Bensy and Me by Kathi Harper Hill


Today I am back to talking about what I'm comfortable talking about, other people's books. This book, Bensy and Me by Kathi Harper Hill, was one of the nominees in the Georgia Author of the Year Award, and I came across it at the banquet last month. It is published by Yawn Publishing, a small press out of Canton, Georgia. I had spent quite a bit of time perusing the nominees, and this particular book kept drawing me back. There were many great books there, Purgus and Intoxic being among them, but this, of all the others, called to me.

Bensy and Me is set in the North Georgia mountains and is told in a first person narrative from the perspective of Charles, who doesn't like to be called Charlie, a country boy whose roots are deep in the mountains. Charles and his bride, Bensy are expecting a baby at the beginning of the novel, which turns out to be four. Charles and Bensy already have two kids, aged two and three. To say the least they are in for a haul, with this new addition. The series of adventures that take us through the birth and the first space of the quadruplets life is fun and rollicking, with that very southern humor sprinkling through.

Hill creates a cast of characters that are quirky, memorable and familiar. They pull together through the novel, as kin and neighbors do, and with a little prevailing help from God, Charles and Bensy are on their way to figuring out their new and burgeoning family. I remember very clearly the sheer exhaustion I felt when my girls were small, and Hill caputures that sense of being overwhelmed, but in a good way, masterfully.

I felt like I knew these characters, from Uncle Wend, who has his own glossery in the back of the book, to Ron, a mountain of a man, with some of the funniest tales of the book. I suspect these characters are drawn out of Hill's memory bank with fondness and remembered hilarity. It's a good book, light and easy to read, with a solid message throughout. I definitely recommend it, and will be sharing this copy with my mother, for starters.

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