, Good Endeavour, by Ned Tillman, I am reminded of the tale of my mom’s family from France, and her written account of their Maryland family’s history – on file in the Maryland historical society. Ned’s description of his “family’s, turbulent history” conjures up very clear images of what life was like during those times in our nation. I highly recommend this book as an enjoyable and enlightening read.

Dina Boogaard – Through the sensitive integration of historical records and vivid imagination, Tillman has created memorable characters who deal thoughtfully with each century’s family dynamics, and the cultural, political, and environmental complexities of their times. 

Lys Fulda – The ghosts of our past are trapped in the earth beneath our feet. This book explores just that. One homestead’s history reveals things both sweet and scary. But by looking at a history we can break cycles. A well-crafted story.

Ann Wing – I think it is Tillman’s best book yet!

Sherry Wechsler – I really liked this book. As I finished it, I felt renewed. I could identify with the characters depicted and can truly say I have learned similar lessons from my own family.

John Caughey – In this original, well written, and important book, Tillman offers one version of American History by telling the lives of his Maryland ancestors on their family farm, one generation after another, from 1695-2002. Using an engaging mix of historical sources, family stories, and creative fiction, he brings the individuals of each generation vividly to life in ways unavailable in conventional history. The book is inspiring as well as informative because it encourages us to reconsider what we know about our own family ancestors and how they – and now we – are caught up in responding to the issues of the time.

Tracey Manning – Reminiscent of Edward Rutherford’s or James Michener’s books but on a shorter, more accessible scale. Tillman vividly captures how the United States has been shaped by regional challenges, national experiences, and world events – and by the individuals living through them. Good Endeavour is a great read, hard to put down, drawing the reader in to care about the characters and be intrigued and educated by the issues they deal with. I highly recommend it.

Ed Dudek  – One of only a few books I have enjoyed reading a second time. The author immerses the reader in the historical and societal changes faced by an American farm family over three centuries. Non-judgemental narrative allows both sides of the political spectrum to hear this family’s success and shortcomings. I was compelled to reread it, as it allows one to experience the connection of family to the land.

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