Book Discussion and Signing
Ossipee Public Library
October 19th 6:30 PM
LOCAL AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN PRESENTS
Etched in Granite
A Historical Novel
“I smiled when I thought about him lyin’ alone in that field with his bones picked clean. Live free or die. I finally understood.”
Local inspirational author and historian Mj Pettengill of North Sandwich, New Hampshire, will present her historical novel, Etched in Granite, set on the Carroll County Poor Farm in Ossipee, New Hampshire.
Mj Pettengill is an author, lecturer, and American historian. Her focus is on New England history, cultural and social narrative, and inter-generational studies. As a freelance writer, she has contributed to numerous magazines and is a facilitator of writing and transformative arts workshops. She is a cornetist and performs Civil War Era music and presents oral narratives throughout the Northeast.
Mj lives on a small farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she is also a wildcraft practitioner, aligned with her passion for nature and exploring the ancient healing traditions, customs, and folklore of her Abenaki ancestors.
She holds degrees in History and Psychology and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.
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 the Carroll County 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.
Originally a work of non-fiction, the author crafted a social narrative to reach a broader audience. The novel was inspired by her discovery of a pauper cemetery in Ossipee, 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.