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ABOUT THE BOOK (400 pages):

Nothing seems to change in Eden Hill, Kentucky, and that’s just fine with Virgil T. Osgood. He’s been content to raise his family and run the only service station in town. But when a new station is set to open right across the road from Virgil’s pumps, he suddenly faces obstacles in his career, his marriage, and his self-worth that he’s never even dreamed of. Cornelius Alexander wants his new Zipco station to succeed and help establish a strong foundation for his growing family. As long as he follows the Zipco guide, he’s sure to be a success—and prove his father wrong. Reverend Caudill wants to be a conduit for grace in his town, but that grace is challenged by the changes sweeping through in the early 1960s. For the sake of this small town, Virgil and Cornelius must learn to get along, but how do you love your neighbor when his very presence threatens to upend everything you hold dear?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill Higgs is a lapsed academic, former engineer, and avid storyteller. He also admits to being a nostalgic baby boomer, with a keen interest in how things past can teach lessons for the present. He lives in Kentucky with his wife, author Liz Curtis Higgs, and her two cats. Eden Hill is his first novel.

PAPERBACKS PAPERBACKS
Helen Kris Markovich
Deana Dick Nyla Kay Wilkerson
Virginia Winfield Lisa Johnson
Nancy  Deanna Stevens
Joan Boxell Anne Rightler
Robbi Bourne Connywithay
Donna McGinnis Victoria Pless
Nancee Marchinowski Galinda Barefoot
Mary Arndt Pam Graber
Diane Higgins Julie Barrett

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Eden Hill is an extraordinary debut novel of Bill Higgs. Take a stroll down memory lane to a time and place that was slower paced and much more community focused and yet you will find the same heart issues that are seen in this day and age of instant everything. Eden Hill, small town Kentucky in the early 1960s, finds the characters in the story facing mid-life what-if questions, racial disputes and the struggles of making ends meet especially when a new business opens up in town. The author deals realistically with these life situations. Humor runs throughout the story with incidents of 10-year-olds putting a whoopee cushion on the church organist's bench during Sunday morning service and the ornery old parishioner who calls the pastor every day to let him know how he should be running things. A little romance is sweetly portrayed as Virgil does his best to give his wife, Mavine, an intimate, romantic dinner in an effort to show her he does really love her. The story flows quickly and keeps interest high, wondering what will happen next to upset this quiet little town. Characters are normal everyday people that readers will enjoy getting to know as they are in the process of learning who their neighbor is. As one character puts it, "You've been our neighbor for years. Only right we should be neighborly." Higgs portrays a solid faith in a God of forgiveness and second chances because these characters are coming to know that God's grace covers it all.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Club network. A favorable review was not required and opinions are my own. I have posted reviews on the following sites: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Deepershopping, Christian Book, Booksamillion, FamilyChristian, Kobobooks, LibraryThing, GoodReads, and NetGalley, if available.

“Eden Hill” by Bill Higgs was a delightful read!  This book had me chuckling all the way through.  I really didn’t know what to expect with this book, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I wanted to keep reading to find out how it ended.

This book is set in the early 1960s.  The town of Eden Hill is pretty much the same and everyone is pretty much content leaving it that way.  Virgil Osgood owns the only filling station in town.  Everything is okay in his little world until someone new comes in town and opens a filling station across the street from him!  This creates friction in the whole town and it is humorous to see how everyone handles the conflicts that come their way!

If you enjoy good, clean, humorous inspirational books, then you will love this book!

I was given the book by Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and here is my honest review.

I posted reviews on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook, Deeper Shopping and Goodreads.

Bill Higgs is a master of the “zinger”. Sometimes he zings you in the funny bone and sometimes he zings you in the heartstrings but always his characters bring the 1960’s time period to life. As a child born in 1960, this was a walk down memory lane for me from the Lux dish soap to Oxydol detergent to the Sinclair dinosaur at the gas pump.

Eden Hill, Kentucky hasn’t changed much since service station owner Virgil T. Osgood was a boy. It’s kind of a “one-horse town” with one grocery store, one beauty shop (the Glamour Nook where the owner learned to ‘do hair’ through a correspondence course), a barber shop that’s open one night a week – after the barber gets done being the mechanic at Osgood’s, and three churches. It’s as common to see a tractor at the gas pump as it is to see a car and Virgil kind of likes being the only game in town. When the property across the street is sold and rumors begin to fly about a bright, shiny, new service station going in, Virgil and his wife Mavine get concerned. Is Eden Hill big enough to support two service stations? God calls them to love their neighbor but their neighbor’s very presence is the biggest problem they see.

Cornelius Alexander is staking everything on the success of his new Zipco station. His brand new wife is expecting their first child and is used to the finer things in life. Following the company’s manual to a T he’s sure that success is right around the corner. If only the weather would cooperate so that building could begin! As their debt piles up and the food in their refrigerator runs low, Neil’s confidence takes a huge hit. It doesn’t help that his wife, JoAnn, has lost faith in him, too. Between her tears and his fears their marriage is also taking a hit. Can they turn things around once the station is finally up and running?

Rev. Eugene Caudill has been the pastor of First Evangelical Baptist Church of Eden Hill for some time. Can he stomp out the fires of unrest among his parishioners and keep the town from taking sides? Can he show that offering grace to one another is the highest form of following Christ?

I loved this story. It was like reading an Andy Griffith episode or listening to Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon stories. The names were very 1960s: Virgil T. and Mavine Osgood and their son, Vee, Jr.; LulaMae and Arlie Prewitt and their son Frank; Welby and  Alma; Grover and AnnaBelle Stacy. Everyone is Mr. or Mrs. or Miss and courtesy is one constant in the community. Since this is set in the 60s there is some unrest in the town’s population between the white and the colored folks but all in all they live pretty peaceably. One of the things that consistently cracked me up was Mavine’s “creativity” in the kitchen. Virgil ate whatever she cooked but sometimes the descriptions and his reactions are absolutely priceless! The one that got me was this one:

“It’s a new recipe I found on the back of a cornstarch box.”

“Looks interesting. What’s in it?”

“Cauliflower, rutabagas, eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini – plus, of course, the cornstarch to thicken it up. The box said it won first prize at a county fair somewhere in Arkansas last year.”

“What’s the white stuff on top?” Gladys asked.

“Coconut and whipped cream. The box said you could serve it as a dessert, too.”

 

Personally, I’d rather eat the cornstarch box!

 

Eden Hill was so much fun to read and the story will stick with you long after you finish the book. I highly recommend it, especially to those who, like me, grew up in the sixties or raised your kids during that time period. It is a hoot!

I have posted my review on Goodreads, Amazon, DeeperShopping, CBD, and Radiant Lit.

Sorry this took me so long!!!

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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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