Book 3 in the History Mystery Series
Scroll down to read more about the history behind the book.
Since Beautiful Houses worked so well for the Old Dears’ family tree project, Abby’s college roommate Kate hopes the computer program will help her find out more about her ancestor Ned Greenfield.
Abby and John reluctantly agree to help Kate, but only on the condition that she and her fiancé Ryan promise to keep the program a secret, because if the government ever discovered they possessed a computer program that allows you to rewind and fast forward the lives of people it would surely want to get its hands on it.
The two couples take a trip to the tiny town of Equality, set in the hills of southern Illinois and the breath-taking Shawnee National Forest. According to Kate’s research, Ned Greenfield was born there at a place called Hickory Hill.
The mayor, police chief, and townspeople are hospitable and helpful—until the topic of Hickory Hill comes up. Then they are determined to keep them away. Eventually they find Hickory Hill on their own—both the mansion and the lonely hill it sits upon.
Built in 1834, Hickory Hill stands sentinel over Half Moon Salt Mine where the original owner John Granger accumulated his blood-tainted fortune with the use of slave labor. In the free state of Illinois—the Land of Lincoln.
Abby and her friends meet Miss Granger, Hickory Hill’s current eccentric owner, and they eventually get the chance to run Beautiful Houses there. Their shocking discovery on the third floor concerning Kate’s ancestor Ned Greenfield is almost too much to bear. What they learn sends them racing to the opposite end of the state to find the missing link in Kate’s family tree. And there they are reminded that God is in the business of redemption—that one day he’ll make all things new.
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What readers are saying about Every Hill and Mountain
I enjoyed the first book in the trilogy with it’s unique version of time travel and the second was even more interesting and now the third book is absolutely fascinating. Abby and John are very realistic characters and I would like to see more of them but the historical parts are what really kept me riveted. The author brings the past to life in such a way that I feel I am right there. Look forward to more books by this author.
Abby and John are back, and once again doing some time surfing. This adventure involves trying to research the family tree of Abby’s best friend, Kate. Kate has traced her ancestry to a man named Ned Greenfield, in the small town of Equality. The town looks old fashioned and idealistic, but slowly the sleuthing team discovers that not all is as it seems on the surface. They discover the town has a deeply held secret, one that has a significant impact on Kate’s family.
I am completely enchanted with this series. I think that this third book may be my favorite yet, because it truly elicited emotional responses from me. First off, we have some of the old characters that we know and love from the previous books. I enjoy watching Abby and John’s relationship evolve. They truly function as a team, and it reminds me of my marriage. I also liked having the storyline involve Kate a lot more. While as a character I really disliked Kate’s boyfriend Ryan, he was well written, and served a distinct purpose in the plot.
Speaking of the plot, I really loved the storyline, with a big emphasis on slavery, and the darker side of the slave trade in 19th century America. This plot was emotional, not only due to it’s actual historical context, but in light of all the people in today’s world who are still denied their rights and freedoms. Given the historical context, the language and themes are a little more uncomfortable than in the previous books in the series, but I think it is important the the author tackled them in an honest way.
I never had any doubt that this third book would be fantastic, based on how much I liked the first two, but this surpassed my expectations. The book is Christian fiction, but the emphasis on evangelism is very low. Violence and sexuality are mildly present within the appropriate context of the story, but by and large this is a very clean book, one that a parent would feel comfortable allowing a teen to read.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author in exchange for my honest review.
“Every Hill and Mountain”, the 3rd book of Deborah Heal’s trilogy, once again kept me captivated with twists and turns to the very end. I love the way the characters are developed. I felt as though I’d known all of them for a long time. In this book, Deborah takes us to the Southern part of Illinois, which then as now, is a different world from the Central & Northern sections of the State. Readers learn dark secrets from the mid 1800s, right along with Abby, John, Merri, Kate & Ryan. As they use the time-travel computer software to help Kate find a missing link in her family history, they discover unbelievable secrets from Hickory Hill, with tragic detail. No wonder the citizens of Equality wanted the secrets to remain. Expertly researched and skillfully written, this book is an enjoyable read for young and old alike. If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, I would most definitely recommend that you do.
Ms. heal did a very good job in blending the present with the past. She even piqued my curiosity enough that I did a little research on my own after I was finished with the book. This is the first historical fiction novel to make me want to dig a little deeper to see if something that was written was fact or fiction. Kudos to you, Ms. Heal, for accomplishing that!
While the book was clean and the main characters were moral Christians, this does have a fine theme of more adult situations toward the end. Because of this, I’d recommend this for 16+ teens and older. I would add this to my list of homeschool books to read for this particular era.
My thanks to the author for sending me a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion. These thoughts are my own and I was not required they be good.
To say Abby Thomas has had an interesting summer is a huge understatement. While tutoring eleven year old Merri in Miles Station, Illinois, they discover a unique computer program called Beautiful House that allows them to virtually time travel into the past. They have decided to keep the program a secret only telling John Roberts, a young man who Abby has become fond of, along with Kate Greenfield, Abby’s best friend. When Kate decides to research her family tree, she hits a snag when she comes to a man named Ned Greenfield, who lived in a small town named Equality. Abby’s best friend Kate Greenfield has been doing her families genealogy, but hits a snag when she comes to a man named Ned Greenfield. Kate comes to Miles Station along with her boyfriend Ryan hoping that Abby can use the program to help her figure out who Ned was. They uncover secrets from the past that not only shock them, but also allow Kate to see what kind of man Ryan really is!
“Every Hill and Mountain” takes the reader on an amazing journey into the past while keeping a firm foot in the present. I found the central characters Abby, Kate, John and Merri to be wonderful characters; ‘good’ and ‘wholesome’ are two words that pop into my head where they are concerned. Although Kate was pulled off track for a while by the end of the story she saw Ryan for what he really was. I found the concept of virtual time travel really lent another element to this story, but more than that, it made the historical elements seem so much more realistic. While I really enjoyed the characters it was the historical story that unfolded about Ned that really gripped me. As his story is told, it saddened my heart, causing me to shed a few tears. Ms. Heal certainly knew how to bring history to life within the pages of this story. I learned a few things I never really thought about, but was also left wanting to learn more. While she deals with the tough subject of slavery, she does it in a manner that allows us a clear, honest look at how things might have been. She also provided me with the hope of freedom that came for many. While this is book three of a series, I feel it could be read as a stand alone story. I did read the first book but missed the second one, but that didn’t hinder me from understanding and enjoying this story fully. The author provides an ending that left me hoping that she might continue this series. Overall, a story perfect for teens and adults alike.Teens will connect with the characters in the story, and come away with a history lesson that is far from boring.
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Every Hill and Mountain falls into the following categories: historical christian fiction books on kindle, christian mystery, christian historical fiction kindle books, time travel trilogy, time travel books for kindle, historical mysteries, christian historical fiction.