Together for Good    -     By: Melanie Dobson
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Together for Good

Kregel Publications / 2006 / Paperback

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Availability: Expected to ship on or about 06/02/15.
CBD Stock No: WW424445

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Product Description

Thrilled to welcome home their baby, Scott and Abby Wagner dream of a bright future for Hunter---his first steps, first date, high school graduation. But they never thought their adopted son would be torn from their arms by his birth mother. Twenty years later, the pain undiminished, Abby travels to Orcus Island to find peace of mind---and discovers a miracle instead. 304 pages, softcover from Kregel.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Kregel Publications
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0825424445
ISBN-13: 9780825424441
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 06/02/15.

Publisher's Description

When Scott and Abby Wagner welcomed home their baby boy, they envisioned their son's future--his first date, his high school graduation, going off to college. They never dreamed that Hunter would be ripped from their hearts four months later when his birthmother wanted him back. Now, twenty years later, Abby's past still haunts her. To find some peace of mind, she returns to her family's cottage on Orcas Island only to discover a miracle in the most unexpected place.

Together for Good, the first fiction project from Melanie Dobson, is a novel that never tries to follow the formula for romance, reconciliation, or coming-of-age stories, but succeeds in incorporating elements of these genres into a solid, uniquely diverse book. Dobson’s heroine must confront twenty years’ worth of pain and anger at God concerning a long-ago teen pregnancy and adoption. Along the way, God’s perpetual hand on the characters involved is revealed in sometimes astonishing, always faith-affirming ways.
In Together for Good, Dobson initially engages the reader’s attention with a few well-chosen, dramatic elements that she develops into a driven, believable storyline holding solidly to the end of the book. Dobson subtly and naturally sets the story up for several surprises that challenge the reader’s initial guesses about the direction in which the story is heading. Secondary characters are well-developed and interact realistically with one another, with special commendation to Dobson for avoiding in her younger characters the clichés of speech and attitude that often plague teenage and young adult characters in fiction.
Readers follow the story of Abby Wagner, successful advertising executive and widowed mother of a college-age daughter. When Abby is recruited to work on a promotional campaign for the adoption agency that separated her from her son twenty years earlier, her life begins to fall apart as twenty years’ of pent-up grief and unanswered questions trigger problems in her relationships at work, with her daughter, and with God. Abby eventually is compelled to confront the loss of her son and to seek healing for the effects of that loss on her faith and her family.
The characters of Together for Good are refreshingly human. Though the four central characters are all Christians, none is portrayed as the “perfect” Christian. All struggle with keeping their work, relationships, and attitudes pleasing to Christ, and readers likely will find some of their own trouble areas mirrored in the situation of one of the characters. Abby’s internal struggles and her redemption process are very closely narrated throughout the book, which is helpful in following her personal growth from beginning to end, but which also has the effect of undermining the credibility of the climax of the book--the relatively quick resolution of the issue that has utterly absorbed the main character for almost three hundred pages feels a bit too easy when the reader has witnessed as much anguish and uncertainty and brokenness as Abby has displayed.
Together for Good is one of those satisfying novels that end neatly with the future happiness and well-being of each of the main characters assured, not because the author forced it to, but because she skillfully steered the story to the point where such an ending is welcome and believable. The quality of the book I found myself most appreciative of is that it never succumbs to any of the formulaic conventions that fiction, especially Christian fiction, often seems to be dictated by. A unique, edifying story following characters of varying ages that never limits itself to fit into a conventional romance or redemption category, Together for Good recommends itself to readers looking for a novel about people like themselves, learning to give God control of every area of their lives, and learning how to trust in His sovereignty when we suffer disappointment or loss. – Erin Buterbaugh, Christian Book

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Melanie Dobson
Located in: Southern California
Submitted: June 02, 2006

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I'm a follower of Christ and the mom of two adopted girls.We recently moved from Berlin (Germany) to Southern California and are taking advantage of the sunny weather to hike and camp. My next book, Going for Broke, will be released in 2007.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  Four months after Karly was placed at our home, the agency couldn't locate our birthmother and in Colorado an adoption isn't final until she relinquishes her rights in court. At the same time the agency couldn't find our birthmother, our dear friends, David and Renee, were also adopting a baby. They were blessed with a precious newborn boy, and they adored him as much as we did Karly. But a week after he came home, their birthmother showed up at their front door and told them that she had changed their mind-she wanted her baby back. I can't describe the agony they felt. As adoptive parents, we bound instantly with our babies. This was their son. The agency called and told them they had no recourse. She hadn't relinquished. They had to return him. David and Renee's faith grew stronger even as they grieved. Their story was (and is) an inspiration to many people. We were devastated for them and we were scared to death that we might have to give back Karly. But our birthmother relinquished, and we breathed a deep sigh of relief. Karly was ours. A year later, David and Renee were blessed with an amazing son, and the idea for Together for Good was born. Our complete adoption story is at

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  This novel is specifically about God using a failed adoption for His good. Through this book, I hope readers will understand a little more about God's significant purpose for each of His children. I want to encourage readers who've been hurt and give them a glimpse of Christ's love and grace even when they don't understand God's plan.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Every novel I write is a gift from God. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share these stories.


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