- Book: Home on Huckleberry Hill
- Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
- Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s irrepressible eighty-something matchmakers Anna and Felty Helmuth are at it again. And this time they’re willing to rough it to get the job done . . .
Mary Anne Neuenschwander knows she should be content with what Gotte has given her. She has a comfortable house, a fruitful farm, and a good, steady husband. But after nearly six years of marriage, she still longs for a baby. Yet her husband, Jethro, seems to care more about fishing than about his wife. Unable to bear Jethro’s indifference, Mary Anne moves into a tent in the woods where he won’t have to be bothered. But when her mammi and dawdi find out what she’s done, they’ll stop at nothing—including a little camping trip of their own—to help save their granddaughter’s marriage . . .
Jethro’s greatest blessing is his beloved wife, Mary Anne. Nothing else in his life has turned out anywhere near the way he expected. Rather than burden Mary Anne with his disappointment, he shields her by spending less and less time at home and more time on the river. But when he finds that she’s moved out, he’s shocked. What will people think? What is Mary Anne thinking? And what clever plans are her grandparents hatching?. . .
After only a few pages of Home on Huckleberry Hill, I was put in mind of how much I enjoyed Jennifer Beckstrand‘s book Abraham. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Her books make me laugh and, at times, cry!
I laughed as Anna Helmuth, Mary Anne Neuenschwander‘s mammi, reminisced with her husband, Felty, their own past marital troubles as she plans to fix Mary Anne and Jethro’s troubles. She is delightfully unconcerned with the neighbors eavesdropping in the aisles of the grocery store who quickly start a rumor that these grandparents are considering getting, shockingly, divorced!
“We’ve given them all a little excitement to start their day. It does my heart good to see it.”
Mary Anne is crushed when her husband forgets their anniversary and goes fishing instead of eating the gourmet meal she painstakingly prepared. This negligence is even worse as he ate at McDonald’s on his way home to retrieve his expensive fishing pole. Mary Anne can’t stand being taken for granted any longer. She moves out to live in the woods. The Amish cherish marriage and do not believe in divorce.
At first, Jethro is appalled that Mary Anne would take his tent, cot, and sleeping bag among other things. He feels entitled to ownership over everything because he earns the money to purchase things. He is also embarrassed.
Mary Anne decides to make her own happiness. She begins to create beautiful yet frivolous items that bring her joy. She also takes up painting again. She plans to earn money so she can rent her own place before winter so she begins making quilts to sell. She will need a lot of help with her quilts. She plans to ask everyone at church on Sunday for help with quilts or a job.
Not everyone approves of what Mary Anne did. Her grandparents, Anna and Felty, are staunch supporters though. They move into the woods to show ’solidarity’ and maybe have a plan to help arrange a marriage truce. Cousins also join in the show of solidarity. The woods behind Mary Anne’s home fills with the noises of children, a dog, and even a few chickens. I can’t think of a funnier way to encourage Mary Anne to move back home!
Jethro is not pleased with Mary Anne’s refusal to come home. He is even more displeased by her grandparents and cousins taking up residence in his woods. Eventually, after some awful decisions, Jethro begins to ask himself if he is part of the problem. His efforts to change are touching as his sweet and tender regard for Mary Anne returns.
I loved that Mary Anne tried seeing things from Jethro’s point of view. She had some growing up to do as well. It was encouraging to see this marriage, I hope this isn’t a spoiler as you know there has to be a happy ending, return to the bliss they had in the beginning. I know marriage isn’t always easy but it is worth fighting for to make it work (in cases where there is no abuse, etc.). I believe God helps us in that cause when we pray for help to resolve conflicts.
Read this excellent Amish romance! Home on Huckleberry Hill is charming and oh so funny. The loving amends at the end is worth it.
I received a free advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions are completely my own.
About the Author
Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish
romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, The Honeybee
Sisters series, and The Petersheim Brothers series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the Honeybee sisters’ aendi Bitsy, and Alfie and Benji Petersheim. Jennifer has written twenty-two Amish romances, a historical Western, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. Jennifer is represented by Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency. She and her husband have been married for thirty-five years, and she has six children and eight adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.