As I read the novel, I felt transported in my imagination to a time that seemed simpler in one sense and yet the same in another. Simpler in that there were no electronic gadgets as there are today, which when we dont control them by turning them off, can intrude into our lives. It was a time when families sat down to dinner, read more, watched TV less, and the work ethic was exceptional. The 60s era had its own challenges that differ in some ways than those we face today.
In the fictional novel, we get swept into a small town called Eden Hill where people helped their neighbors and businesses closed on Sundays. In the town, there are some people who turned out to have a surprising history to reveal. There is an older lady who drives one pastor of a church crazy as she is the most contrary and always finding something to complain about to the pastor.
Towards the end of the novel it became clear to me that people learned more about themselves, especially when life was hardest. Some found that the faith they thought they had needed to be shored up and put into practice with more love. I so enjoyed getting to know the residents of Eden Hill right as the civil rights issues were coming to the forefront. I remember so many themes that, while in the book were fictional, were part of my upbringing and made me more than thankful for the parents I was blessed to have.
Faith, family, neighbors, helping each other and more are some of those themes that will grab your heart and lift it up. I think that anyone who reads the book will be reminded that there are ways families can draw closer to each other, which in turns makes neighbors closer and it just expands from there. Family is really the foundation of our nation right after faith in a God who works all things together for our good, and He is still doing that today!
Eden Hill, by Bill Higgs, is like a stroll through a park. The setting for this work of fiction is small town Kentucky in the 1960s. Here everyone knows their neighbors, the women hang their laundry out on the clothesline, they cook Spam, they chat at the beauty parlor and help each other. Life was slower, more relaxed then.
Main character, Virgil, runs a gas station. It has provided for his family for many years. He is slow to accept change and is mostly happy with the way things are. And then, a new family comes to town. And they have the audacity to build a business across the street, a gas station business! How will Virgil respond to this intrusion in his ordinary life? Can the pastor help? You will have to read the book to find out!
Higgs has done a great job describing life in the 60s. The book is filled with fully developed characters, some you will love, others, not so much. This story is clean, sweet, occasionally funny, and easy to read book. It does deal with a few issues such as dissatisfaction in marriage, adoption, compassion and race.
I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
What I liked about this book was before I even got it the summary led me to believe the older established gas station owner would be helping out the new one. I do a lot of charity work and often am asked about a knitting pattern I developed and I post it to share with others.
Whether they use it for personal gain or to make charity items is up to them. Nobody pays me for the patterns and I don't mind sharing.
Book starts out with Virgil, the owner of the gas station/auto repair center and his family: wife and teen son. She's at odds with her upcoming 40th birthday and believes the things in ladies magazines about her love life.
He's worked his whole life to provide for them to learn the lot next door was sold for a new gas station/conveneince store to a young couple who put a pink mobile home on the lot while construction is underway. He's up to hiis head with debt after getting loans for their dreams. She delivers a baby...
Other people in the community are followed as well-really rounding out the whole community. The pastor and all the work he does every everybody, makes sure events run smoothly while writing interesting sermons to keep everybody active and awake.
What I liked about the book was the different ages of everyone and how they each dealt with stressful circumstances and leaned on God to help them through it all. Interesting to find they all related in one way or another.
Not only different ages, different walks of life and different problems than others in the community. Amazing how a fishing trip can change all their minds...Discussion questions at the end.
I received this book from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
Eden Hill, Kentucky could be any Rural Town, USA. Life was slower, and neighbors were at most times, friends. A few of the neighbors were a bit too well informed as far as other people's business, but for the most part people cared and shared. As in most small communities, change isn't easy. People are accustomed to the regularity of their routines, and become suspicious of change. So it was for Eden Hill.
Very well acquainted with Small Town, America during the 1960s, I could easily relate to the characters portrayed throughout this book. It was a time when people cared for one another, offered help, and spread news to neighbors. Major changes were looked upon with suspicion and uncertainty, particularly when a new business threatened the livelihood of a second generation gas station and garage.
Eden Hill moved at a leisurely pace with a warm familiarity, difficult times portrayed, and of course, a bit of humor. I'm quite impressed with this debut novel of everyday life. Life was presented creatively in a realistic style. I think that Mr. Higgs has done a fine job of bringing the past to the present in a poignant and authentic manner. I thoroughly enjoyed the slower pace and realistic activities that make this a wonderful, relaxing read. I highly recommend it!
Disclaimer: I received this book from Book Fun and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Eden Hill by Bill Higgs is a wonderful book set in the 1960's. Eden Hill Kentucky is the normal small town of that era. The businesses are owned by the local people. The women have Friday afternoon appointments at the beauty shop where they catch up on what is happening in the community and women's issues. The men get together on Thursday nights for hair cuts and visiting.
Virgil Osgood is happily running the service station his father stated after returning home from WWII. His family life has also been a happy one, until one day when Mavine gets quiet and asks Virgil to read a magazine article.
One day Cornelius and Jo Ann Alexander are driving around and notice the vacant lot across from Virgil's station that is for sale. Cornelius buys the lot and sets up a Zipco station in hope of becoming a successful business man and being able to provide a good lifestyle for Jo Ann and their future children.
Virgil and Mavine feel threatened by the new Zipco station. There soon begins a gas price war and opening specials. The service station is remodeled and Mavine has Virgil wear a uniform.
In an effort to bring Virgil and Cornelius together, Reverend Eugene Caudill, puts them together working on the same projects and invites them to go fishing with him. Reverent Caudill also makes special visits to the Carnelius's to help them in their Christian walk.
This is one of the best books I have read this year! I enjoyed reading the story and remember some of the products that were mentioned in the book. I felt so bad for Virgil when he was trying to read the magazine article and didn't know what it meant.
The story also showed the feelings of the time with Madeline Crutcher refusing to acknowledge her background and her son, who is black. But it also showed the generosity of community with how Anna Bell and Grove put baby food in the Cornelius's baby bag to help the young couple out. This is a great story of Christian love and fellowship and how we can sometimes lets every day life put road blocks in our walk with God.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing and Bookfun.org for an honest review.