Meet Alex Armstrong, new pastor and lifelong city dweller, who has just accepted his first parish assignment, a small parish in the wilds of North Dakota. Hilltop Township, a farming community, blooms from the prairie like a wild pink rose lovely and prickly, much like the quirky residents. Pastor Alex quickly learns that this lovely place is in peril; many of the farmers are struggling to make ends meet. As he settles into life on the prairie, he begins to experience a lot of new things like the annual Hunter’s Breakfast, julebukking (also called Christmas fooling), and King Oscar’s fish balls. Not to mention the excitement the single pastor creates among the unmarried women in the community! Alex soon discovers that his new church home has as much to teach him and he will teach them, providing all with An Unlikely Blessing!
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Guideposts (October 1, 2010)
A charming book that held my attention from beginning to end. I enjoyed reading about the trials that Alex dealt with as he transitioned from city to country. I’m looking forward to reading the second installment in this series.
MY RATING: 5/5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (from her site www.judykbaer.com)
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.