Winner of ForeWord Review's 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award for 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. On the night of September 19-20, 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.
About the Author
Bob Hostetler is an award-winning writer, editor, pastor and speaker whose books have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell and won two Gold Medallion Awards, among others. Bob is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats.
What People are Saying About This
“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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Northkill, book 1 Northkill Amish***** by Bob Hostetler and J.M. Hochstetler In the year 1738 Jacob Hochstetler and his family left Europe and its persecution and sailed to America, in hopes to live in freedom and worship according to their Anabaptist beliefs. They settled in Northkill, Pennsylvania, a wilderness frontier, joining other members of their church in the Northkill Amish Mennonite community. After 18 years of peace, the French and Indian War rages all around them shattering their peace and endangering their lives. This is a remarkable story of the authors' ancestors. I was captured from the first page to the last. The Northkill area was described in such a way I could envision it as I read the story. It helped to have the map included in the book, which I referred to during Jacob and his children's ordeal. According to their beliefs of nonresistance, Jacob did not fight the indians when they appeared at their home. The struggle with remaining nonresistant was clearing shown as Jacob and his family were faced with a decision whether to fight or trust God for their deliverance. What followed was heartbreaking, tearing families apart. Northkill is full of heart-pounding suspense and drama that will keep you captivated to the end. The story has remained with me even after reading it. I impatiently await the second book coming out next year. Fantastic story! ~~ I won a copy of this book from the authors on Colonial Quill and was not required to leave a review~~
What a great book! The trust in God Jacob had was quite humbling! The author did not disappoint me in the writing of this book! Once I started reading the book, I was unable to put down! I was so drawn into the characters knowing that this really happened to them! A great read and I would recommend it to anyone for reading!