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Saturday, December 12, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: The Mountain Beyond

This memoir centers around my favorite eras – the 1940’s and 50’s.  

Terry Miller shares his stories of growing up in a simpler time, where kids could be kids and spend lazy hot summers at the local swimming hole.  I enjoyed this book and could easily visualize the scenes that Mr. Miller described as he reminisced about the “soda jerks” and his first time ever making a phone call.  Though the book is mostly happy memories, Terry does share honestly about his dysfunctional home life which leads him to have a nervous breakdown at the age of 17.  Through this difficult time, he accepted Jesus as his personal savior and went on to have a successful career in banking.  Faith and perseverance is the main thread throughout this memoir.

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—In his new book, The Mountain Beyond, author Terry Miller invites readers to join him on a trip back to the America of his childhood in the 1940s and 1950s.  As they are transported to a small town at the foot of a Maryland mountain, readers will partake in the events that shaped not only Miller’s own life but the course of a nation’s history. The Mountain Beyond treats readers to a guided tour of some of the most iconic symbols of small town America in days gone by.  Miller revisits the old swimming hole, the soda jerk, the boy scouts, the teenage road trip, and Halloween, 1950s style.  The dual themes of homemade fun and old-fashioned hard work are woven throughout the narrative.  While work ethics were instilled in the youth of his day, there was still time for fun! 

The youngest of three children, Terry Miller was born in the small town of Thurmont, Maryland, in 1939.  Thurmont is nestled in the Catoctin Mountains and epitomized the culture of small town America in the 1940s and 1950s.  In his new book, The Mountain Beyond, Terry shares the story of his childhood.

“It’s a story full of events that shaped not only my life, but also the culture of an entire era.  The unique, simpler time of my childhood cannot be duplicated in our history; yet it brought its challenges, just as we face today,” he says.  “These memories are part of a legacy that spans generations that I’m sharing so others can reminisce, relate, enjoy, and even add to them.”

Hard work was a defining family value in Terry’s family.  Beginning at age twelve, he held a variety of jobs: washing dishes, working in his family’s greenhouse business, and best of all, crafting perfectly shaped cones at the very first frozen custard shop in town. Terry served his country for over four years in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Bethel, Alaska.  After receiving an honorable discharge, he found success in the banking industry.  Thanks to his determination, work ethic, and gift for communicating and training others, he quickly rose through the management ranks.  In 1994, he founded his own firm, Terry Miller & Associates, which became a major training resource for over 500 banks in the state of Texas.

“I am thankful to have lived in a simpler time when we did not have all the computer games we have today.  It made us create our own entertainment, and we had fun doing it.  We played outside more and spent better quality time together with friends and family.  We enjoyed freedom in many areas of our lives and felt safe to go places, do things and enjoy living!”

The Mountain Beyond
 by Terry Miller
Xulon Press
ISBN: 978-1-60791-251-4/218 pages/softcover/$15.99

This book was provided free for review by The B & B Media Group.

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