Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson (Book Giveaway and Blog Tour)

Title: The Courier of Caswell Hall
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Summer Side Press
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0-8249-3426-2
Publication Date: September 1st, 2013

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
Melanie Dobson offers such a fantastic picture into the lives of the people in America during the heart of the American Revolutionary War. The portrayal of the ideas of the time are right on target. The focus of the role that ordinary people had in the war was refreshing. War isn't always fought on the battlefield, but with the people behind the scene.

With that focus, we are introduced to Nathan and Lydia, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Deceleration of Independence, July 4th, 1826. After so much that has happened, a celebration was in order, however the celebration is short lived when Nathan collapses in Lydia's arms on the dance floor and we are swept back in time to when the war could have gone either way.

Lydia at twenty-four years of age, is still not married. Her father is a staunch loyalist, who believe that the the British soldiers could do no wrong. He is a proper Englishman, who is devoted to his king and know that the colonies will be restored to their proper place under the rule of King George. Lydia follows his ideas, but not to the passion her father displaces. Sometimes duty is over ruled by compassion, and that is what happens when Lydia stumbles upon a man, unconscious and nearly frozen on their property. Knowing her father would turn in this stranger, Lydia hides him and with the help of two servants, the stranger regains his strength.Over the course of the week that he is hidden away, the stranger, Nathan, starts speaking of his belief of freedom and plants a seed into Lydia's head.

Sarah, neighbor to Lydia, once was a loyalist, but after her brother declared patriot, Sarah knew her thoughts were that of her brother and has become a courier for the patriots. Her actions are secret, but her brothers affiliations toward America are not, and Sarah looses her home to a fire that the British set. Devastated over what has happened to her friend, Lydia's thoughts start to turn away from Tory and agrees to become a courier for the patriots.

Lydia and Sarah are the ladies of their society. They are genteel and quiet, they are what is expected of them in this time. Even though they are quiet, they fight a fierce battle. They risk their lives to help save those around them with the messages they are intrusted. In the time of war, no one really knew who was affiliated with which side, so secrets were precious. Even in Lydia's home, secrets are kept from the family and it is interesting to find out what is driving each character to do what they do.

The historical detail in The Courier of Caswell Hall was fantastic! The uncertentiy of the war is displayed, along with how, only some of the people were for the Patriots, others were for the British, and then some who just didn't care. They were ready for this strife to end. That was all that they cared for. And depending on how one viewed something, could easily tear a family apart. Sons against fathers, brother verses brother. It was a hard time.

It was a wonderfully written story!
Too Read!
4 out of 5

About the Author:

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of eleven novels, including seven historical romances for Summerside Press. In 2010, Melanie won ACFW Carol Awards for Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa and The Silent Order. Also in 2010, Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana was chosen as the Best Book of Indiana (fiction). Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family, and she worked in public relations for fifteen years before she began writing fiction full-time. Born and raised in the Midwest, she has lived all over America and now resides with her husband and two daughters near Portland, Oregon. www.melaniedobson.com



Giveaway:
Melanie Dobson's latest release, The Courier of Caswell Hall, is a riveting story you won't want to miss. The newest offering in the American Tapestries™ series, it follows an unlikely spy who discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.

Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of the book!


courier-of-caswell-rafflecopter

  Five winners will receive:

  • The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th at the Litfuse blog.


Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won one of the books!



Thank you to Litfuse Publicity and Summer Side Press, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion. 


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