by Dorothy Garlock

June 2002
ISBN: 0-446-52946-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books

Annabel Lee Donovan is used to moving around from place to place. Her father, Murphy Donovan, is the cause of these frequent moves. He thinks he has Aannabel convinced he is a traveling salesman, however she knows his real "business" is running bootleg whiskey during the prohibition era they are living in. Their latest move has brought them to a house "High On A Hill" in Henderson, Missouri.

Annabel longs to have a permanent home and find someone with whom to fall in love and start a life of her own. She hopes to convince her beloved father, Murphy that Henderson might be the perfect town for this.

Soon Annabel's father is off on business and has left her in the care of Boone and Spinner, two older gentlemen who are his partners and keep an eye on Annabel and his whiskey stash when he has to be away.

Jack Jones is attempting to return home to Fertile, Missouri after unsuccessfuly trying out for a couple of baseball teams in St Louis. He is robbed of his valuables, including his baseball glove, beaten and left for dead. He lives for a few days on vegetables he steals from local gardens. After sleeping one night in the pouring rain Jack catches a fever and swallows his pride and asks Annabel for help. She takes him in and nurses him back to health much to Boone and Spinner's displeasure. They are sure her father will not approve.

Boone is in the hill cabin looking after the stash when he comes upon a man who has been shot and left for dead. Boone rescues the man and removes the bullet from his leg and stays with him until he is sure he will survive. The man Boone rescued is named Corbin Appleby and he has come to Henderson for a couple of reasons. He has been looking for Jack at his family's request. He has also been asked by his friend the local sheriff to investigate the possibility of Prohibition violations in the area.

Annabel and Corbin meet when Corbin learns that Jack may be staying with the Donovan's. Jack is determined to stay until he can pay Annabel and her family back for helping him and find his stolen baseball glove. Corbin decides to stay to, claiming he's waiting to take Jack home.....really he has fallen for Annabel and wants to get to know her better.

Once again Dorothy Garlock takes us back to the America of the 20's. She let's us revisit some of the characters we met in her wonderful novel The Edge Of Town, and of course introduces us to some charming new characters as well.

In addition to the main love story blossoming between Corbin and Annabel, Ms. Garlock treats us to a second romance that develops between Boone and Tess Carter. Tess is the sister of the mean Carter clan that lives next door to Annabel and her family. The Carters run the local moonshine business in the area and resent anyone moving in on their territory.

When I pick up a Dorothy Garlock book I am always transported back in time to whatever era she is writing about. She has a magical gift for storytelling in such a way as to make the reader feel as if they are living through the characters lives. Ms. Garlock is the voice of romantic Americana at it's best. With the recent events that have been happening in our country, I feel High On A Hill is that much more of a treasure and a true gift from Dorothy Garlock to her readers.

Reviewed in June 2002 by Barbara.

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