Huckleberry Harvest

Huckleberry Harvest

by Jennifer Beckstrand

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420136517
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 05/26/2015
Series: Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill Series , #5
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 510,013
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the award-winning, bestselling author of the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the Forever After in Apple Lake series. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She lives in the foothills of the Wasatch Front in Utah. Visit her at jenniferbeckstrand.com.

C. S. E. Cooney launched her voice-acting career narrating short fiction for Podcastle, the world's first audio fantasy magazine. She is a performance poet, singer-songwriter, and fantasy author whose collection Bone Swans has garnered starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Locus Magazine.

Read an Excerpt

Huckelberry Harvest


By JENNIFER BECKSTRAND

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer Beckstrand
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3652-4


CHAPTER 1

The chickens gathered at Anna Helmuth's feet as she scattered scratch from her pail. "Oh, dear," she said. "I suppose I should have tossed it away from me if I wanted to keep my shoes clean."

"You're doing a fine job, Annie," her husband Felty said.

"The hens are getting fat."

Anna tiptoed around the chickens as they pecked at the feed. Bitzy, the Plymouth Rock hen, put up a fuss when Anna accidentally stepped on her, but she recovered enough to squawk in disapproval before going back to her breakfast. "Did you bring the chopped carrots?" Anna asked.

Felty pulled a handful of carrot pieces from his pocket. "This is all we had."

"It will be enough." Anna took the slices from Felty's hand and tossed them into the small flock of chickens. She beaned one chicken in the head inadvertently, but surely a carrot to the head wouldn't have hurt anybody seriously. The chicken kept right on eating and didn't seem to notice. "I'm planning a special breakfast for Mandy's first day on Huckleberry Hill, and I want the eggs to be extra-bright yellow."

"What special breakfast are you making for our grand-daughter?"

"She's only staying a month, so I want every meal to be memorable. Tomorrow morning we're having Eggs Benedict. I've never made it before, but the picture in my recipe book looks delicious. I just have to figure out what a poached egg is, and we'll be all set."

"Do you still want to find a boy for Mandy while she's in town?"

"Jah. But don't worry. I'll see to it that any romantic goings-on will not be detrimental to your blood pressure."

"What about my ulcer?"

Anna propped a hand on her hip. "Now, Felty. You don't have an ulcer."

"I will by the time Mandy goes back to Ohio."

"We can't let Mandy leave Bonduel without a husband."

Felty stroked his salt-and-pepper beard. "It's a bit of a stretch to think Mandy will meet a boy, fall in love, get engaged, and plan a wedding in one month's time."

Anna bit her bottom lip. "Maybe we could talk her into staying an extra week."

"We better encourage the chickens to lay more eggs if we need five weeks of Eggs Benefit," Felty said.

"Now, Felty. We'll have enough time. Our biggest problem is finding the right young man for our granddaughter. Her plans for a visit took me by surprise. I haven't had the time to spy out prospective husbands like I usually do. I just don't know what boy in Bonduel would do for our Mandy."

Felty nodded. "She's a spunky sort of girl."

"Jah," Anna said, dumping the rest of the scratch from her pail onto the ground. "She needs a spunky, cheerful boy to keep her laughing."

Felty took the pail from Anna as they walked toward the house. "What do you think of Noah Mischler? He's as gute a boy as ever there was."

Anna furrowed her brow until the wrinkles piled on top of each other. "Noah Mischler? He's as solid as a tree."

"Is that bad?"

"Nae. It means he's not afraid of hard work."

"Being a hard worker is the most important quality for a grandson-in-law to possess."

Anna ran her hands down the front of her apron. "Don't get me wrong, Felty. I adore Noah Mischler. Saloma Miller tells me he put a new gas stove in her kitchen last April that practically makes dinner by itself. Noah is smart enough to fix anything that's broken, and he's so gute to his dat. But I don't think he and Mandy would suit. He's gloomier than three weeks of rain."

Felty rubbed the back of his neck. "Maybe he don't have much cause to smile these days."

"Mandy won't look twice at someone like him. We've got to think of somebody else."

Felty opened the door for his wife of sixty-four years and followed her into the house. "How will we ever find someone in four weeks?"

"Five weeks. We'll talk Mandy into five weeks. And I'm going to pull out my new recipe book. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

"In that case, Mandy won't have a lick of trouble finding a boy. Nobody knows how to cook like you do, Annie." Felty paused inside the door, looked around the great room, and thumbed his suspenders. He grinned as an idea came to him. "Annie, how would you like a new gas stove for all this cooking you're going to be doing?"

CHAPTER 2

"Is this the house?" Mandy asked as she pulled Dawdi's buggy in front of the run-down shack with paint peeling off the siding.

"Jah," Kristina said, still sniffling after all the crying she'd done today.

Mandy set the brake and tied the reins. "Do you want to come with me?"

"No. Never."

"I'll talk to him. Keep an eye out. If he wants to apologize or get back together with you, I'll wave to you. Okay?"

"Be sure to tell him I still love him."

Mandy ground her teeth together. Kristina didn't have a lick of sense about how to handle such things. "Remember what we talked about? That will only make you sound desperate. You're not desperate." She patted Kristina's hand. "You've been treated very badly, and someone needs to put Noah Mischler in his place. If his conscience nags at him and he realizes he can't live without you, all the better."

"But what if he doesn't know how much I love him?

Maybe he broke it off because he thought I was going to break it off first."

"I'll fix it."

"But how?"

"I'll make Noah Mischler see the error of his ways. Believe me, I know how to make a deerich boy feel guilty. He'll realize what he's done, and everything will be set to rights."

The grass in the front yard grew in tufts like the hair on a balding old man. Mandy tromped along the dirt path worn into the sparse lawn and climbed the two concrete steps to the small cement pad that served as a porch. Thick lilac bushes grew on either side of the house, creating a barrier as impassable as any stone wall. They grew tall and thick and undisciplined, as if they were trying to imprison the house. Without their blooms, they were quite unsightly. No trees or flowers graced the front yard, and a barbed wire fence, tangled and swaying, ran along the north side of the yard. The property looked sad, as if it had lived a long, difficult life and was ready to give up the ghost.

A droopy-eared hound lazed next to the door and didn't even bark when Mandy approached. He looked as if he had barely enough energy to lift his head.

Pausing, she took the dog's face in her hands and caressed his ears. "Pretty dog. Good dog," she cooed. The dog responded by attempting to lick her face. She dodged his tongue and gave him a swift pat on the head before squaring her shoulders and knocking on the door.

Time to show her angry-yet-ready-to-forgive face. Noah Mischler didn't stand a chance.

She waited for several seconds with no response from the inside and then knocked again—more forcefully this time. Six loud raps that told anyone inside she meant business.

A young man, sturdy and tall, answered the door. When he gave her a tentative smile, the air stuck in her throat, and she forgot to breathe. This pleasant-looking, muscular young man was Noah Mischler? The boy who had scornfully stomped on her best friend's heart? By the way Kristina had described him, Mandy had expected a scowling, sinister boy with fangs and bushy dark eyebrows.

The boy standing before her was not at all what she had pictured. His wavy hair was the color of wheat just before harvest and his dark, lively eyes called to mind the deep browns and rich greens of the forest. His face, lean and tan from the summer's work, looked as if it could belong to one of the statues standing in a museum in Milwaukee. No wonder Kristina wanted him back.

He tilted his head. "Can I help you?"

She realized she'd been staring and cleared her throat. This was no time to be distracted by a handsome face. Pretty is as pretty does, that was what Mamm always said. If Noah Mischler wasn't a godly man in his heart, it didn't matter how he looked on the outside.

"Are you Noah Mischler?"

"Jah," he said, holding out his hand. Instinctively, she shook it even though she had determined that she wasn't going to be friendly. Noah needed to see the stern side of Mandy Helmuth today. He must be made to understand the seriousness of his transgressions.

She quickly pulled her hand away. Puzzlement flitted across his face as he stepped out onto the porch and shut the door behind him. "And you are ...?"

"Mandy Helmuth." She cleared her throat again.

"Helmuth. Are you related to Anna and Felty Helmuth on Huckleberry Hill?"

"Jah. I am their granddaughter. I'm visiting from Ohio."

"Nice to meet you. Felty is ... friends with my dat." His eyebrows inched closer together as he studied her face and waited for her to explain herself.

Suddenly she found the words harder to push out of her mouth than she had expected. He seemed so nice, the way he eyed her curiously but with no apparent ill will.

She took a determined breath and arched her eyebrows. Looks could be deceiving.

"Noah Mischler, I came to tell you that what you did to Kristina Beachy is despicable, and you'd better repent right quick."

His face immediately hardened like cement or, rather, like cold, hard granite. She'd never seen an expression so unyielding. "You don't know anything."

"I know that you flirted with Kristina for months and months and took her home from gatherings in your courting buggy and made her believe you loved her and then broke the whole thing off with a text message."

He stared at her with fire in his eyes even as the rest of his face could have been chiseled out of solid rock. "Like I said. You don't know anything about it." He stepped back and took hold of the door handle, as if he were planning to leave her standing there. As if the conversation were over!

"I'm not finished," Mandy said.

"I am," he replied, opening the door and stepping inside.

Mandy pointed to the buggy. "There is a heartbroken girl in there, wondering what she did to deserve such cruelty from you."

"Cruelty?"

"You treated her like dirt, and yet she forgives you."

The lines of his mouth twitched with simmering resentment. "Kristina has an overactive imagination."

"Don't you think she at least deserves an apology for how you treated her?"

"Nae."

"You won't even apologize? Kristina hasn't stopped crying since you dumped her."

His eyes narrowed into slits. "She's been crying for three solid weeks?"

Mandy shouldn't have exaggerated. It made her sound childish. "All I'm saying is that she is devastated. You led her on. She has a right to an explanation."

"I said all I needed to say in the text."

She was losing ground. Not even the faintest hint of remorse tinged his features. "And that's another thing. Kristina told me you've been baptized. Why does a baptized member of the church have a cell phone? I can understand Kristina having one. She hasn't taken baptism classes yet. But why do you have one? What would the bishop think if he knew you were breaking the rules of the Ordnung?"

Nastiness crept into his voice. "Why don't you go ask him and find out?"

"Maybe I will. Maybe if you lose your phone, you won't be able to break more hearts. At least in a text."

He folded his arms, moved closer, and stared her down with those fiery brown eyes. She resisted the urge to take a step back. She wouldn't appear weak, not even if Noah Mischler was strong enough to break her like a twig. "Maybe, Mandy Helmuth, you should get your superior little hinnerdale off my porch."

She nearly choked on his words. How dare he? Fighting the urge to hiss like a cat, she wrapped her arms around her waist until she felt composed enough to speak. "So, you refuse to see reason."

"I'm not the one who refuses to see reason. You got precisely half of the story, which isn't true, by the way, and you aren't reasonable enough to ask my side. But it doesn't matter, because my side is none of your business."

"It's my business when a dear friend gets hurt."

He grunted so that Mandy knew exactly what he thought of that logic. "Why don't you stick your little freckled nose into someone else's life? I don't care what you think." He backed away and shut the door in her face before she had a chance to answer him. Before she could even give him a lecture about the proper way to treat girls and the punishments awaiting deceivers in hell.

Well then. If he refused to improve himself and repent of his wrongdoing, then his soul was not Mandy's problem. She'd done all she could. Even her dawdi, as kind as he was, couldn't have been expected to do more.

Mandy stomped down the stairs, gave the dog one last pat, and made a beeline for the buggy, not caring how many pathetic tufts of grass she trampled along the way. That lawn wouldn't last another winter anyway. If she were them, she'd till up the whole thing and plant new grass seed next spring.

She couldn't hide her indignation as she climbed into the buggy and got it rolling as quickly as possible. Noah Mischler would try the patience of Job.

"What did he say?" Kristina asked, as if Mandy held all her hopes and dreams in her hand.

"I don't understand why you like Noah Mischler. He has no remorse for anything. He's doomkop. Forget him, Krissy"

"I can't."

"Jah, you can. There's dozens of other boys who don't scowl and who don't say words like 'hinnerdale' right to a girl's face. You can do so much better."

"That's not true. Noah is the most wonderful boy in the world, and I think I'll die of a broken heart if he doesn't take me back."

Kristina always did have a flair for the dramatic. Still, Mandy sympathized with her completely. Insensitive, aggravating Noah Mischler had made her friend miserable, and Mandy had been left to pick up the pieces of Kristina's heart.

Mandy would be perfectly happy if she never laid eyes on that boy again.

CHAPTER 3

"In heaven I know there'll be no weeping or dying, No chilly winds or tornadoes ever blow, It is a land of love and springtime beauty, Where purple flowers ever grow" Dawdi sang as he swept the last of the ashes out of the wood box with a hand broom. Music floated around Dawdi like air floated around everybody else. He sang when he did his chores. He sang in the bathroom. He hummed while reading the newspaper. It seemed the only time he didn't sing was at the dinner table because Mammi had made a rule against it. "Enough of my boys are singers that we had to make the no-singing-at-the-table rule," she had told Mandy. "It's nonsense to try to eat and sing at the same time." Dawdi knew lots of tunes but often forgot the words. Most of his lyrics were made up on the spot.

The ashes from the cookstove floated into the pail, and Dawdi flipped the lid shut. "That's the last time I'm ever going to clean out that old stove. The new one comes today."

They'd eaten cold cereal that morning so the cook-stove would be cool enough for the salvage men to haul away. Bran flakes weren't Mandy's favorite, but after something runny and gooey yesterday called Eggs Benedict, Mandy would have cheerfully eaten pine needles and twigs for the rest of her life.

"We've had this woodstove for forty years," Mammi said, taking a rag and wiping the top of it.

"Sixty-four," Dawdi said. "My dat gave it to us on our wedding day."

Mammi nodded and looked at Mandy. "Your dawdi is so eager for a newfangled stove. I hope I'll be able to get the bread just right in a gas stove."

Mandy smiled sympathetically at her mammi. Poor Mammi had never gotten the bread just right in the old stove. But it was okay. Everybody ate Mammi's cooking, no matter how bad it tasted. It gave Mammi so much pleasure to feed her family. A little dinner-table discomfort was secondary to Mammi's feelings.

Dawdi put his arm around Mammi. "You're the best cook in the world, Annie Banannie. A new gas stove won't slow you down."

"Of course not," Mammi said. "I can learn. My doctor says your brain gets old if you stop learning."

"When are they coming with the new stove?" Mandy asked. Lord willing, she'd get bran flakes two days in a row.

Dawdi glanced at the bird clock on the wall. "Should be here within the hour." He chuckled as at that minute, someone knocked on the door. "They're early."

Mandy was closest to the door. The moment she opened it, she wished she hadn't. Noah Mischler stood on Mammi's porch holding a large metal box that looked as if it weighed fifty pounds. That boy was as sturdy as a tree and as handsome as a sunset.

And she loathed him.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Huckelberry Harvest by JENNIFER BECKSTRAND. Copyright © 2015 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.

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Huckleberry Harvest 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
wfnren More than 1 year ago
Another excellent book in an excellent series!!!  --   I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself but I LOVE THIS SERIES! It just makes me giggle and the love that Jennifer writes about just pulls you into their life. This book probably touched me a little more as it talks about something my dad, and a lot of his family members, dealt with in his life, alcoholism, and parents seperating! My parents were divorced but I still saw my dad when we wanted to or when he wanted, or could, see my brother and me. It wasn't always a fun time! I also found myself crying at times while reading. These books are so good that I have trouble putting them down. I see the sixth book, "Huckleberry Hearts" comes out on November 24th! I think this is the only series I've ever pre-ordered books in and I've already done that twice, will probably do it again, it is on pre-order right now for paperback or the Kindle. Yes, this is another MUST read! ! !
JuneMJ More than 1 year ago
MY REVIEW: FIVE STARS * * * * * The publisher granted me digital access to this book through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for reading the book or for posting this review here or on any other site. I have previously read three of the books from this Amish fiction series called ‘The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill’. I absolutely adore the delightful core characters in this series! Anna and Felty Helmuth are octogenarian grandparents on a mission to find marriage matches for each of their grandchildren. Anna and Felty’s antics are hilarious. Felty, called Dawdi by his grandchildren, is known for his humorous renditions of old hymns and songs. He enjoys playing the license plate game when he’s out and about on the road, and he thinks his wife of sixty-four years, Anna, can do no wrong–even when it comes to her crazy cooking adventures. Anna, called Mammi by her grandchildren, is known for her prolific knitting projects and her poor cooking and baking skills. She makes potholders to give to eligible suitors for her granddaughter, Mandy, in this book. The other girls in the community call the boys with the potholders The Potholder Club. Anna has decided to find a husband for Mandy (visiting from Ohio) during her four-week summer stay on their farm. Mammi concocts various muscle tests and questionnaires to rate the local young men in an effort to find Mandy the best possible match. All kidding aside, Mandy and Noah, the main male character in this story, must deal with some serious issues surrounding his father’s alcoholism and Mandy’s take-charge personality. Noah, especially, goes through some heart-wrenching events during the book. The author does an excellent job of guiding her characters through these circumstances in a realistic manner. The final few chapters of the story are touching and exceptionally well-written. I loved the final chapter–which I won’t spoil for you by revealing its contents. Suffice to say this book provides above average laughter and enjoyment in the Amish fiction genre. I highly recommend this book to fans of Amish and Christian fiction, clean romance, and humorous fiction. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series, ‘Huckleberry Hearts’, scheduled for release in December, 2015!
JCMorrows More than 1 year ago
I can not believe I'm late reviewing THIS book! Jennifer - you should smack me. But seriously... I thought I had already reviewed it. It was only when I went looking for the review that I realized why it wasn't there. OOPS! I know I literally say this about every book Jennifer puts out but I seriously think this is my favorite so far! And... Oh my word how do I write this review without giving anything away... I don't know how Jennifer does it – I mean she comes up with these wonderful stories that are full of such life and good humor and faith – and there are no two alike! I especially like the new direction Jennifer took with this one! It's the first time Felty has gotten into the act (I'm not spoiling anything ... it's in the sneak peek in the back of Huckleberry Spring) One other thing I LOVE about Jennifer is that she is not shy at all about tackling serious issues! She brings them to light and shows her readers just how dangerous these things can be! AMAZING! So... not only will Huckleberry Harvest make you laugh, it will make you think. It will also make you frustrated at how thick-headed some people can be and sigh over how exciting love can be! In short, it's great, it's humorous, it's exciting, it's REAL! I did say it's the best one yet right... ? Yes, I thought I did! So, what are you waiting for? GO... get your copy! Don't miss it!!! And, as usual, I can hardly wait to start the next one! Especially since I read the sneak peek! Review © JCMorrows 2015
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Harvest is the fifth installment of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. In this book, there is real life issues that kept me intrigued with the story and a few moments that had me laughing. I really liked this book but not as much as the first four of the series. 4 stars.
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
It is almost impossible for readers not to fall in love with dear grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth!    She is the world's most horrible cook and avid knitter!  He must have lost all ability to taste as he is the only person alive to enjoy her cooking and he has the sweetest disposition.   Anna is once again up to her matchmaking with the grandchildren and this time, Mandy, is the target for Cupid's (or Anna's) arrow.   The poor unsuspecting fellows are lured to their home with promises of cookies and a knitted potholder and the chance to win their granddaughter's  (Mandy's) hand in marriage.   Mandy is not thrilled with the efforts but she loves and respects her dear Mammi so she grudgingly goes along with the many trials, meals, tests, and setups.    Felty has hired Noah to do so home repairs while Mandy is there visiting in their home and Mandy is there to cheer her best friend, Kristina, up after having her heart broken by none other than, NOAH!  What Mandy never planned on doing happens in the midst of all this turmoil......she falls in love with Noah.   Noah, of all people, the one she never cared for......grumpy, downcast NOAH!     I have read the entire series in order and I just adore Anna and Felty and the dear unsuspecting victims of their matchmaking efforts!   Anna is so cute that everyone loves her, even though her cooking is simply atrocious!   She loves knitting potholders, scarves, and sweaters with very bright and vivid colors!    Mandy is forced to help her knit the many potholders to give to the parade of young men coming to pursue her own hand in marriage.   This book could be read as a stand alone, but I personally love the feel of growing along with the characters, especially in this series.   The characters are interesting, fun, lively, and just feel like some of the readers' very own relatives or friends.     I rated this book 5 stars and am simply thrilled to recommend it to readers.  There is lots of humor and romance as well as the tackling of a very big issue. (No spoilers) I received a free kindle version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
I received my copy of Huckleberry Harvest a little while ago, I didn’t open it right away, it was like a piece of candy that you absolutely love, but savor and save for a few days. I knew what I was going to find once I open the pages, and sure was not disappointed, just didn’t want it to end. This is Granddaughter Mandy’s story, and Annie and Felty are at it again, of course. Annie has away with cooking, that would bring tears to the eyes of any cast iron stomach, but she is so delightful that people suffer through what she offers, and try to find ways not to eat. She does do a wonderful job with her knitting, and she soon has the boys lining up for one of her potholders, and a she has a very special job available. Marry her Granddaughter! You can guess how delightful this book is, and I found it so very heart-warming, although it does deal with some tough subjects, such as alcoholism, and the trial it puts on families. As the book opens we find Mandy chewing out an Amish man whom she thinks hurt her dearest friend to the core. How could this Noah Mischler have led on Kristina and then broken her heart, well she sure gives him a piece of her mind. Then we turn around and who appears at he Grandparent’s kitchen, you got it, and we soon are rooting for Noah, and are aghast at the antics a grown woman would go to try and win his favor. Page-turner to the end, and not a book that I wanted to end, the characters here are like family, and I wanted to stay in their comfortable embrace. Am so glad that there is another grandchild that needs a spouse and so there is another book to come in November called Huckleberry Hearts. I received this book from the Author for my honest review, and was not required to give a positive review.
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
‘The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill’ series continues to amaze me! Huckleberry Harvest is the fifth book in this series by Jennifer Beckstrand, and each one is better than the last. This one is funny, poignant, and refreshingly transparent; the author has candidly written about a difficult subject with love and dignity. Anna and Felty Helmuth have been married for more than six decades, and ‘retired’ (not!) to beautiful acreage on top of Huckleberry Hill. Anna’s current goal is to see all of her adult grandchildren married to suitable Amish spouses. For those not yet married, she is providing ‘encouragement’ in the form of matchmaking. While Felty isn’t as sold on the idea, he loves to make his ‘Annie Bananie’ happy, so he helps when it doesn’t get too out of hand. This time Anna has set her sights on granddaughter Mandy, visiting for only four weeks even though she doesn’t want a husband. With so little time, Anna picked up her knitting needles and took to the streets to find the single young men in their district. As the men were “interviewed”, they received one of Anna’s special creations. Mandy, to her unending embarrassment, went with her best friend Kristina to spy on the ‘love of her life’, Noah work. In her excitement, Kristina pushed Mandy into the river and she would have drowned if Noah had not rescued her. In the upcoming days, she learned that Kristina and Noah never dated, but she refused to leave him alone. As the days pass, Mandy and Noah begin to talk as he re-roofs Anna and Felty’s home. As they do, they fall for each other. Oopsie. Wait until Kristina finds out! When Mandy learns Noah’s “shameful” secret, she tried to do what she usually did best – fix the problem. Noah didn’t want Mandy to fix the problem and didn’t want anyone to know about it. He believed nobody, even God, could change the situation. Their growing love for each other could never blossom because of his need to take care of his family instead of seeking God’s will. Mandy knew she would soon return to Charm, Ohio. What would she leave behind – a used-to-be-best-friend? Of course, her beloved Dawdi and Mammi. A broken heart? A list of hopeful suitors? The primary characters in this novel are fully developed folks, seemingly so real that I wish I could take a walk and visit Anna and Felty; they are a stitch to watch! Anna and Felty demonstrate a life of faith and love. The family members and even the young men who came to meet Mandy were as defined as necessary for their roles. Only Kristina seemed odd because of how she behaved like child and tuned out what she didn’t want to hear. Oh. Maybe I’ve done that, also? Tuned out truth? The plot begins like those in the other books in the series. What is different this time is the specific problem in Noah’s family. This is not a fluffy book of romance; it is a novel of real-world problems that are not insurmountable – with God. I am extremely impressed with how Jennifer Beckstrand writes, showing grace and dignity to both Noah’s father and his family. Whatever denomination a family worships in, this challenge occurs, and can cause behaviors that are shown here, and then some. As frustrating and confusing as it is, it does not diminish God’s ability to work and change the human heart, nor does it diminish God’s unconditional love for His children. Spiritual lessons that we each need in our own way are gently demonstrated. Huckleberry Harvest is absolutely the best in the series of the ones I’ve read, and I most highly recommend it. As the other novels are, this can be enjoyed and appreciated by adults of any age as well as teens. I’m not sure how I can wait for the next novel to come out later this year! Thank you, Jennifer, for this amazing novel! May many, many read and be blessed by it! With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for the purpose of an honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Barb00 More than 1 year ago
Author Jennifer Beckstrand's series The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill keeps getting better. I become so involved in the book that I feel the emotions of the characters. The author is excellent in writing the romance, drama and humor, but there will always be a deep and true message in the storyline that will touch your heart. So far, this is my favorite book. Huckleberry Harvest is Book Five in this series and I highly recommend reading it. I love this series. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Matchmaker, matchmaker..... The Huckleberry Hill matchmakers are at it again! Anna and Felty Helmuth's granddaughter is visiting for a month, and Anna is determined to find Mandy a husband during that time. Jennifer Beckstrand adds hilarity to a serious plot! Some serious issues arise in this author's latest novel, but I laughed aloud several times as unique humor is interwoven with a complex series of events.  The characters throughout Huckleberry Harvest are colorful and varied, the Amish countryside lush and alive! Noah plays a very strong role, and plays it well. Although his stubbornness gets in his way at times, his intentions are solid and godly. Mandy is caught between a rock and a hard place, and appears to teeter between teenager and adulthood and back again with her giggly childhood girlfriend sweeping her into childish capers.  Significant issues arise throughout this story of giggling girls and a young man who has no time for silly games. Mandy's character is one of charity, a compassionate, generous girl whose intentions are sound, but go beyond the boundaries of propriety.  Alcoholism and a broken family, as well as misunderstandings add drama to the plot, and with the blending of humor and serious emotional and physical incidents, this is a page-turner from the start. I highly recommend this entertaining book, and feel that the author did a wonderful job of portraying tough struggles realistically with that thread of humor that breaks the tension. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Harvest by Jennifer Beckstrand is such a charming book. Anna and Felty Helmuth are matchmaking again. This time they want to find someone to marry their granddaughter, Mandy Helmuth. Mandy is visiting from Charm, Ohio for four weeks (five if Anna has her way). Anna plans to introduce Mandy to every eligible male within 50 miles (at least). Noah Mischler is the man who can fix machines. He does a lot of different odd jobs around the area. Felty has Noah fixing their roof. Mandy meets Noah on her first day in Bonduel. Mandy’s best friend, Kristina and her family moved to Bonduel a year earlier. Kristina tells Mandy that Noah broke up with her with a text message and her heart is broken. Mandy goes to Noah’s house and lectures him on manners. Noah, while noticing Mandy’s cute freckles, tells her there are two sides to each story. Over the next few weeks, thanks to Felty, Noah and Mandy are thrown together frequently. Mandy does indeed discover that the truth about Noah and Kristina’s relationship is quite different from Kristina’s version. Noah, though, gets prickly whenever his family is mentioned. Mandy likes to fix problems, and sticks her nose in Noah’s business. One can only hope things will turn out well for Noah and Mandy. I found Huckleberry Harvest an entertaining and engaging book. It is the fifth book in The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. I give Huckleberry Harvest 4.5 out of 5 stars. I found Kristina’s character just a little too bit silly. I found myself wanted to shake some sense into the girl (you will see what I mean when you read the book). I eagerly look forward to reading the next book in this series. I received a complimentary copy of Huckleberry Harvest from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are strictly my own!
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Harvest (Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series) by Jennifer Beckstrand. Jennifer Beckstrand has done it yet again! She has written another delightful story with Anna & Felty. Hop aboard this roll-a-coaster of a book and enjoy this story. This story has so much in it Love, laughter, heartache, pain, hope, faith and devotion. The unexpected things that happen in this story will leave you wanting for more and more. Anna is always trying to match make with one of her grandchildren. She wants to see them just as happy as she has been in her marriage. This book was so wonderful that I had a hard time putting it down. Be sure to pre-order your copy today. Remember is also makes a great gift. 5 stars!