Book of the Week (6/26/2017)

Etched in Granite by Mj Pettengill (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015).

Historical fiction that takes place in New Hampshire always catches my eye, and the fact that this book is inspired by the author's discovery of a pauper cemetery in Ossipee, NH immediately intrigued me. Mj Pettengill based her historical novel on academic research and she includes a list of 268 names out of the 298 numbered graves that she found after extensive investigation.
The year is 1872. The Civil War has ended, leaving behind a nation torn and economically depressed. "Etched in Granite" is a harrowing account of life and death on a rural New England Poor Farm – a tragic, yet triumphant novel that tells a story of courage, survival, and secrets surrounding lost love.

The story is narrated by the three principal characters: Abigail, a young woman facing unimaginable hardship when agonizing circumstances and betrayal lead to life on the Poor Farm; Nellie, an Abenaki elder and healer enduring great loss while exhibiting resilience during a time of social, racial, and religious intolerance; and Silas, a spirited farm boss illuminating the conflicts of balancing a position of authority with his personal life while navigating small town politics.

Their unforgettable stories are carefully woven together to reveal a hidden part of America’s somber past.

The novel was inspired by the author's discovery of a pauper cemetery in New Hampshire where there are 298 numbered graves. It is her mission to give voices to those silenced, to evoke images where they have been erased, and to replace the numbers with names. -- Author's blurb
Mj Pettengill will be signing Etched in Granite at Bayswater Books on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 12-2 pm.

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