Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

Image result for hidden among the stars melanie dobson

Author’s Note: We were provided with a review copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Plot and Storyline Quality (3 points)

Melanie Dobson’s new novel, a historical romance set during World War 2, tells a story that is both captivating and gripping. Dobson is known for saying that she would never write fiction, but I am sure many people are glad she does. As seen in this novel, Dobson has a lot of potential as a writer, and is more creative than many in her genre. Yet, there were a few areas in which I felt she could improve. Hidden Among the Stars is a time-slip tale of people in the past and present who are connected through one object, an original edition of Bambi. Callie Randall and her sister own and operate a small bookstore, and for the most part, their life is ordinary. When Callie’s sister gives her Bambi as an early birthday gift, she finds herself looking through it one night when she can’t sleep, and finds a cryptic list of valuables written between the lines of the story. Callie decides to find out what the list means, and quickly discovers that the author of the list lived in Austria towards the end of the second world war. As one discovery leads to another, Callie discovers that the list is a connection between three people from the past, Annika Knopf, Max Dornbach, and Luzia Weiss. Max’s family owns the Schloss Schwansee estate, a castle in the Alps that overlooks the picturesque Lake Hallstatt. As the Dornbachs live in Vienna and only visit their country property in the summer, they have a resident caretaker. Annika is the caretaker’s daughter and has known Max since childhood. Annika secretly loves Max, but has never told him this, especially since he is in love with the accomplished Luzia. Luzia’s true love is music. As more and more Jews are persecuted and executed, Luzia fears for her life. When it is discovered that Max’s mother also has a Jewish heritage, his father divorces her and abandons them. Max asks Annika to help him hide his Jewish friends’ valuables deep in the woods…and then to hide Luzia. Will Annika overcome her jealousy of Luzia and recognize her need? Will Luzia survive the Nazis wrath? Will Max escape the authorities?  To answer these questions, read the book! Overall, Dobson handles a complex and detailed plotline quite well and crafts an engaging story. Unfortunately, there is the presence of a love triangle between Annika, Luzia, and Max. While it is done in a better way than most, this fact keeps Dobson from a perfect score in this section.

Character Development (3 points)

Dobson’s strength is her characters, because they drive the plot. Callie, Annika, Luzia, and Max all have distinctive personalities, and virtually none fall into the typical character molds for this type of novel. I also appreciated that Dobson’s characters grew through their experiences – (spoiler) Luzia through tragedy and degradation, Annika through a life-altering decision, and Callie through rejection and loneliness. While the novel has many characters, each one is used to their fullest potential, and there is a nice  plot twist at the end of the story. The combination of these characters and the intriguing plot makes for one a unique and enjoyable read.

Creativity & Originality (1 points)

Finally, Dobson  earns a full point in creativity for her attention to historical detail and commitment to character development. For these reasons, I feel that this book would make an good Christian TV series. A screenwriter could easily divide up this novel into six or seven episodes, enough for about two seasons. However, someone will have to recognize it for the potential it has, or this will not happen. I have said it before and I will say it again, Christian filmmakers, look no further than Christian books for content!

Wish List Rating: 7 out of 10 points 


What did you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s