By Harley Nefe
Local High Country resident Kimberley Jochl released her latest book, “Hardly Easy,” to the public earlier this year on Jan. 12, and since then, she has been receiving rave reviews for her work.
“Hardly Easy” is the third book Jochl has written, with the inspiration drawing from her real life experiences. She is a current resident of Sugar Mountain and is the vice president at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort. From the age of 16 to 23, Jochl was a member of the United States Alpine Ski Team, and she also earned her own pilot’s license in 2013. Jochl’s journey in becoming an author started when she decided to take flying lessons, and many of her memories helped shape the events in her latest book.
“Hardly Easy” follows Charlotte “Charlie” Henson, who fell in love with flying on her twelfth birthday when her uncle took her and her twin sister, Anastasia or Annie, up in his plane. Since that experience, Charlie has only had her eyes on becoming a future Navy pilot.
Now that Charlie is 16, she is old enough to take flying lessons in order to work toward receiving her pilot’s license. However, this task is not simple. Charlie has to overcome the conflict with her father in how he forbids her to fly, she has to find the funds to be able to afford the flying lessons, and the flying lessons themselves are not effortless. In fact, almost everything Charlie faces is hardly easy.
However, with the help and support of her sister, mother and friends including McQueen, an attractive student at the school who has his pilot’s license, Charlie is able to overcome the odds and remains determined to conquer her dreams, even when disaster strikes.
“Hardly Easy” is Jochl’s first young adult fiction piece, as she wanted a book about aviation that appealed specifically to young adults, and Jochl has definitely achieved that, as listed below are what readers, including kids, educators and influential aviators, have been saying about “Hardly Easy” lately.
“This clever novel encompasses a great deal of adolescent energy as it rolls from page to page, and when combined with a narrative about learning to fly small aircraft, it becomes a throwback tale of barnstorming itself. Hardly Easy quite literally flies, and you will enjoy your solo.” Larry Herrick, Survivor of 43 years in education: English, History and Government Teacher, Independent, Charter and Public Schools in difficult inner-city settings and large suburban institutions, Toas, NM
“I won’t spoil the plot too much, because I recommend you read it yourself.” Eighth Grade student, New Dimensions Charter School, Morganton, NC
“Kimberley Jochl inspires the unsuspecting reader through her unique gift of storytelling. In Hardly Easy you find yourself realizing that fear can be a marvelous tool for learning. This young adult novel would be a welcome addition to any library: personal, public, and perhaps most important, various educational libraries.” Patricia Anne Denkler, 1st woman to land a jet on a carrier, Beaufort, SC
“It is officially one of my favorite books.” Dr. Jacque Boyd, 2020 recipient of the Ninety-Nines Award of Achievement for Contributions to Aviation, Angel Fire, NM
“Every kid, male or female, who ever dreamed of flying or any other pursuit should read Hardly Easy. Not only will they learn something about flying and a bit about skiing they may also learn that things like skin color and sexual orientation do not determine how “good” a person is, all from the point of view of a cool teenager.” Len Bugel, 35-year High School Math and Science Teacher, Stratton Mountain School, South Londonderry, VT
“I am 12 and the story kept me interested from start to finish. I don’t normally get tied into books, but this one kept me wanting to read more. I highly recommend it!” Seventh Grade student, Valle Crucis Middle School, Valle Crucis, NC
Read High Country Press’s review on “Hardly Easy” here: https://www.hcpress.com/news/book-review-hardly-easy-takes-readers-on-an-adventure-full-of-twists-and-turns-that-teach-the-power-of-passion-by-using-authors-own-experiences-as-inspiration.html
Copies of “Hardly Easy” are available at local retailers across the High Country including:
- Fred’s General Mercantile in Beech Mountain
- Tri-City Aviation Inc. at the Tri-Cities Airport in east Tennessee
- Grandfather Mountain
- Mast General Store
It is also available for purchase online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit author Kimberley Jochl’s website at http://www.kimberleyjochl.com/hardly-easy/.