Cherished only child of Charley and Emma Beck, she is the unlikely issue of an improbable union. Beloved wife of Ferd Voith, she is the happy mother of a tribe of nine, and newly expecting her tenth. It is the family of her earliest dreams.
Seven forty-one, the house that Charley built on his little plot of farmland just outside of Washington City in the District of Columbia, is the only home she’s ever known. So vast before, the house seems to shrink with each new child, until Charley wonders that they’re not all tumbling out of windows.
In a ritual established over so many babies, Lillie celebrates by having Ferd bring down her memory box, a carefully collected treasure of the lives of those she loves. She knows by heart every word of the letters, every entry of the diaries, every detail of the photographs, and she traces them again with the start of each new life, to instill a sense of place, of family, of history.
Emma’s miracle, Ferd’s universe, the beating heart of the household: When Lillie is stricken in a fall, her memories tug at threads woven through a century as the fabric of the family frays around her.
Charming, lyrical, and evocative, by turns funny and heartbreaking, Up the Hill to Home sketches an enduring portrait of four generations of the Miller/Beck/Voith clan against the backdrop of Washington, D.C., as the city itself grows from a dusty pre-Civil War cowtown to a national capital in the throes of the Great Depression.