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I like Llamas

Reinventing Hillwilla Book Cover Reinventing Hillwilla
Hillwilla #3
Melanie Forde
animals, llamas, farms, family drama
Independent
November 4, 2018
340

Life on a llama farm, set in remote “Seneca County,” West Virginia, transitions from contented to chaotic in this final novel in the Hillwilla trilogy -- all under the watchful eye of canine guardian Ralph. Five years after we first met northern urban transplant Beatrice Desmond, she is finally adapting to her mountain hollow among the wary “born-heres” and is more open to the blessings in her life. She has developed a rewarding mother-daughter relationship with troubled local teenager Clara Buckhalter and is inching toward marriage with dashing, but complicated entrepreneur Tanner Fordyce. Meanwhile, Clara sets off on a productive new path, one that would have been unthinkable had Beatrice never come into her life. All of that progress is suddenly jeopardized by Clara’s scheming mother Charyce. Ultimately, the upheaval touched off by Charyce’s schemes serves as the catalyst for new beginnings for the Seneca County misfits (even Ralph).

I was aware that I was ‘dropping in’ to an existing series but normally any author of a series plans for this, with each book having its own storyline. In this series, this was not the case. I found myself thrown into the continuing storyline as though this was a rather large book  that had been chopped up because it didn’t fit a preconceived length.

There was some explanation of what had come before but this didn’t seem to fit naturally into the storyline, more that it had been inserted in as an after thought.

However, the storylines began to gel about half-way through to make an ending to this series.

I did have a point of query in this story though. Sophie the llama they finally adopted was found to be pregnant as she gave birth. Llamas take 11 months to complete gestation and during her life Sophie had been a guard llama – where therefore had she found a boyfriend? An intact male – as the majority of guard llamas would not be intact.

In many ways I like the story and the llamas – I like their wool – who I found rather endearing. I was intrigued by the concept of guard llamas and checked them out. They are a real thing. It seems that their size and smell makes them so strange to the natural USA predators of sheep and cows, that they scare most of them away.

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