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Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson
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Hidden Among the Stars (2018)

by Melanie Dobson

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6512285,428 (4.29)1
"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"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This is my first book written by Melanie Dobson, but it won't be the last. I was really taken up into the story from the beginning both in modern times and in 1938-1939. ( )
  eliorajoy | May 20, 2019 |
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.





My Thoughts: This is an amazing novel. It takes the reader back to 1938 to the beginning of Hitler's regime. The author Melanie Dobson has done an incredible job of giving the reader a glimpse of what it would have been like in that period time.


I liked the time-slip of the characters, and how they all inter-related to one another. It was so creative how one book can tie all these characters together. All this and a little romance too!


In this novel, we learn through history about the persecution of the Jewish people; but we also learn to let our walls down, that even though we've been hurt we need to learn to trust again. It's also about being selfless, loving your neighbor more than yourself and taking care of their needs no matter how much it may hurt.


This novel is well written and it flows easily. It's a book that the reader won't want to put down. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  MaryAnnB1964 | Mar 1, 2019 |
4.5 Stars rounded up. I have been reading a lot of historical fiction surrounding WWII, so when I saw reviews popping up for this book, I decided it would be one that I would enjoy. I am very glad I made that decision. The story is about the plight of the Austians after Hitler marched in and took over the country.

Callie is a bookstore owner in small town America. When she receives an old copy of Bambi, written by Austrian Felix Saltern, she carefully looks over the book. Not only does she find the original owner's name in the book, Annika, but she finds lists of valuables hidden among the pages. She is not able to read it, but once it is translated, it leads her on a journey to find Annika or her family to return the book. She also finds a picture of a man named Max that sends her in another direction. Meeting up with a professor that is heading to Austria to try and recover treasure dumped by the Nazis as they fled the allies, they form a bond that leads them both to Austria. There is a second book that also has important clues to the past. Charlotte, Callie's foster mother of sorts, has had this book since she was a child dropped off at an orphanage in France during the war.

In the second storyline, we go back in time to Austria in 1938, where Annika is the daughter of the caretaker of an estate in the lake region of Austria. The castle is owned by a wealthy Viennese family as their summer house. Annika is in love with the owner's son, Max, but does he share her love? It seems Max is in love with a young Jewess, Luzia Weiss, who is in danger in this nazi occupied country along with so many others.

Melanie Dobson weaves a marvellous tale of two times, separated by an ocean and 80 years. The lives of several characters are brought together by a simple children's book. It is a story of the terror of the Nazi regime and the lives of the Jewish people devastated during the holocaust. It is also the story of what happens to those left behind and the generations that followed them. What happened to Annika, Luzia, Max, Marta and the rest of their families? I was captivated by this story and read it in a couple of days. It is emotional and gripping, and the characters will linger in your heart for a long time to come. It’s a novel about, as the author says, “ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way”. A must read from intriguing start to compelling finish! All in all I found this book to be a remarkable story, recommended to all lovers of Historical Fiction, especially during the WWII time. The publisher, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas shared are my own. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
Not a good book. There are so many true accounts from people who survived the Holocaust and much better novels. This was so preachy in an attempt to find Christian meaning to the suffering. ( )
  shazjhb | Nov 2, 2018 |
I couldn't get through the book without crying several times. The author has written an historical story that sweeps across time from 1938 to present. It was easy to follow when going from time period to time period. Each character had a special place in my heart with their fierce determination to survive. I have read several books about how Hitler treated the Jewish citizens and each time my heart weeps for them. This book was especially emotional because the characters seemed so alive and jumped off the pages.

Annika was a special person who wanted to help her friend Max hide treasures so that Hitler's men couldn't find them. It was such a risk for her and I feared that she would be found out. Would you risk your life to help a friend? The author describes the terror that the Jews faced with deep emotional words. I can't imagine having to hide from people who hated you. The story is very intriguing and I couldn't put the book down.

When the book goes to present day, I saw the brilliance of how gifted the writer is. It is a seamless jump from past to present . Callie is a wonderful character and I liked her instantly. How fun it was to read how much Callie enjoys being at the bookstore everyday. She does story time with children which they all look forward to. When she discovers a very old children's book, she finds something very special hidden in the pages. This will take her on a journey that will span years and impact many lives.

I really enjoyed finding out more about "ownerless treasures" and how desperate people wanted to preserve them. Are there still treasures hidden today that are waiting to be found? Callie goes to great lengths to discover who Annika was and what the hidden message in the book meant. It's a wonderful story filled with faith, danger, sadness and for me an unexpected ending to the story.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Sep 18, 2018 |
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