Sep 4, 2013

Book Review: Every Hill and Mountain by Deborah Heal

About the Book: Those who have read Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy know that Abby Thomas is a college student on a summer service project with 11-year-old Merri. And they know that the summer is not going the way Abby had expected—but in a good way. For one thing, she meets a very nice guy named John Roberts. And for another, she discovers a strange computer program called Beautiful House that lets her fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but those of the people who lived in Merri’s old house. And the Old Dears’ old house, and…well, any old house.

And since Beautiful House worked so well for the Old Dears’ genealogy project, Abby’s college roommate Kate hopes it will help her find out more about her ancestor. Ned Greenfield was born at a place called Hickory Hill in the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest.

Abby and John reluctantly agree to help her, but only on the condition that she and her fiancé Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if it fell into the wrong hands…well, no one wants Big Brother looking over his shoulder.

The mayor, police chief, and townspeople of Equality are hospitable and helpful—until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. Eventually Abby and her friends find Hickory Hill on their own—both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon. Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune.

They meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill’s current eccentric owner and eventually get the chance to time-surf there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate’s family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption—that one day he’ll make all things new.

My Review: To be honest, this was my least favorite book in the Time and Again series. After hearing about Abby's roommate Kate in the past two books, I expected more from her than what I was given. Kate's boyfriend is a jerk, and completely flat as a character. I tried to find some redeeming quality in him, but there wasn't anything there to even like. I couldn't understand what Kate saw in him, but she obviously saw something or she wouldn't have gotten engaged to him or given him such a precious gift. All of this added together to make me disappointed in Kate. This disappointment limited my enjoyment of the story. I give Every Hill and Mountain 3.5 stars as a result.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I recommend this book to young adults who want a very clean, conservative story full of imagination, romance, and adventure in a historical context.

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