Etched in Granite – Historical Fiction Series, Book One

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.

Mj Pettengill

About Mj Pettengill (New Hampshire Author)

Mj Pettengill

Mj Pettengill is an author, lecturer, and social historian with a focus on cultural narrative and traditions, social welfare development, and intergenerational studies. She is a facilitator of creative writing and transformative arts workshops.

Pedaling through history is not new to her. Mj is a musician; her interests include Civil War Era performance and living history events. Aligned with her passion for nature and exploring the ancient healing traditions, customs, and folklore of her ancestors, she lives on a farm in the woods of New Hampshire.

In addition to earning undergraduate degrees in social history, psychology, and music, Mj received an MFA in creative writing. For more information, visit her website:

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