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Prairie Hill

Prairie Hill [Kindle Edition]

Fred Burwell

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Product Description

Product Description

In 1980, a troubled young stranger arrives in Prairie Hill, a small Wisconsin city. Jimmy Lathrop would like nothing better than to go about his business washing dishes at the popular local eatery, the Pullet Surprize. A fresh start. No questions asked. Then he begins moonlighting as the feathered mascot of the local minor league baseball team and meets someone who will change his life.

Jenny Diggles bides her time serving the locals at the Pullet Surprize, struggling to come to terms with her lonely, eccentric mother, Lila. Should she chuck it all and marry Lance Kilgore, the ambitious general manager of the Cobb Kernels baseball team? Jenny’s passion for prairies and heirloom plants as well as her deepening friendship with Jimmy Lathrop lead to self-discovery.

With its atmospheric backdrop of threatened tall grass prairie and a soon to be abandoned historic baseball stadium and through its cast of colorful, quirky characters, Prairie Hill explores themes of redemption and love.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 345 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Acorn Whistle Press; 1 edition (6 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006UVQ1UQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,278,326 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Snapshot of the American Midwest. 11 April 2012
By Edison T. Crux - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Prairie Hill is not my usual genre. I'm more likely to read the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz or Anne Rice. I like a fast-paced adventure, and if you can throw in the supernatural or horror, all the better. Not to mention the fact I'm not even much of a baseball fan. So when I picked up Prairie Hill, I didn't expect it would have much appeal to me.

Boy, was I wrong.

Fred Burwell managed to capture my attention and hold it until the very end. The fact that I'm not this book's target audience makes this review even more meaningful.

The plot in Prairie Hill is almost beside the point; what this book is really about is its characters, and the spirit of the midwest. It's about the all-American romance of baseball, which will captivate even those who aren't interested in the sport. It's about love, but not purely in the sense of boy-and-girl-fall-in-love. It's a love of a classic baseball field, love of the game... And love of one very special prairie.

The characters in Prairie Hill were so real, so alive, that they made the book memorable and charming. Fred really captured that spark of humanity in each and every one of them.

Maybe this book isn't for everyone. I certainly wouldn't have thought it was for me. But if I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. You might find yourself with just as pleasant of a surprise.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 18 Mar 2012
By Romance Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's been said that every novel runs along one of two plot lines: A stranger comes to town, or someone goes on a journey.

Burwell's protagonists do both.

Jimmy Lathrop, the broken stranger-come-to-town, runs (literally) into Jenny Diggles, a young woman struggling with her own journey to self-discovery, on the train tracks in a small Wisconsin town. Jimmy is fleeing his troubled past and wants to avoid entanglements, but nature has a way of forcing involvement, and Jimmy finds himself caring too much about Jenny, the fate of local prairie land, and the success of the town's minor league team.

Burwell's eloquent prose pulls the reader into each character's thoughts and motivations. This author spins a mysterious and beautiful web of relationships and roles in the community.

Congrats to Mr. Burwell on a great novel, a very satisfying read. It was hard to put down so I read this book in two days. His next novel is an auto-buy for me.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel that cares about its characters 27 Feb 2012
By Jane Beard Vishneski - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Just a plain good story. The characters feel like real people, rather than props used by the author to illustrate some greater theme. And yet the novel does have a greater theme, one that comes out through elegant minutiae such as a particular character's strange habit or the gradual changes in the landscape of the town itself. Fred Burwell has a knack for pacing and knowing which voice to use when (and just when you think you've heard them all, he drops another character perspective on you). The story is tight and informative in fun little ways (I'm a city boy, so the detailed descriptions of flora and gardening were mostly news to me). Buy it and read it -- here's to hoping Mr. Burwell publishes again soon!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is a Winner 2 Aug 2012
By C. J. Olson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! Most of my reviews here have been of books that were a big disappointment, leaving me puzzled about why so many reviewers gave it 5 stars when I could only give 1 or 2. But I was delighted to see that all of the reviews of Prairie Hill so far are 5-star ones. This author gave us characters that we can really care about, who aren't always predictable and don't fit into a too-familiar mold. I love the Midwest setting, and even though the story wasn't really about baseball, the reader can feel the love that some of the characters have for the game, especially before all the changes took place in baseball. I have felt nostalgic about some of the old ways of life (from the 50s and 60s and before), so I can really feel how Norm and Phil feel about the old, lost world of baseball, and how Jenny, Jimmy, and Hulda felt about the vanishing prairie.

I liked the author's device of having each character narrate certain chapters, because that allows the reader to get to know all the people of Prairie Hill--their thoughts, their strengths and weaknesses, their hopes and dreams.

I must confess, too, that one of my favorite (and surprising) things about this book is that it was not riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. So many of the free or cheap Kindle titles are victims of terrible or competely absent editing--thank you for giving us one that is nearly free of mistakes.

Mr. Burwell hit a home run with this one!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Next "Bull Durham" 10 July 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Prairie Hill is about two of my favorite things...the rural Midwest and baseball. You can read the summary of the plot in the description above, so I won't bore you with repetition.

I fell in love with this book because it has realistic and unique characters that made me envision them as if I were watching a movie. In fact, I hope some movie producer buys the rights because I think it would make a great movie. It has a little something for everyone: romance, some mystery, sports and even a conservation message.

The author has a true talent for developing interesting characters and for describing settings so that you feel as if you're there. His knowledge of the workings of minor league baseball is superb, reminiscent of the movie "Bull Durham," but from the "behind-the scenes" viewpoint. But, if you're not into baseball, don't worry--it's a piece of the plot, but not the main focus. It's more about the loss of a treasured icon in a community and how it affects the people that live there.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think I could easily read it again without being bored. I can't wait to purchase and read the next book that Fred Burwell writes!

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author as part of LibraryThing Member Giveaway.
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