Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Melanie Dobson's Refuge on Crescent Hill ~ Reviewed
REFUGE ON CRESCENT HILL
By Melanie Dobson
Published by: Kregel Publications
Camden Bristow didn't expect to move into her deceased grandmother's rundown mansion in Etherton, Ohio. What happened to the house she played in as a child with its secret passageways and tales of runaway slaves? When antiques start disappearing, Camden wonders if Grandma's stories were true. Who else has access to Crescent Hill---and why?.
Camden has run into an unexpected financial crunch and evaluates who she can turn to for help! Her father’s dead, her mother’s, undependable, and then there was Grandma Rosalie. They’d written letters to each other over the years. Etherton was home, so she decides to go to Crescent Hill and see her grandmother. Camden bangs on the door. No answer. Where could her grandmother be? Jenny, a school friend, sees Camden and stops to tell her that Rosalie has passed away—funeral was Friday.
Friday? Why hadn’t anyone called her? Next surprise, Rosalie has left Crescent Hill to her. Problem…Camden has no money to repair and maintain the mansion. Camden has nowhere to live either, so she stays at the Rosalie’s house. She remembers the fun summers she spent in there and all the stories her Grandmother used to tell her about the mansion and the underground railroads. There were rumors of ghosts who lived on the third floor. She couldn’t think about all that-too scary. She just needed to bask in her childhood memories and sleep. She had to make this work she had no where else to go.
Alex, from the town counsel, and Jenny, try to help to find a solution to Camden’s dilemma; in doing so they uncover mysteries involving Crescent Hill. Did the house really have secret tunnels? Camden discovers surprising family secrets that rock her world! She was going home to Crescent Hill for love and support….not all this.
I enjoyed this fascinating story of Camden’s personal journey, the history behind the house, the underground railroads, and how women used quilts they made for more than just keeping their family warm. Refuge on Crescent Hill’s story builds to a suspenseful, climatic ending that will keep you up late trying to figure out how all the pieces to this puzzle fit together. I’m so glad I received a review copy of this book. Thanks Melanie for helping me escape into another one of your gripping, suspenseful, entertaining stories. I enjoyed seeing pictures of the real house Melanie used for this story on her website. This is one intriguing story.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator