As most of you know, my husband and I moved to Europe in 2017. I’d spent 30 years in the US and we decided to live abroad to experience new things. Many new things.
Meanwhile we have bought a house, not the new construction we had planned, but a farmhouse from 1900 in the West Münsterland near the Dutch border. So much for long-laid plans. Lucky for us, our daughter and first grand child live nearby, so we are fortunate to be part of their lives.
Traveling is Heaven for Authors
Living in Germany also presents opportunities for traveling to other countries with ease. There are trains and inexpensive flights or one simply jumps in the car – though don’t expect to do the high speeds, German Autobahns are famous for, because too much traffic and unending construction make it impossible. A few years ago, we visited Northern Italy or what we know today as South Tirol. There we came upon amazing Sabiona Abbey perched high on a rock. From the village Klausen, we climbed up to it – a steep climb it was – and were in awe about its grandeur, fifteen-foot walls, buildings reaching to the sky, the old churches perching almost perilously above the Eisack valley. Near the entrance we came across a sign, telling the story of a brave nun saving Sabiona during the Napoleonic Wars (1797-1815). The image depicted showed her dressed in a French soldier’s uniform, praying to Holy Mary. My interest was peeked. How could one woman make such a difference? Well, meet formidable Benedictine nun, Magdalena Told.
New Novel: So Close to Heaven
While I was writing other novels, the story of brave Magdalena remained with me and this past year, I finally took the time to complete a novel about her. I was particularly interested in how the Benedictine faith of praying, working and reading could be managed during the time of war. How could a Benedictine nun who tries to live a life free of sin, welcome visitors and at the same time, fight against them? Of course, Magdalena has many other issues to deal with and I hope you’ll learn, how this brave woman managed to save Sabiona Abbey.