Nonfiction Book Award Status: SILVER
Here’s a strange mixture of religion and fanaticism…
Love and murder…
Deep within the pages of the Moser family book lies a secret. The leather-bound book sits high upon a shelf, quietly gathering dust because most of the Mosers aren’t very interested in what’s gone on long ago. They’re busy going to work, raising their children, and living their lives. They go to the Moser family reunion in the summers. They eat watermelon, laugh with cousins they grew up with on the farm, and stroll over to watch their children in the swimming pool next to the park pavilion. The elderly Moser aunts sit at the picnic table, telling family stories as they leaf through the family photo albums. They know the secret. But they won’t admit it. They’ve shoved it to the back of the closet for too many years. They have no intention of letting it out now.
In 1994, author Amy Kinzer Steidinger was working as a genealogist, researching a family’s history. While paging through volumes of Amish, Mennonite & Apostolic Christian relatives, she came to the story of a mother and her three young children who had all died on the same day—March 13, 1900. Was it an accident? An illness of some kind? Steidinger soon learned that the husband and father of this young family had murdered them after being excommunicated from the Amish church. The sensational trial would demand answers of the church itself.
So Many Fragile Things follows that trial and provides some of those answers.
Amy Kinzer Steidinger is a genealogist and historian who loves stories. She’s been an educator in public and private school programs for twenty-five years. She is currently working on a collection of stories from the historical archives of the Old Joliet Prison that was built in 1859 (where the Blues Brothers was filmed!).