On the heels of receiving a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite, Up the Hill to Home was also named the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal recipient in the category of Christian Historical Fiction. Though readers may be surprised by the category, since the book does not necessarily fit the traditional image of Christian fiction, Up The Hill to Home tells the story of a Catholic family for whom faith is a crucial element of both personal identity and community, and the theme of faith as a bedrock of this family suffuses every part of the story.
It’s interesting to note that Up the Hill to Home is demonstrating wide appeal among readers of many different genres, since the book also garnered a Perfect 10 rating from Romance Reviews Today, making it eligible for RRT’s Best Book of the Year designation, even though the book also doesn’t fit the mold of what most readers would consider a romance novel.
In her review for Readers’ Favorite, Tracy Slowiak highlights the book’s evocation of time and place in history:
“I loved, loved, loved Jennifer Bort Yacovissi’s new book, Up the Hill to Home. This debut novel is so beautifully and lovingly written that if I didn’t know that it was based on the author’s ancestors, I would have assumed as such. Up the Hill to Home follows the life of Lillie Voith, beloved wife of Ferd, only daughter of Emma and Charley Beck, and mother of nine, soon to be ten. When Lillie discovers her pregnancy, she happily asks Ferd to bring her the treasured memory box, the sweet custom she follows when she is expecting each of her children. When Lillie takes a fall in the basement one day, then develops a worrying cough, everyone starts to fear that they may lose the glue that holds the family together.
“Up the Hill to Home is, in this reviewer’s opinion, a masterpiece in the genre of historical fiction. Taking place in the late 1800s until the 1930s, the experiences, conversations and surroundings of the Beck and Voith families ring so truly of the time period that when I needed to take a break from reading, I’d have to shake my head a bit to clear my mind and bring myself back to the present moment. This book would appeal to any reader of authentic historical fiction, any lover of fiction in general, and any reader longing for a story that showcases true familial love and connectedness. I simply cannot recommend this book any more. Jennifer Bort Yacovissi’s Up the Hill to Home is a treasure, and one to which you should definitely treat yourself.”