CCB Publishing


Follow us on Twitter


Featured Author

Gerald J. Kuecher
Gerald J. Kuecher, Ph.D.
Biographer & Historian

Books by Gerald J. Kuecher

Fruitcake Hill
A History and Memoir of
Life on the Hill in a Family of 15

by Gerald J. Kuecher, Ph.D.

©2008, 2nd Printing

Download Media Kit

Fruitcake Hill

Fruitcake Hill is a cleverly written history and personal memoir of an Irish family from the Chicago suburbs that has continuously occupied a single farmhouse property for over 137 years. The story focuses on the family’s struggles to preserve the life they knew before urban sprawl became a reality. A humorous and informative read!


"The author is a personal friend who was kind enough to give me an autographed copy of this well-written book. It chronicles the history of the author's family, starting with the first owners of the farmhouse on the hill where he grew up which was first owned by his great-grandfather and passed through his mother's side down the family. Geologically, it is a remnant island surrounding by the lake beds of glacial Lake Chicago.
In many respects, Fruitcake Hill represents cultural history of an American family in the not so distant past. The book chronicles the life of the author's parents and close relatives and their visitations to the farm. His mother's side was Irish; his father's side was German. His parents raised 13 children in the farmhouse.
The first chapter talks about the history of the farmhouse, the second about his mother, and the third about his father. The next chapter, which clearly was the funniest part of the book talks about the numerous and inevitable scrapes in life that all the children experienced while growing up. Despite the small size of the house, the family bonded together well, and they made it into and through the world beyond their childhood setting.
I found the book a marvelous vignette of American family life as it once was for many of our contemporaries and their predecessors. Inevitably, that lifestyle is disappearing and with it the memories of these marvelous people as they grew up with relatives close by, and continuous friendships from grade school through high school. The last chapter in the book, "Reflection on the Farmhouse" is extremely compelling as it shows how urban development is slowly eating away a family's heritage. At the end of Chapter 4 about the children, Kuecher wrote, "Time has a way of estranging us from our loves." Regrettably, this is all too true as we move upward and outward away from the things that nurtured us as we grew up. The same is true for our college associations, and associations in places we live in and moved from as our careers grew in what we now call modern America. Inevitably, in our mobile society, we are cut off from our roots, and Kuecher captures what that means all too well.
Near the end of the book, Kuecher shows a satellite image of the farm house and its surroundings. The entire property is now surrounded by suburban developments as the city of Chicago grew out towards the farm house, 15 to 20 miles from the city center. It is inevitable that soon, that sprawl will envelope the hill and the farmhouse and the property where a family of 13 children was raised. This pattern is being repeated all over the USA. Kuecher's book is the only record now of life as it existed there.
At the end of the book, Kuecher wrote, "These memories form a tapestry that reminds us how blessed we were to have shared this hilltop experience with so many." Clearly, Gerald Kuecher is a blessed man for not only experiencing these memories, but also for sharing them with us and enriching our lives as well."

- George Devries Klein
SED-STRAT Geoscience Consultants, Inc.

"I loved Fruitcake Hill. I was totally captivated. So many things I could relate to and had totally forgotten. I thank you for reminding me. What a childhood you had. And even though not everyone who reads the story may be able to relate to the farmhouse on the hill, they can still relate to the family events that surround it.
I must admit that I kept waiting for some of our antics to pop up, but there were too many other things to talk about and our adventures were definitely outside the scope of your story.
We need a follow-up, perhaps 'Fruitcakes OFF the Hill'."

- Dale Hartman

About the Author

Gerald J. Kuecher was born in 1951, the seventh of Babe and Bob Kuecher’s 13 children. This strawberry blonde was tough and competitive after years of battling with his big athletic brothers yet he developed a sense of compassion that included crying at strangers’ funerals as an altar boy. This marked duality shaped his life.
As a teenager, Gerald became interested in the physical sciences after reading reports by the Illinois Geological Survey concerning the glacial history of the Palos area. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Geology and has published numerous technical articles. This book is his first venture into non-technical literature.

Click here to view Gerald J. Kuecher's other books

Order your copy today
Fruitcake Hill
A History and Memoir of
Life on the Hill in a Family of 15

You may purchase this book from: or or

This book can also be purchased from your local retail bookstore.
Mention the title, author and ISBN 978-0-9809995-0-1.

This book may also be purchased in e-book format
from the following online retail bookstores: and
and Amazon's Kindle Store
The e-book edition is also available on Barnes & Noble's Nook,
Google e-books, Apple's iBookstore, Sony's e-Store, Kobo Books, etc.

For wholesale discounts or large volume orders please contact us.

Home           Information for Authors           Information for Publishers           Contact Us