Forever Hilltop

945299: Forever Hilltop: Two-In-One, An Unlikely Blessing &  Surprising Grace Forever Hilltop: Two-In-One, An Unlikely Blessing & Surprising Grace

By Judy Baer / Guidepost Books

Title of Book: Forever Hilltop Two Books in One Volume

Author: Judy Baer

ISBN  13: 978-0-8249-4529-9

Publisher:  Guideposts

Publication Date: 2012

Reviewer: Dell Smith Klein


Forever Hilltop is actually two books in one volume:

 An Unlikely Blessing. Meet Alex Armstrong, former city dweller who has just accepted his first parish assignment to a small community in the wilds of North Dakota. In Hilltop Township, Alex becomes familiar with the colorful residents and their odd traditions, from rommergrot to lutefisk. And then there’s the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community. Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he has to teach them, providing all with An Unlikely Blessing.


Surprising Grace. Alex Armstrong is settling into his new role as pastor of Hilltop Church, and he’s even starting to understand the strange ways of the people who populate this barren stretch of North Dakota prairie.  But he also finds that his flock needs help and counsel like he never imagined.  In this cozy and entertaining read, Alex must choose between the woman he once planned to marry—and the home he’s come to love.


Judy Baer, author of Forever Hilltop, grew up in North Dakota. She says she has done many of the things her Forever Hilltop characters experience.  Judy graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota with majors in Education and Religion.  According to BookFinder.Com, Judy has written about 100 books, including Adrienne, Be My Neat-heart,  Jenny’s Story, Recipes & Wooden Spoons, Second Chances, and Yesterday’s Dream. Today, she continues writing, and coaching young writers.  She and her husband live in Minnesota.


Judy Baer shares the life of a new pastor as he moves from the city to a rural area and faces problems that had never come up back in Chicago.  Both books are tied so closely together, but either book could stand alone.  A reader will find sweet romance, and mystery.  Even the faith element is presented in a gentle way.  My biggest disappointment was that Jared, Pastor Alex Armstrong’s nephew, didn’t have a bigger role in either book.  Judy Baer will have to come up with a third book with a greater focus on that young man.  And, we are going to be looking forward to more on Pastor Alex’s budding romance.

Both books kept me turning pages.  I loved the characters. I worried with a mother of a rebellious son, a youngster who collected hurt or lost animals, a man who had lost so much and couldn’t get beyond the past, and an elderly woman who drove too fast on a rural road. I’m pleased to recommend Forever Hilltop to my friends.


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