Saturday, September 8, 2018

Review: "Hidden Among the Stars" by Melanie Dobson

In the last several years, split time (time-slip, dual timeline) novels have become quite popular. When done well, the combination of contemporary fiction with historical feels like it's the best of both worlds! One author who writes excellent split time fiction is Melanie Dobson, so I was quite eager to get my hands on her new book, Hidden Among the Stars.

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Genre: Historical Fiction (However, this is a time-slip novel, so there is also a contemporary component to the story)

Release date: September 4, 2018

Hidden Among the Stars is a fascinating split-time novel! The novel takes place mainly in late 1930's Nazi-occupied Austria and present day United States and Europe. The portion set in the past centers around a group of young people—Annika, Max, Luzia, and Hermann—as they resist the Nazi infiltration of Austria. Callie's story is told in the present, and it quickly becomes obvious that her own story is connected to the one in the past.

This book started out slowly for me, but once I reached the halfway point, I couldn't put the book down! The way the two stories intertwined kept me tearing through the pages. I did engage more with the historical story than the contemporary one—it really felt like the contemporary story was there just to allow resolution to the historical plot. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the contemporary plot, but I found myself rushing through those pages to get back to the historical plot. However, the way Dobson wrapped up the novel by connecting the 1930's portion to the present was nothing short of brilliant, and I found myself fighting back tears as it unfolded on the page.

This is a lovely story of faith, family, and sacrifice that fans of World War II fiction will love! 4 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Dobson's Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (5 stars), The Courier of Casewell Hall (5 stars), Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan (3.5 stars), Refuge on Crescent Hill (4 stars), and Where the Trail Ends (4.5 stars).

Follow the blog tour:
Reading Is My SuperPower, September 6
Fiction Aficionado, September 6
Back Porch Reads, September 6
Among the Reads, September 6
The Power of Words, September 7
Multifarious, September 7
lady ansel book vibes, September 7
The Becca Files, September 7
God’s Little Bookworm, September 8
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 8
Painting with Words, September 8
Lis Loves Reading, September 8
cherylbbookblog, September 9
Living LIfe Free in Christ, September 9
Madeline Clark, September 9
Mary Hake, September 9
Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 10
Genesis 5020, September 10
Faithfully Bookish, September 10
Simple Harvest Reads, September 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Margaret Kazmierczak, September 11
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 11
Daysong Reflections, September 11
Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, September 11
Seasons of Opportunities, September 12
Remembrancy, September 12
Inklings and notions, September 12
amandainpa, September 12
Maureen’s Musing, September 13
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 13
Just Commonly, September 13
Book by Book, September 13
Connect in Fiction, September 14
Pause for Tales, September 14
Have A Wonderful Day, September 14
Splashes of Joy, September 14
The Christian Fiction Girl, September 15
Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 15
To Everything A Season, September 15
A Baker’s Perspective, September 15
proud to be an autism mom, September 16
Bibliophile Reviews, September 16
Bigreadersite, September 16
Aryn The Libraryan, September 16
By The Book, September 17
Christian author, J.E. Grace, September 17
Janices book reviews, September 17
Texas Book-aholic, September 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18
Carpe Diem, September 18
Godly Book Reviews, September 19
For The Love of Books, September 19
Live. Love. Read., September 19
Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 19


To celebrate her tour, Melanie is giving away a grand prize package that includes a $25 Amazon gift card, Catching the Wind paperback, and Hidden Among the Stars paperback!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link to enter.

Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of nearly twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels including Catching the Wind and Chateau of Secrets. Three of her novels have won Carol Awards; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010; and The Black Cloister won the Foreword Magazine Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Melanie is the former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of the publicity firm Dobson Media Group. When she isn’t writing, Melanie enjoys teaching both writing and public relations classes at George Fox University.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with work, the Dobson family has settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to hike and camp in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. Melanie also enjoys exploring ghost towns and abandoned homes, helping care for kids in her community, and reading stories with her girls.

Visit Melanie online at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I love Melanie's writing and this sounds like another not to miss book. I am looking forward to reading this book!
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

    1. This is a great book! I hope you enjoy it, Maryann!

  2. I too enjoyed this more as it progressed. There were several times I thought I knew what was up and found I was wrong. My opinion of one of the characters kept changing throughout the book and I’d like to reread this with new understanding.

    As a widow, I felt one side character and their story were done particularly well. I appreciated the concerns of the character for their child. The way that story progressed felt very natural and unrushed. It made me feel good, and even a little hopeful.

    1. I'm so glad to hear this story resonated with you! Thanks for letting me know!


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