Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Book review: Forever Hilltop

Once in awhile, I get the chance to review a completely fabulous book.  Now if only I could do it justice...

Forever Hilltop by Judy Baer is two novels in one.  The first, Unlikely Blessing, I reviewed before.  And I loved it.  My bottom line was summed up in this eloquent quote:  "Read it."

The sequel, Surprising Grace, was every single bit as wonderful as the first.

Judy grew up in North Dakota, and currently lives an hour or so from where I am right now.  She clearly knows North Dakota.  She writes North Dakota incredibly well.  But I think this is a story that -- while meaning more to those of us with North Dakota roots -- will be appreciated by people from pretty much anywhere.

The first novel, Unlikely Blessing, involves Alex coming from Chicago to pastor two rural ND churches.  Please read my earlier review for the first part of the story.  Surprising Grace picks up the story and covers the next couple of months. 

From the publisher:
Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he's even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie. But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined. In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once planned to marry-and the home he's come to love.
I really can't say enough things about this novel.  Judy weaves a story with endearing and realistic characters, characters who feel real.  Dialogue sounds so very familiar, with phrases like, "Would you like me to come with?"  Food plays a central role, with amazing recipes included.  And the threatened lutefisk dinner still looms on the horizon. 

The story is sweet, but it isn't always happy.  Things don't all wrap up into happy little packages at the end.  You are left wondering what happens next, but not in a cliff-hanger way.  More like you want to wake up tomorrow to see what God has in store next.  My life doesn't all wrap up in pretty packages either, you know?  That aspect just makes these people feel so much more real.

Judy makes me homesick.  I want to move back.

This book is simply fabulous.  If I don't have the opportunity to review the next Forever Hilltop title, I will buy it.  That isn't a statement I make often.

@JudyKBaer is giving away a Kindle for YOU … and one for a Friend in her Forever Hilltop Giveaway!

Celebrate with Judy by entering to win a Kindle for you and a friend!

One lucky winner will receive:
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi
  • Brand New KINDLE with Wi-Fi to Giveaway to a Friend!
  • Forever Hilltop by Judy K Baer for you and a one for a friend

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 22nd. Winner will be announced 5/24/12 on Judy's Blog.

Enter via E-mail Enter via Facebook Enter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

Disclaimer:  I received this book through LitFuse Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.   

1 comment:

mysteryhistorymom said...

Debra- I am SO loving this series, too! I am absolutely going to buy the next one in the series and any others she chooses to bless us with! Lutefisk, lefse and the like are familiar to me and such a hoot to read about! My family is Swedish and actually eats this kind of food- but only on special occasions. Christmas. I am not a fan but I love that it is part of a tradition. I saw lutefisk on the back cover and knew I would love it.:) Lori