Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Refuge on Crescent Hill

Kregel Publications (March 11, 2010)


Melanie Dobson


Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good.

Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.

Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.



Jobless, homeless, and broke, Camden Bristow decides to visit the grandmother she hasn’t seen in years. But when Camden arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother has passed away, leaving her the 150-year-old mansion on Crescent Hill. The site of her happiest summers as a child, the run-down mansion is now her only refuge.

When Camden finds evidence that she may not be the mansion’s only occupant, memories of Grandma Rosalie’s bedtime stories about secret passageways and runaway slaves fuel her imagination. What really happened at Crescent Hill? Who can she turn to for answers in this town full of strangers? And what motivates the handsome local Alex Yates to offer his help? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camdem uncovers deep family secrets within the mansion’s walls that could change her life─and the entire town─forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Refuge on Crescent Hill, go HERE.

Many thanks to Kregel Publications for providing the review copy of this book.

This was a great book (4/5 stars!) that really brought out a lot of emotion for me. My "refuge" growing up was my grandparents' house on the farm. Every Saturday (at minimum...many times we'd make multiple trips a week) we'd trek up the huge gravel hill (which was very scary to travel up and down, especially if it was raining or snowing!) to visit "The Deerstuffer" and "Calamity Jane" (their CB names that we would start calling to let them know we were almost to their house!). While my grandparents didn't have the elaborate mansion depicted in this book, it was like a refuge to me. It seemed that there were treasures in every corner and I loved the time I spent there. Sad to say, my grandparents have passed on and the house was condemned and sent over the hill on the farm. How I long for the refuge I found in their home!

There were points in this book that I felt like Camden. Alone, lost, and needing somewhere to go. I had a Jill in my life at different times, and, like Camden, I didn't really envy everything about her either. Alex's story tore at my heart but I think he found some sense of solace when he found Camden. This was a beautifully written story that I really enjoyed.

I would recommend this book to readers of a young adult age and up. I would think that this book would be appropriate for a reader aged 13+.

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