Area native publishes ‘Freedom Chaser’

The paperback version of Joan M. Kop's book "Freedom Chaser" is available for purchase at for $15.95.

Joan M Kop (Joan Kopczynski), who grew up on the Camas Prairie, and is the author of Spies, Lies & Psychosis, has published a new book called, The Freedom Chaser. A hybrid novel which combines historical fiction and family history, it is a story about freedom, love and survival.

In 1867, August Kopczynski, a young Polish blacksmith and farmer, is faced with poor choices—to fight in the upcoming Franco-Prussian War or be hanged if he does not. Using a false passport, he escapes to America and survives a harrowing storm aboard a ship where he falls in love with Marie. Together they set out on a faith-filled journey full of Midwest hardships, hoping to realize their dream of prosperity and sons to carry on the family name.

“The book was inspired by true events and most are true names,” the author said. “I did more than 20 years of research before was invented in 1983. And, I took research trips to Poland, Germany, New York City, Chicago and Kansas to make sure I got things right.”

“The latter part of the book depicts life in the early days of Cottonwood’s history, including horse and cattle roundups as well as hog stampedes. August never took freedom for granted. He became a U.S. citizen in 1889 and got the thrill of his life when he rode by horse to the Grangeville courthouse to vote for the first time.”

Reviews on the book include the following:

“The Freedom Chaser is an extremely well-written family history displaying vast historical knowledge and natural storytelling skills. The historical period comes to life and at times the characters seem to jump off the pages.” -- Helga Schier, PhD and former editor at Random House.

“A well-written portrayal of the author’s great-grandfather, who emigrated from Poland after the U.S. Civil War. Anyone interested in the history of Chicago, Kansas and Idaho with the trials and tribulations of immigrants to America will find this a worthwhile read.” – Lyle Wirtanen, Former Director (2000-2010), Historical Museum at St. Gertrude, Cottonwood.

The book is available for purchase at www., paperback, for $15.95.

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