There's nothing Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin’s irrepressible eighty-somethings Anna and Felty Helmuth like better than a challenge. And the chance to matchmake their feisty granddaughter is their most delightful task yet…
Elsie Stutzman’s plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job. But she's not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won’t put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is. . .
Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing, widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings. He'll admit Elsie’s ideas are bringing Wally out of his angry shell—but why does she have to be as stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out, Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes—and win her heart forever.
Praise for Jennifer Beckstrand and her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series
“Beckstrand continues to bring unexpected and heart-melting plotlines to this outstanding series.”
—RT Book Reviews
“Full of kind, sincere characters struggling with the best ways to stay true to themselves and their beliefs.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Jennifer Beckstrand is the RITA nominated and award-winning author of the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill and The Honeybee Sisters series, as well as a number of novellas. Novels in her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series have been RITA® Award and RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award finalists. Huckleberry Hill won the 2014 LIME Award for inspirational fiction and Huckleberry Hearts was named a Booklist Top 10 Inspirational Fiction Book of the Year. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten. Please visit her online at www.JenniferBeckstrand.com
Read an Excerpt
Elsie Stutzman forced a smile and took the last bite of asparagus potato raisin casserole on her plate. She swallowed decisively, and it slid down her throat like a cup of wet cement.
Ach. She'd been so excited to come to Huckleberry Hill to live with her grandparents that she'd forgotten about Mammi's little cooking disorder. Elsie loved asparagus. She adored potatoes and even liked raisins. But when all three of them swam around together in a lumpy cheese sauce made especially for her, Elsie found it difficult to be enthusiastic.
"How did you like the casserole, dear?" Mammi said, her eyes twinkling with all the affection of a seasoned Amish fraa.
Elsie didn't know what to say. She would never do anything to hurt Mammi's feelings, but if she praised the casserole too eagerly, Mammi would insist on scooping her another helping. She shuddered at the thought. "It was appeditlich, Mammi," Elsie said, leaning back and patting her stomach. "I couldn't eat another bite."
Dawdi — Grandpa — spooned another large helping of casserole onto his plate. Elsie was astounded. Dawdi had eaten Mammi's cooking for more than sixty years. How had he survived? "This is one of the best meals you've ever cooked, Annie-banannie. The king of Canada doesn't eat this gute."
Mammi giggled like a six-year-old. "Now, Felty. The king of Canada probably has two or three chefs to cook for him. I've never even been to cooking school."
Elsie caught her bottom lip between her teeth. Had anybody ever suggested cooking school to Mammi? If the whole family pooled their money, they might be able to send her away for a whole month. Elsie squinted in Mammi's direction. Asparagus potato raisin casserole with sides of creamed cabbage and banana cornbread muffins. Nae. Mammi was the dearest, most lovable soul in the world, but a month of Sundays at cooking school wouldn't make a dent in her odd culinary imagination.
"It's a very good thing the king doesn't know about you," Dawdi said. "He'd ask you to go to Canada to cook for him."
Mammi went to the fridge. "Now why would I want to do that when all I've ever wanted is to cook for my family? Everyone is always so appreciative."
"Of course they are," Dawdi said.
Well, at least they were appreciative in front of Mammi, but Elsie could think of no one but cousin Reuben of all the grandchildren who actually enjoyed their grandmother's cooking. Still, it gave Mammi so much happiness to bring joy to her family through food. She never needed to know that there was a lot more indigestion than joy going around.
Mammi clapped her hands. "Who wants cake?"
Ach, du lieva. If Elsie fell into the bathtub tonight, the lump in her stomach would pull her to the bottom. She'd drown for sure and certain. "I couldn't eat another bite, Mammi."
"Now, Elsie," Mammi scolded cheerfully, "this is your Welcome-to-Huckleberry -Hill-and-Happy-First-Day-of-School party. We had Welcome-to-Huckleberry -Hill punch, and now you need the Happy-First-Day-of-School cake. It won't be a party unless you eat some."
Elsie sighed. She would do anything to make Mammi happy, even brave a daily stomachache — which was probably her lot in life for the next year. "Of course I must have some Happy-First-Day-of-School cake." The first day of school was still a week away, but Elsie didn't think they should let anything Mammi had baked sit that long. It might sprout feet and crawl away.
Mammi reached into the fridge and pulled out a beautiful layer cake with creamy dark chocolate frosting. The frosting swirled around the cake like a sky full of wispy clouds. It was truly a work of art.
Elsie glanced behind her. Was someone she hadn't met living in the house or had Mammi made that cake herself? "It's beautiful."
Mammi's eyes lit up like a propane lantern. "Denki, dear. I'm very gute with pastries." She set the cake on the table. "It's my mother's German chocolate cake recipe."
Elsie's mouth watered. She adored German chocolate cake. Maybe Mammi didn't need cooking school after all.
"I made some changes to make it low fat," Mammi said. She furrowed her brow. "Which, when you come to think of it, makes no sense at all. I gave up losing weight when my mamm passed on forty years ago, and you, Elsie, are thin enough to fit through a keyhole."
Elsie was almost afraid to ask. "What changes did you make to the recipe?"
"I used white beans instead of oil. Esther told me not to, but she is always trying to give me advice about my cooking, as if I didn't teach her everything she knows."
Aendi Esther, Mammi's oldest daughter, was famous for her cinnamon rolls. Elsie had a feeling Esther had learned to cook in spite of Mammi.
Elsie watched with trepidation as Mammi cut the cake and served her a generous slice. It looked like regular chocolate cake, except for the small bits of beans that dotted the inside layers. Elsie swallowed hard. She liked beans, and everything tasted better mixed with a gute dose of chocolate.
Mammi served Felty and herself a slice and sat down next to Elsie at the table. "Now, Elsie, dear, your dawdi and I invited you here because our school needed a new teacher. We are overjoyed you got the job."
Elsie nodded. She was overjoyed too. Considering how the Amish gossip mill operated, it was a miracle she had been hired anywhere, and she wouldn't mess it up this time. She'd hold her tongue, no matter how much the parents or the stodgy old school board provoked her. Elsie scooted a piece of the bean-and- chocolate cake around with her fork. The children would like her — at least, she hoped so — and she had no doubt she would love the children. It was the adults Elsie had a harder time with. She firmly believed that school was for the children, not the parents, and had unfortunately shared that opinion on one too many occasions. The school board didn't especially appreciate a schoolteacher who spoke her mind.
"I am wonderful grateful to you for helping me to a job, Mammi." She'd been living in Charm with Onkel Peter and Aendi Clara for three years teaching school. Without a job, she probably would be forced back home to Greenwood, which was even smaller than Bonduel, Wisconsin, where Mammi and Dawdi lived.
Mammi waved her hand in the air. "Never mind about that. The teaching position wasn't the real reason we wanted you to come, but for sure and certain, it came at a convenient time."
Elsie nibbled on her bottom lip. "You didn't want me to come here to teach?"
"Jah," Mammi said. "I mean, nae. We know how badly you want to be married. We asked you to come to Huckleberry Hill so that we could get you a husband." Mammi practically glowed. "Felty and I have just the boy for you."
Elsie's mouthful of thick, gooey, beany chocolate cake got stuck halfway down her throat. Mammi thought she wanted a husband?
So did Wyman Wagler. Despite her blunt refusal, Wyman had persisted in pursuing her all over Charm. He had chased her clear out of Ohio. She had hoped that if she left town, Wyman would take the hint that she wasn't interested. Her declaration "I refuse to marry you" hadn't stopped him. Surely her moving to another state would cool his passion. She could only hope.
Elsie cringed at the very idea of hurting Mammi's feelings, but the thought of being matched to some pale-faced, eager, sniveling young man was even more unbearable. She set her fork decisively on her plate, signaling to her grandparents that she had something wonderful important to say. She tempered her words with an affectionate smile. "Mammi and Dawdi, I came to Bonduel to teach school. I'm only twenty-two. I don't want a husband."
The wrinkles on Mammi's forehead bunched tighter together. "Ever?"
Of course she wanted to marry.
But if she gave her mammi even the slightest hope that she might budge, Mammi would not rest until she'd introduced her to every boy in the county. "The whole family knows how gute you are at matchmaking, but Aaron needs your help more than I ever could. He's almost twenty-nine and thinks girls are silly and stupid." Her brother would be annoyed if he knew that Elsie had stabbed him in the back, but she was desperate, and Aaron was the perfect distraction.
Mammi nodded, and her wrinkles grew wrinkles. "Aaron is a hard case. But I haven't found a girl yet who can put him in his place." She tilted her head to one side and drummed her fingers on her cheek. "It wonders me if Carolyn Yutzy might suit. She used to be in my knitting club."
"She's a wonderful-gute girl," Dawdi said, between hearty bites of cake.
Elsie nodded her encouragement. "Carolyn Yutzy? What kind of girl is she?"
Mammi smiled and patted Elsie's hand. "You're so unselfish, thinking of Aaron's needs before your own, but Carolyn can wait. You're here, and Aaron is trapped in Greenwood. He's not going anywhere. There will be plenty of time to work on him once you're engaged."
Elsie sighed, much louder than she intended, but at least she had Mammi and Dawdi's attention. Her resolve to hold her tongue died like a frog on the interstate. "Mammi and Dawdi, you are the best grandparents a girl could ever ask for. I love you to the moon and back, but I don't want you to match me with anyone. I want to concentrate on being the best teacher I can be. Boys are nothing but a distraction, and I'd rather not have to fend off any romantic notions while I'm here. There are plenty of boys back in Charm, or even Greenwood." Not that she'd consider dating any of them — especially Wyman Wagler — but it might make Mammi feel better about Elsie's marriage prospects.
"The boy I have in mind is truly your perfect match," Mammi said, cheerfully unmoved by Elsie's pleading.
"It wonders me if he isn't too tall," Dawdi said, obviously trying to throw Elsie a bone.
Elsie took it. "Jah. I'm only five foot one. I don't like tall boys."
Mammi frowned. "How tall is too tall?"
Elsie pulled a number from the air and hoped Mammi's intended boy was a giant. "Five foot four." Wyman Wagler was five-five.
Unfortunately, this didn't seem to deter Mammi in the least. Her laughter sounded like a bubbly brook tripping over the rocks. "Felty is six-three."
"I used to be six-three," Dawdi said. "I'm shrinking all the time."
"Well, dear, you used to be six-three, and I'm only five feet, and look what a gute match we are."
Dawdi scooped another piece of cake onto his plate, making sure to catch the errant beans. "The best match I ever could have asked for, Annie."
"It doesn't matter," Elsie said, trying not to lose her temper. How could she be cross about her mammi's stubbornness when Mammi had probably passed that trait on to Elsie? She stood and stacked the dishes.
"No need, Elsie, dear. You are the guest."
"I'm going to do the dishes every morning and every night while I stay here. It's the least I can do."
Mammi smiled, and the lines around her eyes congregated closer together. "But you'll be busy with your boyfriend."
Elsie started filling the sink with hot water. "Please don't match me up with anyone, Mammi. I don't think I could stand it."
"But, dear, you can't see how unhappy you are. Only a mammi truly knows, and I hate seeing my grandchildren miserable."
Elsie sighed again, even louder than before. She should have known better than to try to discourage Mammi. It was like trying to hold back the Ohio River with her arm. "Would you agree to a compromise?"
Mammi squinted in Elsie's direction. "What kind of compromise?"
"Let me be for four months. I need the time to improve my teaching. Then, in January, you can match me up with whomever you want." Elsie nibbled on her bottom lip. January was a long way away. Maybe Mammi would forget about the whole scheme by then.
Mammi brightened considerably. "Let's hang a big calendar by the door and mark off the days until January. That will give you something to look forward to during the long winter." She practically leaped from her chair and pulled the small calendar from the wall above her sofa. "This will never do. I'll have to go buy a bigger one." She took a sheet of paper from the drawer and did some counting in her head. She wrote on the paper, rolled some tape behind it, and stuck it on the wall. It said 134 days to January 1.
Felty nodded. "A countdown. You're wonderful clever, Banannie."
Elsie gave Mammi what passed for a smile. Her grandparents were both in their eighties — a time when old people started forgetting things. They'd probably forget the whole thing before Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, Elsie had a creeping dread that when it came to love, Mammi's memory was as sharp as a tack. Elsie would be foolish to hold out even a sliver of hope.
Sam Sensenig was so mad, his hat would have caught fire had it been a hotter day. He didn't have time for this. He barely had time for the work he needed to do on the farm. He certainly didn't have time to put a teacher in her place. Wasn't it the school board's job to learn everything about a new teacher before they hired her? How hard would it have been to find out that the new teacher had a mean streak, that she liked to pick on little crippled boys who couldn't fight back? How dare she? How could the school board have been so negligent? And how would Sam ever make things right for Wally?
One thing was for sure. That new teacher was going to get a talking-to she would never, ever forget. If he reduced her to a quivering blob of tears, all the better. She'd get a taste of what she'd done to his bruder — and it was mighty bitter.
Sam jumped off his horse, Rowdy, and stormed toward the schoolhouse. He hadn't taken the time to hitch up the buggy, because his wrath needed to be swift and severe. He opened the schoolhouse door and stomped up the stairs, making sure the smack of his boots against the steps was loud and intimidating. The teacher would know someone was here who wouldn't be bullied or belittled.
At first he didn't see her amid the bright posters and stacks of books. Nearly every inch of wall space was covered with pictures and words, as if a children's book had exploded and its contents had stuck to the walls. A hand-drawn picture of a cowboy hung on the wall above one of the bookshelves. The cowboy played a guitar, and notes floated around him like gnats in the air. "Sing Unto the Lord a New Song, Psalms 96:1," it read, and at the cowboy's feet were empty hooks and block letters that said, "Perfect Attendance."
An overflowing basket of bright red paper apples graced the opposite wall with a sign that read, "Welcome." Each of the apples had a child's name written on it, Wally's included. Too bad Wally wasn't truly welcome in this classroom. The teacher had made that very clear.
The decorations were surprisingly bright and cheery for someone rotten to the core.
A head popped up from the other side of the teacher's desk. She must have been kneeling behind it when he came in. She stood, and he took an involuntary step back. The new teacher wasn't old or broad-shouldered or severe-looking, like Sam had pictured her when Wally had come home crying. She looked young, definitely younger than he, with shiny mahogany hair and shocking green eyes. And she couldn't have been much taller than five feet — just a slip of a thing. She didn't look capable of bullying anyone.
Sam squared his shoulders. He knew better than to judge someone by the way they looked. This new teacher might well be the prettiest girl in five counties, but if her heart was black as coal, her beauty was an illusion.
Her smile lit up the entire room, and Sam caught his breath and nearly forgot why he had come. "Hallo," she said.
Sam shook his head a couple of times to clear it. No pretty face would distract him from his brother's pain or from the fact that she had caused it. "Are you the teacher?" he said. He meant it to sound like an accusation.
She stiffened. "I am," she said, as if daring him to attack.
He didn't like that little show of defiance, as if she hadn't done anything wrong. He stepped around the desk and got closer so he could loom over her, glaring down at her like she was a bug he was about to squish. She tilted her head way back to look him in the eye, but didn't back away, didn't grab the desk behind her for support, didn't even flinch. Her composure irritated him to no end. "What gives you the right to pick on my little brother?"
She matched his glare with an icy one of her own. The room got twenty degrees colder. "May I ask what little bruder we are referring to?"
"Wally Sensenig — my little bruder. He came home crying. You should be ashamed of yourself."
Excerpted from "A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill"
Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Beckstrand.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Such a wonderful story!!!" I look forward to next book!
Such a cute story!
A COURTSHIP ON HUCKLEBERRY HILL is the eight book in Ms. Beckstrand's popular series The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill but it easily stands alone. One can't help but love Anna and Feltie and even laugh at some of the questionable meals that Anna concocts. Sam worries that Elsie can't cook when she eats around him as if she's starving, but seriously, I think the hungriest person would have trouble swallowing some of Anna's creations. I love Ms. Beckstrand's sense of humor, she has to be the queen of Amish romantic comedy. Seriously. Even if you don't like Amish fiction, if you love romantic comedy then you will absolutely adore Jennifer Beckstrand's romantic comedies. If you do love Amish fiction and haven't read her books you seriously must. That's all. Sam is stubborn and has a temper and even though he has some wrong ideas he honestly wants to do the right thing and he is so adorable. Elsie is more outspoken than most Amish heroines but she is wise and even though she angered almost everyone she stood up for herself and her methods. I seriously enjoy reading Jennifer Beckstrand's books and if you haven't discovered her yet, do pick up a copy of A COURTSHIP ON HUCKLEBERRY HILL. You will want to go back and read the first seven in any order you can get them in. I bought a used copy of this book, but not from Amazon so I will not show up as a verified buyer. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a review.
I knew I was in for a great read in another Huckleberry Hill story, and I think A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill is Jennifer's best yet. The characters in this story are so great to get to know and watch their development. Elsie is a great, caring teacher -- even if her methods sometime ruffle the feathers of parents and school board members. Sam is a young man saddled with guilt, while trying to do what he thinks is best for his family. Wally is a young boy using his physical limitations to manipulate most everyone around him, instead of learning to let his true character come out. There are lots of problems and near disasters that come out when these personalities collide -- but still lots of fun, just like you would expect on Huckleberry Hill. In spite of Anna Helmuth's attempts to bring her granddaughter Elsie together with her "perfect match," it looks like she might not be successful this time. But even Anna is amazed with her own matchmaking skills before this one is over! Thanks to Celebrate Lit for sharing a copy of this new Huckleberry Hill story! I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
Lo bed it
These books just keep getting better with each book in the series. I did not want to put this book down. I always love Annie and Felty. If I hadn’t found my husband in high school I would have loved her to be a matchmaker for me. I really liked Elsie throughout the story. At times I wasn’t happy with Sam or Wally. They both needed to grow up. This made me laugh and cry. I received this wonderful book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
What a fun book! Mix a couple of matchmakers with a couple of single people, and you never know what will happen. Fiesty Anna brings confusion and lots of laughs, as well as some interesting recipes. Charming characters with comfortable dialogue and a lot of heart move this story right along. Author Jenifer Beckstrand’s story shows us what determination can look like when you care about others and aren’t willing to see them fail. I won’t give any spoilers here, but you’ll love the tenacity that both Elsie and Wally show. A quick but delightful read, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
Kate Lloyd has written a story that will touch your heart. A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill is a story this is filled with love, devotion, frustration, sorrow and pain. Elsie Helmuth has a big heart for others especially her students. Elsie only wants to do what she thinks is best for Wally. She doesn’t see him as someone that is crippled. Sam Sensenig is short tempered, quick to judge and has so much responsibility. He is always giving into Wally letting him have his way. Then there is Rose, who is like a thorn in your side. Be sure to order your copy of A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill today. I received a complementary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion. 4.5 stars!
"For sure and certain." I'll be repeating this phrase in my head for many days to come. I don't read Amish books much, mostly because I am busy reading other genres. From the handful of Amish books I've read, I've enjoyed this book the most. The author, who is new to me, has a delightful way of writing that turns every day incidents into memorable events, both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Even though softball, school, gatherings of family and friends, and farming can seem like mundane routine things, the author uses these happenings to bring spark and interest into the plot and gives life lessons through them all. There is no mystery or suspense or adrenaline woven into the plot but the storyline moves at a good pace and keeps the reader engaged. The author's writing style is fluid and easy to follow. The dialogue, especially between the two main characters Elsie and Sam, ranges from angry and heated to humorous and sweet. There are some serious laugh-out-loud moments in the book that had me cracking up and shaking my head at the same time. The characters in the book are layered and deeply lovable. Elsie is the new school teacher who lives with her grandparents (and her grandparents are sure to bring laughter and smiles as you read). She's stubborn, proud, smart, a gifted teacher and softball player who has a tender heart and will do whatever it takes to do what she believes is right. Sam is the oldest in the family now responsible for the farm and his siblings and mother. He's also stubborn and quite proud, loyal to family and friends and hardworking but has quite a temper. Sam does grow through the book and understands how to control his temper better and also learns to apologize in humility. It was a delightful journey of second chances, basking in the warmth of love from family and friends, and savoring the beautiful moments that can be had in an environment uncluttered from modern technology. I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher via Celebrate Lit Tour. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
I know I’ve said this before but I LOVE ANNA & FELTY from Jennifer Beckstrand’s Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. They are two of my very favorite characters ever, across all genres. Beckstrand never fails to make me smile with these two octogenarian Amish grandparents, and sometimes I even laugh out loud (the goats in the house scene from a couple novellas ago still makes me chuckle when I think about it). In A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill, we get more of Anna’s interesting meal concoctions that Felty eats quite heartily but the rest of us would be hardpressed to keep down, like asparagus potato raisin casserole and chocolate layer cake with beans instead of oil. We also get more of Anna’s well-intentioned matchmaking attempts that are rarely appreciated by either party (but make for some delightful moments for we readers) and of course her various knitted goods to seal the deal. And honestly that would have been enough for me to give this book a 5-star rating. Because they are just so lovable and adorably hilarious. But then Beckstrand threw in a heroine I want as a friend and a swoony-but-stubborn hero. And then she added a classroom full of sweet children … and a couple of not-so-sweet children who become works-in-progress thanks to the infectiously-cheerful Miss Elsie Stuzman. And then she added a couple of really delicious kisses. Y’all. I want to hug this book. Bottom Line: A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill by Jennifer Beckstrand gets a solid A+! The humor is perfectly timed and well-spaced. The characters (as I’ve already mentioned) are truly delightful (with a couple of exceptions who needed a good purse whomping). The message of not giving up on someone, of thinking before you react, of loving even the difficult to love people in our lives… it’s all presented sincerely with an engaging plot. One of my fave Huckleberry Hill books so far! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
I love Jennifer Beckstrand's Huckleberry Hill books. They bring you to a place that you want to live. While reading these books, it feels like you there with the characters and seeing everything happen. A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill is no different. This is just one of the books from The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. Don't be alarmed, all these books can be read as a stand-alone or in any order. In this one Elsie Helmuth, the granddaughter of Anna and Felty Helmuth, is a school-teacher who is determined not to get in trouble. She will do what she has to do to keep this job, even if it means not letting the brother of one of her students sabotage it. Wally Sensing is disabled, Elsie wants to help him see his potential. His brother Sam, is hot-headed and left to take care of his widowed, sick mother and Wally. Sam sees a change in Wally and is happy. But can he fix his mistakes. I'm not going to give too much away!! There is so much to this book that you will want to find out on your own. I encourage you to pick a copy up today. You will enjoy all that happens on Huckleberry Hill. I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required, all opinions expressed here are my own.
This is one of my favorite Amish Authors! The characters thoughts and actions just make you feel like they are family and Grandmother Anna.. She just makes me smile and think, oh brother! Love this authors make me smile good books. I have trouble putting them down, just have to know what next! If you like family stories, Amish or just wonderful good stories.. you should like this one! I was gifted a copy and my review is voluntary..
A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill is penned in Jennifer Beckstrand usual style for this fun loving grandparent couple, Felty and Anna Helmuth, who wants all their grandchildren happily married as they are. Elsie Helmuth is staying with them since she’s the new school teacher in Bonduel, Wisconsin Amish community. Of course, Anna has a young man in mind to marry off Elsie; however, she is not interested in even dating. Elsie may be outspoken instead of a quiet Amish teacher but her students adore her. Well that’s everyone except Wally Sensenig, who is disruptive and uses the excuse he’s a cripple. His older brother, Sam confronts Elsie and she just knew she would lose her job. The story unexpected events demonstrates how cuddling a disabled child instead of encouraging them to work at their full potential can be harmful. This is a beautiful story of changes with Wally reaching out to a new student who had Down’s syndrome. Elsie’s students excel except there are setbacks with Wally’s behavior; however, one special little girl touched young Wally. Will Anna succeed with Elsie finding her husband or will Sam keep putting Anna off for his family and his manipulative neighbor girl? Readers will want to read A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill to discover how pity, sorrow, impatience, jealousy can be turned around when faith in God is priority and seeing the good in others. I look forward to reading more books by Jennifer Beckstrand. She never fails to deliver a fun loving story filled with laughter but a clear message that will linger after closing the book. Thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Publisher and Celebrate Lit Bloggers tour for an e-copy of this book. I was not require to give a positive review but have expressed my honest thoughts.
LOVE this book, this series! If you have not read any of this series yet you really need to get started! Jennifer gives you humor, heartache, faith, and yes, love. I got close to tears several times in this book, but I did hold them at bay. I just absolutely love this series and once I finish a book I dread the wait for the next one in the series, I'm soooo glad the Amish have large families so Anna and Felty have a lot of grandchildren to share the love with.
I found A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill to be well-written, engaging and it had a good pace (which makes for a book that is enjoyable to read). Anna and Felty Helmuth are such delightful characters. They are in their 80s, and Anna has no qualms meddling in her grandchildren’s lives. Anna is a quirky woman who wears sweaters that are not approved by the Ordung, is a knitting machine, and cooks the worst food (Felty finds it delicious, but his taste buds are not to be trusted). Elsie is a strong, determined, persistent yet compassionate and kind woman. These qualities make her an excellent teacher. She wants what is best for her students. I ended up liking Sam in the end, but he was irksome (I did not think he would ever see reason). I could not believe how oblivious he was to Rose Mast (neighbor who was in love with him). His cluelessness to the situation went on a little too long for my liking. It was cute and humorous how Anna kept trying to match up Sam and Elsie without success. The scenes did have me chuckling. A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill can be read as a standalone. I do, though, recommend the other novels in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series (each one is unique and a pleasure to read). Anna is determined to find matches for all her grandchildren whether they want it or not. In A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill, you will find yourself cheering for Elsie as she sets out to change Wally and Sam. I am eager to read Home on Huckleberry Hill which is the next novel in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series.
really loved being back with the best Amish grandparents Annie and Felty, and they sure didn’t disappoint, I just hate waiting for stories about more of their grandchildren The author presents a strong caring young woman for the new teacher in this Wisconsin Amish settlement, and of course she is the Helmuth’s granddaughter and we see for ourselves what a great teacher she is. The man that Annie has picked out for our Elsie at times leaves a lot to be desired, but he has a lot on his plate. The story does involve a brother of Sam’s who has a number of handicaps, notably missing a leg. While Sam is felling guilt, and pampers and babies him, Elsie seems to have compassion and intuition to know exactly what to say and do. Come and see what a bit of jealously will do to hurt so many, and undo a lot of accomplishments. A different type of Amish story, and one that will linger with you. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington, and was not required to give a positive review.