Refuge on Crescent Hill  -     By: Melanie Dobson
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Refuge on Crescent Hill

Kregel Publications / 2010 / Paperback

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Product Description

A new page-turning novel from an award-winning author! Melanie Dobson is back with a fast paced plot that skillfully weaves history and suspense. This is a book you won't want to miss!

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0825425905
ISBN-13: 9780825425905
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Moving home after a recent job loss was supposed to reassure Camden Bristow and give her time to decide what to do next. But when she arrives in Etherton, Ohio, she discovers that her grandmother, who she hasn't talked to in years, has passed away and "home" is an empty mansion 150 years old. Not exactly the comfort Camden was looking for. What happened to the house she played in as a child, the bedtime stories that told of secret passageways and runaway slaves, and all those family memories?

When antiques start disappearing and footsteps are heard, some of those memories start to creep back and Camden wonders if her grandmother's bedtime stories might actually be true. What really happened here . . . at Crescent Hill? How was her grandmother involved? Who still has access to the house? And for what purpose? As she works to uncover the past and present mysteries harbored in her home, Camden also uncovers secrets about her family that could change the town-and her life-forever. "It's history, mystery, and treasure hunt wrapped up in one suspenseful adventure You'll want to keep the lights on while you read Dobson's plot-driven story. She so skillfully sets the scene in this memory- haunting house that you'll hear the creaks and footsteps. And whether lost or redeemed, her believable characters ring true with their genuine faults, all-too-human mistakes, and realistic 'skeletons in the closet.'"--Fiction Editor, Christian Book Distributors

ChristianBookPreviews.com

In Melanie Dobson’s Refuge on Crescent Hill, Camden Bristow’s life is in shambles, and the only place she will find welcome is the house she called home so many years ago. This is a story of passion -- passion for justice, passion for truth, and passion for the redeeming God. This passion takes Camden deep into the past, breaking and healing her heart while discovering the secrets of her family.

Refuge on Crescent Hill is presented through four separate narrators, each character’s perspective giving pieces of information that come together in the end. The narrators all hale from different backgrounds and their purposes are all necessary to understanding the full story. The emotions and biases of the characters make relationships difficult, but only until they decide to give their hurt to God. The friendship that is rekindled between Camden and Jenny and the romance that brews between Alex and Camden is due to their turning to God and not to themselves for strength. Camden is extremely wary of opening herself to Alex, a man she barely knows. However, with the help of her childhood friend Jenny, Camden becomes familiarized with herself, the people of Etherton, and the God she used to believe in.

Camden’s career is over, but Alex’s is on its way up. Camden retreats to the only stable place she knows, but the refuge she seeks is not provided as she had hoped at Crescent Hill. She seeks peace, but this place only hands her trials and more stress than she already carries. All Camden wants is to be back on her feet. While Camden is on a quest for a way out of the small town of Etherton, Alex is on a quest to grow this town to the potential he sees to keep his job, and he thinks he has finally found the way through Camden’s newly inherited property. Instead, he realizes that the people giving him opposition are not who or what they seem. Camden and Alex choose to stop running from what scares them and to start seeking truth. Matthew 7:7 says, “Seek and you will find,” and they do find more than they bargained for.

Camden knows what she wants, when she wants it. She fights for what she thinks is best for her, but her selfish impatience does not consider others. She does stop focusing on just herself as the story progresses, showing her growth in God. Alex desperately wants to forgive himself for past mistakes, but he is unwilling to lay down his bitterness. He needs Camden just as much as she needs him; their strengths are each others’ weaknesses, and they are able to learn and grow together because of them.

I found myself not being able to stop turning page after page. Preteens up to grown women will enjoy this novel. It is perfect for a rainy day or relaxing weekend. Melanie Dobson will have you wanting more after every chapter, so don’t wait to discover the mysteries on Crescent Hill. – Kyla Martin, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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Quality:
4.9 out Of 5
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4.8 out Of 5
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  1. Maine
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Mystery!
    October 28, 2011
    berrypatch29
    Maine
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love to read. I read all the time, every day. Okay, I don't spend every day all day reading, but given the opportunity I would! I read various genres but sometimes I get stuck in a rut. I find myself pulling out my favorites and re-reading them. I enjoy a good story. I like to escape in to another world for a time.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson for that reason. In fact, it had me neglecting a lot of things around the house as I couldn't put it down. I really like books that weave mystery and suspense throughout the story line.

    The main character, Camden Bristow, finds herself at the bottom. She has lost her job, her apartment, and has very little money left. She turns to the one constant in her life, her Grandmother, but she hasn't spoken to her grandmother in a while. She arrives to find out that her dear Grandmother has passed away. However, she left Camden the family home. It seems as if life is getting a bit easier, but that's when the mystery begins.

    There are rumors that the house she has inherited is haunted. There are rumors that there is a treasure hidden on the property. There are also rumors that her ancestors helped runaway slaves - that the house on Crescent Hill was a station on the Underground Railroad.

    What I really liked was how all the characters were interwoven. It really is a small world out there and I found it quite plausible in how all the characters were interconnected. The connection to the Underground Railroad was also very interesting and it's peaked my interest to find out even more in this time period of US history.
  2. Indiana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Refuge on Crescent Hill
    October 28, 2011
    Shoopette
    Indiana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Refuge on Crescent Hill is told from four people's perspectives about the mysteries surrounding Crescent Hill. At first I was afraid the different points of view would get confusing, but I actually enjoyed getting the whole story as it unfolded. Since the reader does follow the different perspectives, you tend to know everything as it is discovered by each person, rather than just as one person discovers it. Because of this, I wouldn't call it a hard-core suspense novel that leaves you guessing until the end; the twists and turns along the way were revealed more gradually. However, I enjoyed this way of telling the story.

    I sometimes felt that the characters were repeating themselves a lot during their thoughts. I realize that we are following them during an intense period of time in their lives, and their focus is mainly on the house and what is going on in the town. But, it sometimes felt as if I was reading the same thoughts today that Camden had had yesterday and the day before. So, it felt a little repetitive in between the twist and turns and revelations.

    Although I felt this repetitiveness at times, I was still engrossed in the story. I love when contemporary books explore a mystery that happened hundreds of years ago, and the way all the stories came together was really interesting. I also appreciated that the romance in this novel was present, yet understated, more like it would happen in real life. It didn't feel sappy to me, which I really respect in a contemporary novel.

    Refuge on Crescent Hill is a novel that has it all: mystery, romance, compassion, history, and above all, hope.
  3. Florida
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A great suspense book
    October 28, 2011
    bookworm
    Florida
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    I found myself really enjoying this book. I had never heard of the author was excited to get to read someone new to me. This book did not disappoint. Though I will say the start of the book (first few chapters) was a little slow and confusing since the author was setting the backdrop of the story and introducing the many characters. Once the story got going and you knew who was who I found the book hard to put down. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery, suspense book with a little romance mixed in. I would say this is a 4 star book!
  4. Pittsgrove, NJ
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderful story. Full of Suspense!
    October 27, 2011
    Koreamom
    Pittsgrove, NJ
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Oh my. This the first book I have read by Melanie Dobson and I am sure it will not be my last. I loved this book! I could not put it down! This story is full of twists and turns and will keep you in suspense until the very end.

    The story has a very real feel to it. The characters are well developed and the plot line is very believable. If you love suspense you will really enjoy this story! I really loved the Camden and Alex. Camden grows and changes so much throughout this story. You watch her draw closer to God as the story progresses. I really like that this is a Christian story but is not your typical Christian fiction. I really loved this book!

    Disclosure: I received this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.
  5. Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderful!
    October 25, 2011
    Melanie
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Camden inherits the Bristow Mansion when her grandmother dies, but the house needs so many repairs and Camden is almost out of money so she doesn't know if she can keep the house that's been in the Bristow family for generations.

    Soon though, she learns that someone is sneaking around her house - and stealing her purse! What is this person up to and what does he/she want with the house?...

    I find houses that have hidden rooms or secret passageways interesting - and since 'Refuge on Crescent Hill' features a house that was a part of the Underground Railroad and has a secret tunnel, it's hardly a surprise that I really enjoyed it!

    To me, 'Refuge on Crescent Hill' was a cozy mystery (I don't think I found anything scary, but there was a lot of mystery). It had an interesting plot and the characters themselves were intriguing.

    After reading 'Refuge on Crescent Hill', I now look forward to reading more Melanie Dobson novels (maybe 'The Black Cloister'?)

    I recommend 'Refuge on Crescent Hill' if you enjoy reading mystery novels with a little romance.

    *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion.*
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