Pete of the Hill – A Memoir by June Morgan


In 1866, young Peter O. Peterson Jr., with his parents and siblings sailed the high seas from Sweden to the United States and settled in the Oquawka, Illinois area.


Peter, later known as Pete of the Hill, married Emma Polka in 1882, whose German family also lived in Oquawka.


Their life together was told through the eyes of two of Pete and Emma’s daughters, Agnes and Edna, 97 and 91 respectively, in 1983, when June Morgan interviewed her mother & Aunt.


Poignant, and sometimes humorous, their recollections will take the reader back to the eras when social classes ostracized loved ones and harsh winters had to be waited out. They paint a dismal picture of families barely surviving the Great Depression, and F.D.R. ‘s astounding ‘New Deal’ that saved the country.


Many memories came flooding into the sharp minds of the elderly women as they shared their story.

Writer’s Digest Editorial Review:  

This book is exemplary in its structure, organization, and pacing. The structure of the chapters aid in a compelling organization of the story or information. The pacing is even throughout and matches the tone/genre of the book.


This book has spelling, punctuation, and grammar corresponding with the region of the world from which the author hails and where the book is set (including slang, vernacular, or dialect). These choices are intentional and implemented consistently throughout with few, if any, errors.


This book is exemplary in its choice of topic or theme of the story. It is unique but still has strong appeal for most readers in its intended genre. The book’s narrative is well plotted. There is a cohesive theme and delivery of information.


This book is satisfactory in its voice and writing style. Both are generally consistent throughout but may need to improve on uniqueness. The style and tone may appeal to readers of its intended genre.


The book is well designed, formatted, and produced. The cover gives a good sense of the feeling of the book and the stories that are shared of Pete’s life during the Great Depression. The stories of a hard life lived are moving and interestingly told. The writing is satisfactory in describing a different era of culture and society and readers who enjoy historical fiction, World War II era history, and memoir will really enjoy this book.

—Writer’s Digest


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