|Author Alfred Wellnitz is the grandson of a Prussian immigrant of whom he knows only a few facts. These few facts and a keen interest in the immigrant experience are what inspired the author to write the historical novel Finding the Way.
A blending of history and social issues with a compelling narrative makes Finding the Way entertaining and informative reading.
While serving in the Prussian Army during the Franco-Prussian war, Karl Mueller learns about the opportunity to become a landowner in America. The son of a landless peasant family, Karl is greatly attracted by this prospect and he decides to leave his home and family and pursue the opportunity to be a landowner. Karl meets companion Heinrich Schlicter on the ship taking him on the first step of what becomes a very long journey. The two remain friends and partners throughout a seven-year period while they travel across America and while Karl pursues his goal to homestead a piece of land he can call his own.
Karl's first priority is to accumulate enough money to fiance his homestead plans. The quest to accumulate the needed stake takes the two young men to Chicago's notorious meat-packing plants, to a Wisconsin lumber camp, and to the Black Hills gold rush. During these travels Karl and Heinrich encounter obstacles, adventure, love and hard choices.