There is a sudden push to write books set in the late 50's and early 60's. They are gentle books telling of a generation who has survived one war, has watched their country fight another and knows they are on the cusp of fighting a third in 20 years. The greatest generation is now married, finding work and living their lives. But of course not everything is perfect.
Eden Hill by Bill Higgs (yes he is married to Liz Curtis Higgs) is one of those such books. Set in a sleepy little town in Kentucky it has the feel and sound of Mayberry. Everyone knows everyone and their business. It's a little town where nothing ever changes and that is a good life.
father after returning from WWII. Virgil loves his life. His wife takes good care of him even if she does cook some strange dishes every once in awhile. His son Virgil the third is a good kid, even if he once in awhile gets in trouble. He walks to work every day except Sunday and provides a good life.
Then the lot across from Osgood is sold to a young man who is going to open a new Zippy service station. What is Virgil to do? His wife says "compete," his pastor tells him to "love his neighbor," and Virgil has no idea what to do. He is worried about losing his business and not being able to provide for his family, but he wants to do the right thing also.
What I really found enjoyable about this book is the question that gets asked throughout the book. "Who is my neighbor?" It takes that question that is asked in the Bible and makes us wrestle with the question of how do we deal with a neighbor that is threatening our own livelihood. Do we have to love them anyway? How do you do that? What does that look like?
Bill doesn't give us all the answers but he does take us on a delightful journey with some hints along the way to help us figure it out for ourselves. I am looking forward to more books from Mr. Higgs and maybe someday he and his wife can write a book together.