I loved the two books in this series! I myself am a city girl who is now living on the prairie (I married a farmer), so I can relate to many of the situations in these books. I wish the people where I live were as wonderfully kind and entertaining as they are in Hilltop! A great read! Please continue the story, Judy Baer!
I so enjoyed the characters in this book, made me wish I lived there! A perfect Rural Town America, and most everyone was looking out for another.
When Alex Armstrong arrived in North Dakota, the people of Hilltop Township, did not expect the new Minister to stay. Love all the food arriving, and it warmed my Heart with the arrival of Tripod! You can see God's Hand in his calling Alex here, and he warms up to Country life real fast.
From the beginning you wonder if the two churches involved in sharing this Minister will ever be brought back together. There are hurts that have lasted decades, and some hands that held out are left hanging.
You will adore the Character Will, and his Hoomain Society. He sounds so cute, and full of mischief...I for one cannot wait to read the next book to find out how things come along, and renew old friendships!
I received this book from the Publisher Guideposts, and was not required to give a positive review.
This book was really great. The characters are all so likable! Judy Baer has a gift for drawing you into her story lines and making you feel as though you want to move to Hilltop. Cannot wait for the next one in this series (please hurry)! Thanks for a great read!
"Uncle Alex! Look out for that pig!" Love the first line. Alex, the new minister in town has to navigate more than pigs in this small town, there's cows, chickens, single women and things he can't see and/or know to look for. This was Alex's first ministering job at the age of forty-two it's scary. Having lived in the city all of his life and only seeing farms in movies and on TV was one thing, but actually living with land and animals quite another story.
Jared, Alex's nephew screams as he looks at the church, "It's like a photograph_or a movie set! It doesn't even look real_Uncle Alex it's like we're on another planet."
Alex had to agree as they drove around town, he felt as if they were "driving thru a Norman Rockwell painting. " He likes what he sees and hopes he's heard God correctly in accepting this position. He prays, "Here I am Lord. You've taken me a long way from home in so many ways. It is like another universe. What had he signed up for?"
Alex learns about a new twist to his ministry. He would be the pastor of two churches, neither one could afford a full-time pastor of their own so they shared in the expense of bringing Alex here. The board expected him to preach at both churches every Sunday morning. He soon discovers that these two churches are polar opposites of each other. He felt warmth and welcome from the people at Hilltop. Alex is overjoyed by the warm welcome and love shown to him by the members of Hilltop church and all the food they bring over is amazing. But things were a little chilly at All Saints; everything was done by the book. A book Alex hadn't read and didn't know how the rules. Oh, God help him.
.A sign said, "Welcome to Grassy Valley, North Dakota, City Population 1,254. A Place Like Home!" Alex wanted the sign to be true for his life. He loved what he saw in the land and community of Grassy Valley. He just had to learn how to warm up the members of the All Saints church.
He his secretary at Hilltop she says, "People tend to meddle in each other's business around here. You'll get used to it. Why, sometimes word gets out about what I've done before I've even gotten around to doing it!"
Alex is soon convinced that God has called him to this place and set the mission of helping these two churches be united in love. Alex is also compelled to help the farmers in any way he can keep their farms. This wasn't ordinary land; these were farms that have been in the family business for generations.
Judy Baer paints a town much like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith show. Alex is single and new to town that makes him a target for the single girls. That's why Alex was getting all the food, young ladies were hoping he'd notice them and their cooking. This makes for fun times in the book. Alex learns about farming from a whole new angle. There is more to fruit and veggies than buying them in the grocery store.
I felt the town itself was as much a character in the book as well as the loveable quirky cast Judy has put together. You only learn a little bit about each one in this book as she sets up the beginning of the Forever Hilltop series. This is a lighthearted story filled with laughter, fun adventure and truth learned along the way. I can't wait to read the next one.
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What a wonderful, gentle read. If you are like me and like to "people-watch," this is a wonderful way to feed the habit. Seriously, I've fallen in love with the Hilltop community. Even with those at All Saints Church. The author has done a great job in creating characters so real they could be your family members, friends, and acquaintances. She shows through each of these characters and the difficult circumstances they face that God is in the business of restoring and strengthening His people. I love seeing this rural community through the eyes of city-dweller Pastor Alex Armstrong. An Unlikely Blessing isn't my usual preferred genre of mystery, suspense, or adventure, but it is a wonderful book to curl up with when you need something gentle and loving. If you loved Jan Karon's Mitford books and Father Tim, you'll love Judy Baer's An Unlikely Blessing.