Author, Author! and Book Review: Berg Farm by Jim Hodge

29 Sep

It’s the mid-1960s and two brothers face the reality of being in the military during a time of war. Both were raised in a strong Christian family, but they couldn’t be more different. Johnny is quiet, reliable, and trusts God; while Clark is brash, shallow, and self-serving. How will they deal with their circumstances?




James Hodge graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit. It was there he met his beautiful wife Sue, whose family’s good natured Scandinavian background provided him with inspiration for his story. Jim taught Sunday School for six years. He and Sue are part of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Brighton, Michigan. Together they have two adult children and two amazing granddaughters. James served two years in the U.S. Army.

James set Berg Farm in the town of Stoughton, Wisconsin, a place he visited during its Syttende Mai Festival (he stayed away from the lutefisk). It was there he found a community of joyful midwest Americana with a great pride in its Norwegian heritage.


I had the pleasure to sit down with Jim Hodge during the the ICRS in Orlando and talk about his debut novel, Berg Farm. Here are the highlights of our meeting:

Jim and his wife live in a semi-rural area of Michigan 40 miles northwest of Detroit. The father of 2 grown children and 2 grandaughters has had several careers. At the age of 52 he went to work for the Michigan Highway Dept. following many years as a bread man. He has a degree in Mass Communications from Wayne State. Jim had written some family histories including a chronicle of his father and uncle’s experiences in World War II., but it was his conviction to be a witness for God that got him writing Berg Farm. After a year and half of shopping the manuscript he placed it on a website dedicated to Christian book submissions. With only 2 weeks left in his subscription, Deep River books contacted him and agreed to publish his book. He credits a good editing process to Rachel Thompson who helped him show instead of tell.

Jim got the idea for Berg Farm about 10 years ago, but did not begin writing until 2008. Berg Farm is set in the Vietnam Era among the hardworking farm families of Wisconsin. The Berg family, 5th generation Norwegian dairy farmers, must face a number of trials in the few years the book encompasses — deaths, the draft of two brothers, and an attempt to take their land. The voice of the 1960’s and the descendants of the Scandinavian settlers comes out through Jim’s quiet prose. The Berg family is very real. Theirs is a very American struggle. Jim says that he placed the whole process in God’s hands and says that even though the time frame of the book is the 1960s, God’s message does not change. 

Thanks so much to Jim for taking the time to share with me. I received a copy of Berg Farm from the publisher. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

One Response to “Author, Author! and Book Review: Berg Farm by Jim Hodge”

  1. Julie Chicklitasaurus September 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

    Sounds like an interesting story! Glad you got to chat with the author. Thanks for the insight!

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