Description

Winner of the Forward Reviews' 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award in Historical Fiction!

In 1738 Jakob Hochstetler and his family immigrate to America, seeking sanctuary from religious persecution in Europe and the freedom to live and worship according to their nonresistant Anabaptist beliefs. Along with other members of their church, they settle in the Northkill Amish Mennonite community at the base of the Blue Mountains, on the frontier between white and Indian territory. They build a home near Northkill Creek, for which their community is named.

For eighteen years, the community lives at peace with its Indian neighbors. Then while the French and Indian War rages, the Hochstetlers’ way of life is brutally shattered. Early on the morning of September 20, 1757, their home is attacked by a war party of Delaware and Shawnee Indians allied with the French. Facing almost certain death with his wife and children, Jakob makes a wrenching decision that will tear apart his family and change all of their lives forever.   Northkill is closely based on an inspiring true story well-known among the Amish and Mennonites. It has been documented in many publications and in contemporary accounts preserved in the Pennsylvania State Archives and in private collections. 



The Story Behind This Book
Northkill is a fictional recreation of the inspiring true story of our Hochstetler ancestors, handed down orally through the family and preserved in contemporary reports of the time.


Praise and Reviews

“A deeply moving, even life-changing book, Northkill brings an actual event in American history to life with such skill and poignancy I could hardly bear to read on yet could not put it down. J. M. Hochstetler and Bob Hostetler have brought the pathos and beauty of the American frontier to the page with rare authenticity and depth, crafting a story from their family legacy that will stay with you long after you finish. This historical novel is among the finest I have ever read.” —Laura Frantz, Christy Award finalist and author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Love’s Reckoning


“There are few better ways to learn history than through the well-told story. Northkill is one such incredible story of my family torn asunder by massacre and kidnapping, barely patched back together by faith, fortitude, and sheer luck. Read this book if you love suspense and survival against the odds. Read this book to learn about the settling and unsettling of America at the time of the French and Indian War. Read this book to discover how one family’s commitment to peace was tested beyond measure, whose legacy lives on in a trail of descendants who still ponder what the cost of such peaceful convictions mean for us today. Read this book!” —James Hostetler Brenneman, President, Goshen College 


“A riveting tale based closely on the life of the authors’ eighteenth-century Amish ancestors during the French and Indian war, Northkill kept me up nights unable to stop reading. The terror, grief, and peril faced by Jakob Hochstetler and his extended family and community are unflinchingly portrayed. Some cling to the hope that even through the most tragic and bewildering of circumstances a loving God has not abandoned them. Others struggle with doubt. Every character’s journey rings with authenticity. I look forward to the conclusion of this thrilling and absorbing story with great anticipation.” —Lori Benton, author of Burning Sky


“I am pleased that the authors of Northkill have preserved a sense of the ancestral struggles experienced by settlers of the early American Peace Church tradition. Their story drew me in by its vivid imagery and fluid writing style.” —Perry White, President of Bethel College


Northkill is a thoroughly riveting tale all the more powerful because it’s factually based on a real-life family drawn into actual events in American history. Once I began reading about the Hochstetler family’s successful endeavors in taming a wild, unforgiving land, I couldn’t put the story down. Their descent into tragedy through no fault of their own kept me reading, as well as aching for their suffering. When I finished the story, I longed for to know more about this remarkable, peace-loving family.” —Louise M. Gouge, award-winning author


Northkill by Bob Hostetler and J. M. Hochstetler is a beautifully poignant tale as deep and varied as the frontier upon which it’s set. Remarkable characters facing extraordinary tests of courage and faith make this story a MUST read!” —Elizabeth Ludwig, author of No Safe Harbor


“A masterpiece. Northkill stole my breath and my heart. With expert skill, the authors blend nail-biting suspense, blood-pumping drama and heartbreaking history into a tale that will both haunt and inspire. A book this rich and multi-dimensional deserves to be read more than once. The second book in the series can’t come quickly enough for me!” —Jocelyn Green, award-winning author of the Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War series


“J. M. Hochstetler and Bob Hostetler have created a story and a world that took hold of my imagination and interest. To know that this involves their own family history was compelling and heartbreaking.  The research that has gone into this is astounding and will be a true delight for those who enjoy historical fiction.” —Rene Gutteridge, author of Misery Loves Company



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J. M. Hochstetler
The daughter of Mennonite farmers, I grew up in the Kokomo, IN, area and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Germanic Languages. I am a publisher, a professional ed More...