Gretel’s Cross is a historical novel based on the true story of the family of Gretel Forner and of the times in which they lived.  Genealogical research provided a family tree of the actual family tracing their lineage and relationships.  Combining historical facts and family lore, Marty Price unrolls the saga of their lives, including forbidden romance, suicide, and heroism against the backdrop of two World Wars and life in an ancient medieval walled village.

The author, Meredith Price grew up in rural Indiana where the farm and open country instilled a sense of adventure, exploration, and strong, extended family ties. After graduating in 1966 from  Franklin College of Indiana with a degree in History and  Education,  Meredith embarked on a lifelong career as an educator.  His first teaching job was in a small town, Mulberry, IN where he taught 5thgrade.

Yearning for more adventure than readily available in Mulberry, he took a job teaching in the American Schools system with the Air Force in northern Japan at Wakkanai Air Station. Besides teaching 5thgrade, the job provided a wonderful chance to meet Japanese people and to travel in Asia. The next stop on his new career came when Meredith transferred to Stuttgart, Germany where he again taught elementary school and was a Library Media Specialist at Nellingen Barracks. He planned to stay only a year or two but remained for 17  years.

In 1977 Meredith met his German partner, Hubert Forner, and soon became friends with Hubert’s parents-Gretel and Otto Forner.  Before leaving Germany in 1988, Meredith had heard many Forner family stories and made a trip with Gretel to the town of Hofheim Unterfranken. Over 30 years later a return pilgrimage to visit Gretel’s hometown inspired the village of Uberauen in his book and following the trail to all the other places mentioned in the family stories prompted Meredith to write the book Gretel’s Cross, preserving the story of Hubert ‘s mother in this delightful narrative.

-Sims Kline, Stetson University Librarian  (from the perspective of a librarian who likes the book as an example of a literary work and of Historical Fiction ) had this to say about Gretel’s Cross

“As a university librarian, I found the book Gretel’s Cross to be an unusually intimate and empathetic example of historical fiction, focusing on the period of 1914-1945. The author’s style enables the reader to become part of Gretel’s typical German family, following age-old traditions in a historic walled town. Family members experience personal challenges as tragedy, destruction, and the chaos of war engulf them. It reflects the unexpected courage and triumph of everyday people in extraordinary circumstances.”


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