Sunday, August 16, 2015

MATTIE by M. Ann Rohrer and a History Behind the Story

"...a captivating historical novel...a delicious read filled with history, intrigue, adventure, danger, finding faith and discovering God..." —Deseret News

“Mattie” is history made alive as we follow a young woman through a crisis of faith, life threatening adventures, and heartbreaking romance. Twice, she falls in love with the wrong men before returning to her roots in Mexico to marry the man she didn’t know she loved. Then suddenly, war descends on her happily-ever-after, and Mattie must bring to bear her budding faith and indomitable spirit to survive.

A History Behind the Story

By M. Ann Rohrer

In late 1800’s the Mormon Church purchased property in Chihuahua, Mexico. Within a short time, about thirteen communities were settled—Colonies as they were called, the two major colonies being Colonia Dublan and Colonia Ju├írez. Several years after arriving, George Sevey and his wife gave birth to a little girl, Martha Ann Sevey. They called her Mattie.

She is my grandmother.

I am named for her. When I was fifteen, she gave me her silver medallion necklace with a gold M inset. The year I went to high school in Colonia Juarez, I ate lunch often at grandma’s house. Her home was the gathering place for our big summer reunions. Famous for her cooking, breakfast being my favorite, she made pancakes so large they barely fit on our plates. At Grandma’s house I experienced the outhouse, chamber pots, the wood-cooking stove, the wringer washer, green apples, large gardens, irrigation ditches, canning produce, milk buckets, churning butter, and gathering eggs. Grandma had a great sense of humor and a matter-of-fact approach to life. I grew up listening to her life history. We share a similar experience from our courting days. Grandma was not a journal keeper, and I wanted to tell her story.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Mattie
“Mattie pounded her pillow then rolled over and stared at the ceiling. She hated the interfering throngs of people. She hated the mountains of food. She hated the stupid whispering downstairs.

She hated God.

Gentle rains made little difference in the suffocating heat this first day of summer, yet eleven-year-old Martha Ann Sevey shivered. The pungent smell of death, mixed with sweet carbolic acid and saltpeter, seeped through the high-ceiling parlor below. It wafted up through the wood floor right into Mattie’s bedroom invading her olfactory senses. Worse than the odiferous scent was the ghastly vision of her father (she refused to think of him as “the body”). Laid out on a board supported by two sawhorses, he was covered with rags drenched in the offensive mixture. To slow decay, her mother had explained, which conjured dreadful pictures in Mattie’s young, imaginative mind.”

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Meet the Author
Martha Ann Robinson Rohrer was born in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. At age nine, she moved with her family to Toquepala, Peru, South America, where they lived for ten years. After attending Juarez Stake Academy in Mexico her sophomore year, she returned to Peru and finished her junior and senior years through correspondence. In 1965, the family returned to the United States, settling in Tucson, Arizona. Ann served a two-year mission to Mexico City, Mexico Mission. She is married to John Rohrer and they live in Pasco, Washington. They have five boys, one daughter, and at present, thirteen grandchildren. 

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  1. Sounds like an interesting book, one I would enjoy reading. I bet your grandchildren love hearing about your travels and experiences.

    While not from Mexico, I can remember experiencing the outhouse, chamber pots, the wringer washing machine and pumping well water at my grandmother's house. If she had a sense of humor, I never saw it!

  2. Thanks, Karen. I laughed about your grandmother not having a sense of humor, not that you saw anyway. It makes me wonder if my grandchildren see my sense of humor when we are all together and stress of the feeding frenzy of the hoards is upon me. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Thank you, MK, for posting this information on my book. I have all your books on my kindle. They sound like my kind of story. I'm curious what MK stands for. haha.