An Unlikely Blessing~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ February 13th, 2011

I received a free copy of this book to review for the Litfuse Publicity blog tour.

I’ve not read anything by Judy Baer before, but I really enjoyed this book. I think I enjoy books like this that deal with Pastors and their families because that’s what I know from growing up in the Pastor’s house.

This book is the first in the Forever Hilltop Series. I can’t wait to read the next installments.

The story in An Unlikely Blessing is about the new Pastor in a small community in North Dakota. Actually he pastors 2 churches which are as different as night and day.

The churches have competition between them and there are residual hurt feelings. Alex settles in and gets to work right in the middle of the conflict and all the characters in town.

Alex helps a naughty little boy by seeing the positive aspects of his misbehavior. He ducks the local spinster who’s looking for a man.

He helps a family with their historic house and learns the quirks of his secretary.

The book reminds me a lot of the Mitford series by Jan Karon. The story is charming and the characters are believable. I look forward to visiting again and can’t wait for the next installment.

The only thing that I didn’t like was that the story definitely has a lot of loose ends. It ended well, but I want to know what’s going to happen!

Here’s the publisher’s info about the book:

An Unlikely Blessing is a heartfelt story about a new pastor and life-long city dweller Alex Armstrong, who reluctantly accepts his first assignment, a two-point parish in the wilds of North Dakota. Hilltop Township, a farming community, blooms from the prairie like a wild pink rose—lovely and prickly all at once, much like the people who live there.

Alex quickly finds that this lovely place is in quiet peril. Farmers are struggling to make ends meet: Jonas Owens, a faithful member of Hilltop parish, is on the brink of losing the farm. Alex believes that part of why God called him to Hilltop was to help turn things around, and steps in with ideas for saving the Owens’ land. But can even God’s minister help save this rural community?

There are a lot of firsts for the new pastor—the annual Hunter’s Breakfast, julebukking (also called Christmas fooling), King Oscar’s fish balls, and the melody of the musical saw. And the new, single pastor creates remarkable excitement among the unmarried women in the community. If you could die of hot dish overdose, Alex would be a dead man. Whether performing weddings, counseling his flock, or herding cattle by snowmobile, Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him as he will teach them. Day by day, he falls more in love with the people of Hilltop Church. People may leave Hilltop, but Hilltop never leaves them.

Judy was born and grew up on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota. An only child, she spent most of her days with imaginary people—either those she read about or those she made up in her head. Her most ambitious conjuring did not succeed, however. She kept a clean stall with fresh hay and oats for the horse she imagined would arrive. Unfortunately it didn’t come, at least not until she was an adult. After she was unexpectedly given three horses, she bought even more and began raising foundation quarter horses.

She graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota with majors in English and education and a minor in religion. At the time, she was simply studying what interested her, but now realizes that she was educating herself for her future career as a Christian writer. Her first book was written with a toddler on her lap. Judy would type a few words and say “Now, Jennifer.” He two year old daughter would hit the space bar so Judy could continue writing. It was’t the fastest way to work but it was a very cozy time.

In 2001 Judy became a certified professional life coach. In 2008 Judy completed her Master’s program. She studied in the areas of writing and coaching. Now certified in three coaching disciplines, Judy coaches primarily professional and aspiring writers. She is also a faculty advisor in the Department of Human Development at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, MN. She is married, lives in Minnesota, has two daughters and three step children.
She is the author of more than 75 books. She grew up in rural North Dakota and has done many of the things her Hilltop characters experience. Please visit for more information and to keep up with the Hilltop characters on her blog!

Prolific author of over 75 novels, Judy Baer, is launching her new Guideposts series, Forever Hilltop, with a KINDLE giveaway! The first book in the series, An Unlikely Blessing is available now wherever fine books are sold.

Read the reviews here.

For more information please visit the Litfuse website, and click {HERE}!


1 Thought Shared to An Unlikely Blessing~Book Review

  1. A Dusty Frame » Blog Archive » Surprising Grace by Judy Baer~Book Review » A Dusty Frame

    […] I was able to review the 1st book in this series and really enjoyed it. You can read that review here. I really enjoyed it so I looked forward to reading the next […]

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