The Protestant Reformation was not a time of peace. Travel back to the years 1524 and 1531 to a village in Switzerland near Zürich. This tumultuous time of change makes its presence known firsthand to the Schneebeli household in 1524 when the latest baby arrives two months early and leaves this world only a few minutes later without having been baptized.
The death of young Rudolph broke my heart, and then the one who gave birth to him died. Apparently, she and her husband had been told that if she were to become pregnant again, it would kill her. This is a sad beginning, but The Brothers Path is a book that must be read.
Infant baptism was customary; it was the way of the Church. The Catholics believed that infant baptism was necessary before the child could enter heaven. But the newly emerging Protestants did not believe the same. Hard to believe that differences in the beliefs of Catholics and Protestants could cause such turmoil, but wars have always been fought over religious beliefs.
The Brothers Path follows the lives of the six Schneebeli brothers: Heinrich, Hannes, Peter, Conrad, Thomann, and Andreas. Their freedoms, their livelihoods, and their way of life are threatened by the fighting. This book isn’t named after these six brothers; it is named for a path that is known as The Brothers Path that linked their farmhouse to the old Lunkhofen castle. This book does follow the path of each brother through life though.
Even during these uneasy times, love and betrayal fill their lives. One of them marries only to find that he is not the one his wife desires. Another rejoices in the newfound Protestant faith and what is believed. Another one is training for the priesthood, and this new faith does not settle easily with him. Others run mills and cider presses.
When their horses are taken for the fighting, this makes survival hard. When religion is so engrained in the government that the people no longer have freedom of religion, this is wrong. It turns into worship as the government says you should and not as your heart leads you to.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you want to read this book yourself, I have provided an Amazon link for it below.
Amazon Link: The Brothers Path
The sad issue of the unbaptized Rudolf was Hannes’ first real glimpse into the intense debates that would soon shake his world, privately, professionally, and spiritually.
Yes, Christ’s love should inspire joy, not fear.
The burning sentimental infatuation of teenage girls and the racing unreasoning desire of young men make up the madness on which the human race is based.
Life as a shadow was dangerous, and he had been a shadow for more than three weeks.
The wasteland of loss faded into the garden of hope and love in which Conrad had long ago chosen to live.
New Words Learned:
arquebus – any of several small-caliber long guns operated by a matchlock or wheel-lock mechanism, dating from about 1400
denuded – stripped or made bare
destrier – a large powerful horse used as a war-horse by a medieval knight
fecundity – fruitfulness or fertility, as of the earth.
gibbous – Astronomy. (of a heavenly body) convex at both edges, as the moon when more than half full.
hackbut – any of several small-caliber long guns operated by a matchlock or wheel-lock mechanism, dating from about 1400
halberd – a shafted weapon with an axlike cutting blade, beak, and apical spike, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries.
About the Author:
Martha Kennedy was born in Denver, Colorado and earned her undergraduate degree in American Literature from University of Colorado, Boulder and her graduate degree in American Literature from the University of Denver. She has taught college and university writing at all levels, business communication, literature, and English as a Second Language.
For many years she lived in the San Diego area, most recently in Descanso, a small town in the Cuyamaca Mountains. She has recently returned to Colorado to live in Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley.
She has published three works of historical fiction: Martin of Gfenn, Savior, and The Brothers Path. She has also published many short stories and articles in a variety of publications from the Denver Post to the Business Communications Quarterly.