by Bill Higgs
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
PB, 384 pages
Grab an ice-cold lemonade and head out to your hammock on a warm summer day to read Eden Hill by Bill Higgs. It’s a gentle tale of a Kentucky small town during the early sixties—but have a table nearby to set you glass on, because there are times you will want to grab the book with both hands. There are not only many surprises, there are outright shocks!
Virgil Osgood, a poorly educated man, is content to run the only service station in town. It’s not much on looks or convenience, but the service is friendly and excellent. Maybelle married him instead of becoming the teacher she had her heart set on. His mechanic runs a barbershop out of the service station once a week. The men meet for haircuts and to talk about their women. The women meet at the beauty shop to talk about their men.
Ambitious Cornelius Alexander comes to town intending to open a snazzy Zipco station across the street from Osgood. His wife dropped out of nursing school because they “had to get married.”
In a time when people asked, “Where do you go to church?” instead of if you attend, Reverend Eugene Caudill gently brings the Alexanders into his church. Then he must wade through the ill feelings of the two families in search of peace.
This is a story both men and women will enjoy. Traditional roles are standard, and marriage counseling is offered by pastors, Ann Landers, and women’s magazines. The latter often does more harm than good, as in this story. The balance in this story is one of its strongest points about humanity, decency, friendshi, and humility.
If you are a baby boomer, Eden Hill is a stroll down memory lane, complete with well-remembered brand names. If you were born later, this book is an eye-opening adventure into a different culture. And don’t worry because Bill Higgs is careful to define the brand names. Finally, for those of you who homeschool, this book is a painless way to introduce your student to the early sixties.
Lynn MacKaben Brown, RN, is a wife, mom, and grandmother in Warsaw, Indiana. Her writings have appeared in Church Libraries, Toastmaster’s Magazine, and Christian Communicator.