Monday, May 11, 2015

A Perfect 10:

UP THE HILL TO HOME – Jennifer Bort Yacovissi 
A Perfect 10 
Apprentice House 
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-62720-039-4 
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62720-056-1 
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62720-040-0 
May 2015 
Historical Fiction 

Washington City, District of Columbia – 1890s to 1930s 

It all starts with Charley Beck, stalwart employee of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, who spies a woman that he cannot forget. She is quite obviously an intelligent, independent woman for this day, and Charley is intrigued.  When he finally manages to meet her, he's even more convinced that this is the woman he wants to settle down with, despite their age difference. Emma is thirty-seven to Charley's twenty-six. To Emma, this late in life love is a true miracle. To Charley, he knows he's made the right choice. 

Charley wants their marriage to start out just right. Having been a frugal saver over the years, he has just enough to buy some land outside the city, and he and Emma plan their new house. Seven forty-one is the house number, and soon, their only daughter, Lillie, is born there. Charley is a natural at fixing things, building things, and gardening, and he is also a natural at being a father. He and Emma adore their only child, and she shines in that light. 

Thirty years later, Lillie is married to her beloved Ferd (Ferdinand Voith), the mother of nine, and pregnant with their tenth child. They live at seven forty-one with Charley and Emma. She and Ferd have a tradition that whenever she learns she is pregnant, she asks Ferd to bring her memory box down from the attic. Their lives are full with family, church, and the house. 

While taking laundry down to the basement one day, Lillie falls, lands on her back, and thinks nothing of it. But something is terribly wrong when she develops a serious cough and has trouble breathing. As Lillie lies in bed, the memories of a full, loving life swim through her thoughts. 

UP THE HILL TO HOME is a debut novel based on the author's family. The big house has seen love, births, sadness, and most of all holds the memories of the entire family. Lillie and Ferd and their brood have made the lives of Emma and Charley full. 

Beautifully and lovingly written, this sweet story is well researched, brings Emma, Charley, Lillie, Ferd, and all of the children to life as the world changes around them. From Victorian turn of the century days to the Great Depression, readers will be drawn to the everyday lives of these average Americans who have made this country what it is today. 

I highly recommend UP THE HILL TO HOME and feel it deserves a Perfect 10 for the pure enjoyment of getting to know this family. 

Jani Brooks

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