April 19th, 2018
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Return to Huckleberry Hill

Return to Huckleberry Hill, June 2017
The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill
by Jennifer Beckstrand

Zebra
352 pages
ISBN: 1420144111
EAN: 9781420144116
Kindle: B01LJKQGDO
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
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"Pride goes before Reuben's fall, but he's not bad at heart"

Fresh Fiction Review

Return to Huckleberry Hill
Jennifer Beckstrand

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted October 5, 2017

Romance Contemporary | Inspirational Amish | Amish

When you need a lighter romance read try RETURN TO HUCKLEBERRY HILL. This is the sixth in the series 'Huckleberry Hill' which follows the exploits of a matchmaking grandmother in a relatively relaxed Amish community. Some Amish romances are all about internal strife and experiencing tragedy. This book takes a lighter touch and gently reminds us that pride goes before a fall.

Take Reuben Helmuth. As the prosperous bishop's son in Sugarcreek, he was sure he wouldn't have to work too hard to please a maid; he was such a good catch. But the girl he decides to propose to has fallen for his best friend, as he discovers at midwinter, and everyone seems to know about it but him. Reuben can't face the loss of his pride so he goes off to live with his grandparents in Huckleberry Hill, initially just for a visit. Spring comes and he's still there, kind and content, making himself very useful since his granddad is eighty. Of course, this gives his grandma Anna time to plan a little surprise.

Fern King is the daughter of a simple pig farmer so even though she gets on fine with Reuben, who lives with her neighbours, she knows he'd never stoop to fancy her. She's willing to help elderly Anna, picking a list of unwed girls and assembling a knitting group in the house. They all need to knit, and may as well chat while they do it. This will also give the girls a chance to look over Reuben. The group includes Sadie Yoder, whose dad is a wealthy minister. My, how the knitting needles get sharpened!

As always we get to look at a simpler lifestyle. Fern enjoys planting tomato seedlings, and other than her best church dress has two dresses to her name. The ladies dispute whether being a good cook or a good knitter is best for a wife. The community is shown as holding a chickenpox party to infect all the children, rather than get them vaccinated. Spain has been vaccinating for twenty years, Ireland more recently so this attitude does seem outdated and potentially harmful. At the same time, one farmer heats his home's water and underfloor heating with solar panels, while we see an Amish girl outside the town cleaning offices for a living. Jennifer Beckstrand keeps her series fresh and shows some very human, identifiable sides of her characters. RETURN TO HUCKLEBERRY HILL can be read as a standalone or part of the series.

Learn more about Return to Huckleberry Hill

SUMMARY

When it comes to matchmaking, Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s unstoppable octogenarians Anna and Felty Helmuth never seem to run out of opportunities—or grandchildren...

Reuben Helmuth is plenty bitter. John King, his best friend—or so he thought—is engaged to the girl Reuben loved. Humiliated, Reuben flees from Ohio to his grandparents’ home on Huckleberry Hill, where he knows he’ll find comfort. He’s enjoying wallowing in his misery—until John’s sister, Fern, shows up. She won’t stop pestering Reuben about forgiveness—or trying to help him find love again. Yet Fern's efforts only reawaken Reuben’s long-buried feelings—for her…

With her brother too ashamed to face Reuben, it’s fallen to Fern to help mend fences. But as she and the Helmuths do all they can—even organizing a knitting club event filled with eligible girls—it may take one more challenge to inspire Reuben to forget his heartache, recognize his own blunders, and embrace the true love that’s right in front of him…


What do you think about this review?

Comments

1 comment posted.

Re: Pride goes before Reuben's fall, but he's not bad at heart

Thank you so much for the review. I hope readers like reading "Return to
Huckleberry Hill" as much as I enjoyed writing it. Anna and Felty will keep you
laughing! Have a great day.
(Jennifer Beckstrand 4:18pm October 6)

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