I know I've been seriously absent from blogging these days, but my Christopher is having some SERIOUS eye problems. His eye doctor is talking DANGEROUS eye surgery or blindness. :(
Today is my review of Deborah Heal's newest YA read, EVERY HILL AND MOUNTAIN. If you have read the previous two books in this excellent time-travel trilogy, you will NOT be disappointed.
Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands...well, no one wants Big Brother invading their privacy.
The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. According to Kate's research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill.
The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful--until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. They seem determined to keep them away, telling them, "There's nothing there for you to see."
Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own--both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune.
Abby and her friends meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill's current eccentric owner, and they eventually get the chance to time-surf there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor concerning Kate's ancestor Ned Greenfield is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate's family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption--that one day he'll make all things new.
Deborah writes the kind of historical fiction that I love to read. BELIEVABLE! I am drawn into her books so much that I really think I'm there with the characters. In this case, Kate. An listen to the name of the town, Equality. I know that if you read historical fiction, I already have you. If you don't normally read it let me tell you why you should start with Deborah's books.
We are transported to the Southern part of Illinois and we find Kate who wants to learn more about her ancestor, Ned Greenfield. The time-travel computer software is used yet again as we travel along with them to help Kate uncover the dark secrets including John Granger the previous owner of Half Moon Salt Mine. Without giving too much away, just let me say how much I admire Deborah's attention to detail and the voice she gives to her characters. All of which that I greatly admire as a writer myself. I hope that someday she decides to teach a class on these two writerly problem areas for me.
The pace is exactly as it should be. I never felt the story drag and I never thought she was taking me through too fast. And with this story we see evil. We also see that love wins out in the end. And that is as it should be. The ending was more satisfying than a delectable bar of chocolate.
I believe that high school kids and adults will love the ride the author takes us on as we discover the secrets Hickory Hill holds for us.
Deborah I also admire the extensive amount of research that you must have undergone for this skillfully written book. I recommend you read this and all of Ms. Heal's expertly crafted books.
I am having a giveaway of the ARC that Deborah sent to me in exchange for a review of her book. Leave a comment for a chance to win. I'll let ol' Random.org pick a winner on
*My apologies to Deborah for scheduling this on the wrong day.* (((sigh))) So the winner will be chosen THIS Friday April 20th.
Here is the linkage for Deborah and her wonderful books:
EVERY HILL AND MOUNTAIN
Deborah Heal's place
The blog tour, peeps:
Allison Hunter Frederick
Lena Nelson Dooley
April & Wendy
Meagan Myhren Bennett