Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Melanie Dobson Delivers with The Courier of Caswell Hall

The Courier of Caswell Hall
by Melanie Dobson
An American Tapestry series, Book 5
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available September 2013
Summerside Press
336 pages

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About the Book
An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.

As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she cares only about peace. Her friend Sarah Hammond, however, longs to join the fight. Both women’s families have already been divided by a costly war that sets father against son and neighbor against neighbor; a war that makes it impossible to guess who can be trusted.

One snowy night Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall, and her decision to save him will change her life. Nathan introduces her to a secret network of spies, couriers, disguises, and coded messages—a network that may be the Patriots’ only hope for winning the war. When British officers take over Caswell Hall and wreak havoc on neighboring plantations, Lydia will have to choose between loyalty and freedom; between her family’s protection and her own heart’s desires.

As both armies gather near Williamsburg for a pivotal battle, both Lydia and Sarah must decide how high a price they are willing to pay to help the men they love.

Part of the American Tapestries™ series: Each standalone novel in this line sets a heart-stirring love story against the backdrop of an epic moment in American history. This is the fifth book in the series.

My Thoughts
I haven't read many books set during the American Revolution, though it's one of my favorite time periods, so I was excited to see that Melanie Dobson had written a tale of spies and romance set during the middle of the American Revolution. She masterfully weaves together a story rich with historical details without losing sight of the more personal aspects of the story. 

I enjoyed getting to know the Caswell and Hammond families and seeing how the war ripped apart their friendship and even their families. To be honest, I've never really considered how the Revolution affected the people who lived during that time. It's easy to think of people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other heroes of the time as just that—heroes, rather than people with emotions, lives, and families. To see how difficult it was for some families to decide which side would earn their loyalty and the fear that this decision evoked was extremely gut-wrenching. Dobson really made history come alive for me through this book, and I loved that! There's so much more I could say, but that would result in a 10-page review, which no one would want to read. So let me just say, this is a book you need to read.

I will warn you that I left the book feeling a little melancholy. Dobson provides readers with an epilogue that gives closure to what happens to everyone in the future. While I enjoyed seeing "into the future," it also left me feeling a little sad that I didn't get to see how they got there. (I know, I'm probably the only person who will feel like this!)

In The Courier of Caswell Hall, Melanie Dobson delivers an incredible story—one of the best I've read this year. I couldn't stand for it to be over and would be thrilled to learn that Dobson was working on developing this book into a series. If you enjoy historical novels with a thread of romance, you are sure to love this newest book in the American Tapestries series.  [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Summerside Press and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Melanie Dobson is the author of twelve novels; her writing has received numerous accolades including two Carol Awards. Melanie worked in public relations for fifteen years before she began writing fiction full-time. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides with her husband and two daughters in Oregon.

Melanie Dobson Online
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