Prairie Hill Prairie Hill  by  Fred Burwell


Jenny Diggles is a waitress at Pullet Surprise. She likes her job, loves her boyfriend Lance, and is passionate about her garden. Her boyfriend Lance loves green things too, but his love of green things is reserved solely for grass. Any type of grass. He is the groundskeeper at Cobb Stadium, home to the Cobb Kernels a Class A minor league team.

On the way to her shift at Pullet Surprise she has her first meeting with Jimmy Lathrop. Jimmy, dressed up in a chicken costume, is on the sidewalk waving at people and cars, trying to drum up business for the Pullet Surprise. Norm Cobb has given this job to Jimmy as a favor to an old pal. Norm has plans to make the giant chicken the new team mascot for the Kernels. Even though Norm doesn’t think Jimmy is very funny, he believes he can grow into the job of funny team mascot.

Jimmy Lathrop has come to Prairie Hill to start over. No one knows what his past is and he’s not talking. Wearing the chicken costume to drum up customers for the Pullet Surprise soon turns into a gig as the mascot for the Cobb Kernels.

As Jenny and Jimmy slowly become friends, Jenny’s thoughts about her future are confusing. Should she stay in the boring but stable relationship with Lance or should she start looking at other options suddenly opened to her with the advent of Jimmy’s arrival.


Set in 1980’s Wisconsin, this is an interesting novel of love and acceptance from debut author Fred Burwell. There is a cast of interesting, engaging characters including Hulda, the grumpy, elder hotel maid who has taken a liking to Jenny; Jenny’s mom weird mother Lila, who seemed to just give up on everything after Jenny’s older brother Owen took off; and of course Jenny and Jimmy. The story is at times amusing and sad, with some interesting trivia mixed in.

I received this copy through LibraryThings and my review was unsolicited.