I loved this book from the get go! Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a (not so) tiny town in Oregon. My family raised upwards of 100 head of beef on our farm, so I can say the sense of community can be there, as are the issues of change, maintain, decline, or build for the sake of building (so too is the griping). This novel hit home in several ways. I’ve been following the concept of buying a town (was amazed some people did buy one for a million dollars) for a few years now. It looks like Beverly Jenkins has too.
What makes this series so strong is these characters are well developed, the scenarios take time to build up (hence the “serial” approach), and developing relationships (or decline) are discussed in a variety of ways. It is books like these which illustrate how communication is important in establishing ties to a person, a family, or even within a community. The diner appears to be THE place for the community to meet in an informal manner.
The concerns expressed in this book with the destruction of a family-run operation have been around for centuries and are realistic. Also, I loved how Ms. Jenkins illustrates new ideas (the Cletus Defense) into the story (pigs can kill, so don’t think they can’t). I do believe kids benefit better growing in a farm or small town community; I enjoyed the “fence” exercise as it is a good consequence for the modern teenage antics discussed in this book.
As I read this story, I started to wish I could visit for awhile, perhaps because it did remind me of my childhood. I admit the emotions run deep (for many reasons), but they never cross over into hanky time. As for the worst thing I found: I haven’t read the first three books, and I don’t have the fifth one in my hand. Enjoy!
Anyone worried that living in a small town could be boring certainly hasn't lived in Henry Adams, Kansas. From the wealthy divorcÉe who saved this historic town founded by freed slaves to the romantic entanglements that have set tongues wagging and hearts fluttering (and everything in between), there's plenty to keep the lovably eccentric townsfolk busy.
Preston Miles is happy living with his foster parents, but an e-mail from his maternal grandmother is about to change all that. . . . Riley Curry, the former town mayor, is convinced his pet hog, Cletus, acted in self-defense when he sat on—and killed—a man. Now Riley just has to prove it in a court of law. . . . And as for Rocky, she has already had a lifetime of hurt. Will she risk opening her heart—and her life—to Jack?
Warm, funny, poignant, and unforgettable, Beverly Jenkins's latest excursion to Henry Adams is a true delight—a welcome return to a place that always feels like home.