Love, Mary Elisabeth by Christy Martenson
Charming, delightful, imaginative; the kind of story that makes you want to travel back in time.

Hannah Acheson, piano teacher and photographer

Real-life tales skillfully woven into a fictional setting, these country adventures ring true to life and human nature.

Elisabeth Adams, writer and editor

An entertaining and original read!

Jennifer Church, teacher, missionary, and voracious reader

Christy has captured the innocence and joy of a childhood spent navigating the triumphs and trials of country life that is so captivating in classics like Little House on The Prairie.

Emily C. Gardner, book blogger

Keen attention to historical fact and an unparalleled ability to depict the innocence of a young girl’s displaced heart.

Darlene — teacher, photographer, reader, and word weaver

Everything comfortable about a whimsically relatable childhood, but with magical surprises along the way.

Jenni Marie, photographer and storyteller

Love, Mary Elizabeth is sure to capture your heart from its first few letters!

Katie Mae Stanley, writer at Nourishing Simplicity and author of Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats

A story that will capture your attention and imagination--and all with such vivid prose you feel as though you're living it with her.

Chautona Havig, Christian fiction author

From its tender beginning to the heartfelt climax, the author engages her readers with wit, charm, and endurance.

Carmen Peone, award-winning author

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Seattle, Washington
Wednesday, June 4, 1924

Dear Mama,

The train is chug-chugging, carrying me far away from home. Far away from you. Far away from Papa. I’ll send as many letters as I can, like you asked.  It won’t be the same, but if I pretend I’m talking to you maybe it will help…

Love,
Mary Elisabeth


Love, Mary Elisabeth by Christy Martenson

Eleven-year-old Mary Elisabeth’s life will never be the same.

It’s 1924 and her mother has contracted tuberculosis – a deadly, terrifying disease.

Far away in Colorado, a sanatorium holds the only hope of saving her. Papa takes a grueling job at the shipyards in Bremerton to pay for her treatment. Mary Elisabeth must travel 350 miles from home to begin a new life on her uncle’s farm in northeast Washington.

Her only connection to her parents is by letter.

Will that be enough to give her courage to brave the challenges that await?

Love, Mary Elisabeth

by Christy Martenson
featuring illustrations by Amanda Kastner
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Barstow, Washington
Monday, October 20, 1924

Dear Papa,

I have to ask. Is what Denny said true? Is Mama dying? You only say to be brave in your letters. You never tell me how she is. And I haven’t heard from Mama for a long time. I feel scared inside if I think about it.

I wish you were here.

Love,
Mary Elisabeth


Praise for Love, Mary Elisabeth

A book to be treasured by all ages.

With a keen attention to historical fact, an unparalleled ability to depict the innocence of a young girl’s displaced heart, and a seemingly innate talent for storytelling, Christy Martenson portrays the 1920’s hard times tenacity, make-do resolve, and oftentimes humorous grit of rural Americana in a timeless saga, Love, Mary Elisabeth. The illustrations add depth of detail to Christy's debut novel — making it a book to be treasured by all ages.

Darlene — teacher, photographer, reader, and word weaver

Christy Martenson
2017-09-28T15:51:17-07:00

Darlene — teacher, photographer, reader, and word weaver

With a keen attention to historical fact, an unparalleled ability to depict the innocence of a young girl’s displaced heart, and a seemingly innate talent for storytelling, Christy Martenson portrays the 1920’s hard times tenacity, make-do resolve, and oftentimes humorous grit of rural Americana in a timeless saga, Love, Mary Elisabeth. The illustrations add depth of detail to Christy's debut novel — making it a book to be treasured by all ages.

A whimsically relatable childhood, with magical surprises along the way.

Reading Love, Mary Elisabeth was like taking a walk through a sun-warmed flower garden at sunset. Everything comfortable about a whimsically relatable childhood, but with magical surprises along the way. I laughed alongside Mary Elisabeth's antics, ached with her as she faced the unfortunate realities of life, and rejoiced with her as growing pangs morphed into new mystery explained.  I especially loved reading unexpectedly perfect descriptions of childhood perspective, relating them to my own experiences, and walking with Mary Elisabeth as she navigated through her year of changes.

Jenni Marie, photographer and storyteller

Christy Martenson
2017-08-23T22:21:06-07:00

Jenni Marie, photographer and storyteller

Reading Love, Mary Elisabeth was like taking a walk through a sun-warmed flower garden at sunset. Everything comfortable about a whimsically relatable childhood, but with magical surprises along the way. I laughed alongside Mary Elisabeth's antics, ached with her as she faced the unfortunate realities of life, and rejoiced with her as growing pangs morphed into new mystery explained.  I especially loved reading unexpectedly perfect descriptions of childhood perspective, relating them to my own experiences, and walking with Mary Elisabeth as she navigated through her year of changes.

The innocence and joy of childhood.

Christy has captured the innocence and joy of a childhood spent navigating the triumphs and trials of country life that is so captivating in classics like Little House on The Prairie. I can't wait to read this gem with my kids.

Emily C. Gardner, book blogger

Christy Martenson
2017-09-19T19:10:11-07:00

Emily C. Gardner, book blogger

Christy has captured the innocence and joy of a childhood spent navigating the triumphs and trials of country life that is so captivating in classics like Little House on The Prairie. I can't wait to read this gem with my kids.

Five stars all the way.

A story that will capture your attention and imagination and won't let them go. Love, Mary Elisabeth tells of a young girl's separation from her parents through her letters to and from them and all with such vivid prose you feel as though you're living it with her. It's a perfect blend of the best of Daddy-Long-Legs and Understood Betsy all wrapped up in one. Five stars all the way.

Chautona Havig, Christian fiction author

Christy Martenson
2017-09-26T16:09:11-07:00

Chautona Havig, Christian fiction author

A story that will capture your attention and imagination and won't let them go. Love, Mary Elisabeth tells of a young girl's separation from her parents through her letters to and from them and all with such vivid prose you feel as though you're living it with her. It's a perfect blend of the best of Daddy-Long-Legs and Understood Betsy all wrapped up in one. Five stars all the way.

An extremely creative author.

Love, Mary Elisabeth is an entertaining and original read. As a teacher who has read thousands of kids' books, I can vouch that this book was written by an extremely creative author!

Jennifer Church, teacher, missionary, and voracious reader

Christy Martenson
2017-09-20T21:37:38-07:00

Jennifer Church, teacher, missionary, and voracious reader

Love, Mary Elisabeth is an entertaining and original read. As a teacher who has read thousands of kids' books, I can vouch that this book was written by an extremely creative author!

The beauty of family and the unparalleled delight in coming home.

Love, Mary Elisabeth reminded me of the joy of letter writing (and receiving!), encouraged me to remember the beauty of family, and described (better than I ever could) the unparalleled delight in coming home.

Jenni Marie, photographer and storyteller

Christy Martenson
2017-08-23T22:22:01-07:00

Jenni Marie, photographer and storyteller

Love, Mary Elisabeth reminded me of the joy of letter writing (and receiving!), encouraged me to remember the beauty of family, and described (better than I ever could) the unparalleled delight in coming home.
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The Story Behind Love, Mary Elisabeth

I get the impression my dad was a ring-tailed rascal when he was a boy and kept his parents hopping. Born and raised on a small farm in northeast Washington, even as a three or four-year-old he’d hit the trail, hiking by himself up the hill to their nearest neighbors, the Kearneys. There he found three like-minded brothers to cavort with. Joe, nearest in age, became his particular partner-in-crime, as it were. Between the boys’ escapades and crazy barnyard animal antics, stories emerged that became legendary in the archives of the two families. I grew up on these stories. Read more…


Historical Details Behind Love, Mary Elisabeth


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