Award-Winning Historical Fiction

Books are available from Amazon, by contacting me directly, through the IndieBrag website and at the Narrow Gauge Book Coop in Alamosa, Colorado.
There are many reviews of each novel on Amazon and Goodreads.

The Trilogy –
Across the World
on the Wings of the

A family saga spanning three continents and five-hundred years.

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There’s nothing new about holy war. The language of the Crusades is echoed in the news of today. You can hear it in Savior, a work of historical fiction that looks both at holy war and depression through the mirror of the 13th century.

Imagine living in a world where depression is not regarded as a disease, but as Satan trying to steal your soul. Imagine turning to your priest who counsels you to take the Cross and to travel thousands of miles to the Holy Land to kill people so that you can be free of Satan forever. Imagine you believe this so absolutely that none of the rational arguments offered by your parents, your friends or your beloved can persuade you otherwise. Imagine that this journey costs you everything but the one thing you had hoped to lose — your life. What, from that desperate emptiness, would you find to bring back? Savior is this story. 

Savior is a coming-of-age novel, set in thirteenth century Switzerland, Palestine and Lebanon. Savior exemplifies the universal human journey of delusion, suffering, discovery, liberation, and transcendence that creates the individual. 

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The Brothers Path:  The world-shattering tumult of the Protestant Reformation enters the Schneebeli household when Rudolf Schneebeli is born two months early and dies a few minutes later without being baptized. Named for the well trodden track linking the Schneebeli farmhouse to the old Lunkhofen castle, The Brothers Path is set in a Swiss village near Zürich, between 1524 and 1531. It chronicles the lives of the six Schneebeli brothers, Heinrich, Hannes, Peter, Conrad, Thomann and Andreas. Each brother navigates his own path through, around or directly into the deadly drama of the Protestant reformation. Two hundred years after the events recounted in The Brothers’ Path, thousands of immigrants, mostly Mennonites and Amish, left Switzerland for America looking for safety and freedom they could not find at home. If the novel teaches a “lesson” it would be a reminder why immigrants to America were adamant about separating church and state.

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The Price: Hans Kaspar Schneebeli is enthralled by William Penn’s words describing an Eden where there is land for all, and everyone is free to worship as they please. Verena Dups, his long-time love, is happy living on her father’s horse farm in Affoltern-am-Albis near Zürich, Switzerland. It seems nothing can heal the rift when Hans Kaspar insists he wants to go to America, and Verena adamantly refuses. Until…The death of his father, the casual words of a customer, and the plans of his own teenaged sons bring Hans Kaspar to a crisis. His dream of America returns. This time Verena sees that nothing can stop him or her sons. To keep the family together, Verena and her little girls must go, too, even though the voyage is dangerous, and there’s no turning back. The journey across the Atlantic changes all their lives, costing far more than the price of passage.The Price is a love story, a historical novel about a Mennonite family’s emigration from Switzerland to Pennsylvania in the mid-eighteenth century, a powerful rendering of what happened over and over in families that immigrated to America. .

All Three Books Together

Savior, The Brothers Path and The Price make up a trilogy of stand-alone novels — Across the World on the Wings of the Wind — a family saga that spans 500 years of the von Lunkhofen/Schneebeli family from Affoltern am Albis, Switzerland. The trilogy begins with Savior, relating Rudolf von Lunkhofen’s journey on Crusade to the Holy Land in 1244 and ends with The Price that brings the Schneebeli family to America in 1743. In between is The Brothers Path in which the Schneebeli family finds itself caught up in the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation.

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Martin of Gfenn

Martin of Gfenn is the story of a young artist living in Zürich, Switzerland during the 13th century.

Martin of Gfenn is an award-winning work of historical fiction, the story of a young artist living in Zürich in the mid-thirteenth century. When he is nineteen, Martin contracts leprosy. He fights physical deterioration and social stigma to do what he believes he was meant to do – paint fresco. His short journey takes him from the streets of a swiftly growing Zürich to a to a small enclave of the Knights of Saint Lazarus, in the village of Gfenn.

I believe — and have been told by some of Martin of Gfenn’s readers — that people who enjoyed Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth will enjoy Martin of Gfenn. 

Martin of Gfenn is an IndieBRAG Medallion honoree, named Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews in 2015 , and was short-listed for the 2017 Chaucer Award by Chanticleer Reviews.

This novel is available in all online bookstores, available from Amazon as paperback and Kindle, You can also get one from contacting the author and at the Narrow Gauge Book Coop in Alamosa, CO.

Reviews of Martin of Gfenn

Historical Novel Society, Indie Review by Steve Donaghue, Editor’s Choice Award

In Martha Kennedy’s quiet, intensely moving novel Martin of Gfenn, the title character is given at a young age by his father to the Augustine Canons of St. Martin in thirteenth-century Zurich. The boy quickly demonstrates a talent for art, which the Augustinians encourage with formal training. At the threshold of his adult life, Martin contracts one of the scourges of the Middle Ages, leprosy (the disease is described with a rhetoric that borders on the poetic and a degree of detail that’s almost clinical), but he initially believes it will remain in remission. He achieves some public success as a painter in the following years, but eventually his symptoms return and accelerate; his life is derailed and he ends up at the Knights of St. Lazarus sanctuary in the village of Gfenn.

Kennedy invests this grim story with a great deal of pathos and a surprising amount of resigned optimism; her characters are richly textured, none more so than Martin himself, who gropes toward self-knowledge and a kind of acceptance even as his nightmarishly worsening physical condition makes it harder and harder for him to exercise his artistic talent. The research behind Martin of Gfenn, both sociological and biological, is evident, but the novel’s true genius lies in its insight into the fragile nature of hope itself. An outstanding work, highly recommended.

Books are available from Amazon, by contacting me directly, through the IndieBrag website and at the Narrow Gauge Book Coop in Alamosa, Colorado.
There are many reviews of each novel on Amazon and Goodreads.

© All work written on this blog that is not quoted from other sources has been done by me and as such is my property. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Martha Kennedy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

17 thoughts on “Award-Winning Historical Fiction

  1. Both pages look great, Martha. Very professional. I love the two pictures you lead with on the paintings page. They really draw the visitor in. Good idea to separate your two talents and give them each their own space. Well done. 🙂

  2. This author page is wonderful, Martha. My goal is to purchase the trilogy and Martin of Gfenn. I have read the reviews on Amazon. Did you self-publish? The Narrow Gauge Book Coop–is that something you developed and if not, how do you find places such as this? I’m so excited to delve deeper into your works this year. 💚

    • The Narrow Gauge is the independent bookstore in Alamosa the “big city” 18 miles away. I read from the China book there last fall which seems a lifetime ago now. It’s a beautiful little bookstore. I went out of business and the community bought it as a coop which is pretty cool. My best books are (I’m told) Martin of Gfenn, My Everest and the China book. The other three are good, but differently, and best read in order since one of the things I got interested in while I was writing is how things, ideas, words memories remain in a family and over time lose their context and yet are still there in a beautiful way, like faint echoes, messages across the centuries. ❤

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