The Third Hill North of Town

The Third Hill North of Town

4.0 14
by Noah Bly
     
 

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Set against the turbulent backdrop of the 1960s, Noah Bly's evocative debut explores prejudice, loss, and redeeming courage through the prism of an unlikely friendship.

When fifty-four-year-old Julianna Dapper slips out of a mental hospital in Bangor, Maine, on a June day in 1962, it's with one purpose in mind. Julianna knows she must go back to the tiny farming

Overview

Set against the turbulent backdrop of the 1960s, Noah Bly's evocative debut explores prejudice, loss, and redeeming courage through the prism of an unlikely friendship.

When fifty-four-year-old Julianna Dapper slips out of a mental hospital in Bangor, Maine, on a June day in 1962, it's with one purpose in mind. Julianna knows she must go back to the tiny farming community in northern Missouri where she was born and raised. It's the place where she and her best friend, Ben Taylor, roamed as children, and where her life's course shifted irrevocably one night long ago.

Embarking on her journey, Julianna meets Elijah Hunter, a shy teenaged African-American boy, and Jon Tate, a young hitchhiker on the run from the law. The three become traveling companions, bound together by quirks of happenstance. And even as the emerging truth about Julianna's past steers them inexorably toward tragedy, their surprising bond may be the means to transform fear and heartache into the strength that finally guides Julianna home.

The Third Hill North of Town is a haunting, imaginative story of human connection and coincidence—a poignant and powerful novel that ripples with wit and heart.

Advance Praise For The Third Hill North Of Town

"A brilliant combination of chaos and coincidence. With fresh language and uniquely imperfect characters, Noah Bly weaves a story of a cross-country trek that is both improbable and believable. This fresh, engrossing novel left me convinced of the power of memory, even as it arises from a disturbed mind, and taught me—as Bly promises—the wisdom of faith in the ridiculous." —Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

"This is an eerie, haunting, beautifully realized novel populated by charming misfits and eccentrics." —Joseph Olshan, author of Cloudland

"Once The Third Hill North of Town turns over its engine, readers will do well to secure their grip on themselves, their loved ones, and any notions they have about guilt and innocence, truth and trust, convenience and blame. By its end, Bly's whirlwind challenges much of what we believe without necessarily meaning to, including those comfortable views on the infinite gradations we lump under the banner of mental illness, including racism. A hell of a journey." —Kyle Beachy, author of The Slide

"What a wild ride this novel is! The Third Hill North of Town grabs hold and doesn't let go. A story of the tragedy and beauty of coincidence and circumstance, this novel is one that brings the unlikeliest characters together in a way that is somehow both surprising and meaningful." —T. Greenwood, author of Bodies of Water

"Noah Bly takes readers on an unforgettable ride through America. Well written, page-turning, and hard to put down!" —Jim Kokoris, author of The Pursuit of Other Interests

"A glorious, madcap American road novel in the picaresque tradition, The Third Hill North of Town explores a dark uncharted territory where vengefulness and desire and coincidence and consequence blow wild through human hearts, tossing people together and tearing them apart. Think On the Road written by Flannery O'Connor. A profound meditation on the sanctity of improvised friendships."—Stephen Lovely, author of Irreplaceable

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758290779
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
02/25/2014
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
431,349
Product dimensions:
5.65(w) x 8.22(h) x 1.07(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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The Third Hill North of Town 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it now highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed how the author revealed pieces of the puzzle. Each character is carefully and thoroughly developed. The reader will not completely understand all the nuances in the first chapter or two. I highly reccommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There were questionable facts as mentioned in previous reviews. However they did not keep me from enjoying this book. Hard to put down. A very good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kw66 More than 1 year ago
The story was OK for a light reading diversion, but things just weren't entirely believable. The coincidences didn't really bother me--it was kind of farcical at times, but that was OK; this isn't a deep novel. However, certain questionable facts & character traits stood out, which were distracting. For instance, child safety locks on a 1950s car? Maybe they existed at the time, but they certainly would have been rare, and I don't believe a kid would have immediately known how to operate them. Also, the dialogue frequently sounded like young people talking today--I wasn't around in the early '60s but I find it hard to believe that people used profanity to such an extent back then. I wouldn't recommend this book. The author has written other novels under his real name, and those novels are better than this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm confused as to the use of slang in this book which is inappropriate to the era in which this story is supposed to be taking place. Douchebag , really? And that's only one example. Seems an error any editor would have corrected. It's distracting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of books in my life, and this was the most bizarre story line I can recall.  How the author came up it is hard to imagine. That being said, the story held my interest, and I had to finish it to to see what happens to the characters. If you like something different, this is a book for you.  You can take it at face value or read a lot into it!
livelifeda More than 1 year ago
If there is someone that has a family member that has unusual forgetfulness this book can help understand the problem and take actions. Alzheimers disease is growing rapidly and our understanding of it needs to grow faster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All about the power of memory and coincidence, this is a powerful, amazing debut. Each character is fleshed out well, to the point where you truly feel and understand who you are reading about- no stone is left unturned. I will very much be looking to Bly in the future for strong storytelling, let's hope he keeps at it. The novel is dripping with both humor and tragedy. I was hooked from the first page. Stay open to the possibility that random things sometimes can (and do) line up, and you will love this book. Really, really. You don't want to miss this one (but you might cry a little. It's worth it.)
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
How do you describe THE THIRD HILL NORTH OF TOWN? When I was asked what “genre”? This cleverly written debut novel could find its home (not in one category), but many. Some tags I would use to describe my experience: tragedy, humor/comedy, action, adventure, thriller, (not actually crime novel or mystery, but close), historical, drama, mental health, and suspense. A novel of courage, friendship, self-discovery, loss, and prejudice. Some of the advance praise for THE THIRD HILL NORTH OF TOWN, was “right on”, in that this novel was a brilliant combination of chaos and coincidence. The front cover image drew me in immediately, with the rugged look of a farmland, and could envision the lives of the characters about to embark on an imaginative journey. What a journey it was! Set against the backdrop of the 1960s (interlude takes place in 1923), a trio of misfits and damaged personalities—Julianna, Jon, and Elijah – who became close over the course of the novel for two days with an unlikely friendship. The fifty-four yr. old Julianne is out of a mental hospital in Maine with a mission of returning to the tiny farming community in northern Missouri where she was born and raised. A place where she and her best friend Ben played as children--the place where the course of her life changed on night. On her journey she meets Elijah, a shy teen, African American boy and Jon, a young hitchhiker on the run from the law. The three become traveling buddies and their bond brings them more than they can imagine. There is one obstacle after another— exploring human nature and behaviors of love and loss (you will laugh and cry). An eccentric, yet a powerful imaginative story of human connection and coincidence—Well- written, page-turning, and hard to put down (dying to see what was coming next). I very much enjoyed the Q & A with the author, Noah Bly at the end of the book, and his inspiration for the poignant yet bittersweet novel. This is a huge plus for readers, as it further deepens the connection with the story and the author. The discussion questions are ideal for book clubs or groups, as to ponder the different characters --why they bonded, and what they gained from one another. I look forward to many more best selling novels from this debut and talented author!
norway_girl More than 1 year ago
.This is a debut novel, but I know I have just had the honor of being one of the first to read the next New York Times bestseller. Set, for the most part, in the summer of 1962 in the very north east, the book opens with a kidnapping, or perhaps not. That's it. You are hooked. This isn't a mystery, although there are many questions to be answered and clues to be unveiled. It isn't a coming of age story, but we are brought along on a journey of more than one character's self discovery. It isn't a crime novel, though more than one crime is committed. It isn't a book about the difficulties of racial equality, yet it makes you hold your breath when the racial tension screams at you from the pages. The book could not be described as a thriller, though it is thrilling. Nor could it be pigeon holed as an action/adventure except for the fact that it is a non-stop, full throttle ride across the northeast through to the midwest. It might be considered historical fiction as it takes place in the 60's but there is no historical touchstone...the circumstances could just as easily been set in any decade. The premise of the book is simple. A mentally ill, middle-aged woman escapes an institution, meets two young men (one black, one white), and they travel by car across the northeast to the midwest with various law officers and family in pursuit. But there the simplicity ends because it is a wonderful study of human nature; the very good, the very bad and the very ugly. The achingly fragile balance of love and loss. The absurd confluence of coincidence and circumstance. The ravages of reminiscence and regret. The fidelity of a few overpowering the misanthropy of many. The incongruity of ignorant authority. Then mix in the kindness of strangers, the apathy of family, a little loyalty, quite a bit of bravery, some young and old love, and you have one of the best books you might ever read.  It's a shame this book won't be published until March, 2014. As a retired teacher now bookseller, it would have been a pleasure to recommend this book for a holiday gift . It will just have to be next summer's blockbuster for ALL men and women except those under 16 ( for violence/language and one particularly comical reference to intercourse ).   This is the book you've been waiting for. You will not be disappointed. Thank you Noah Bly for satisfying my hunger for a truly memorable book.