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Daughter of Twin Oaks (Secret Refuge Series #1)

Daughter of Twin Oaks (Secret Refuge Series #1)

4.1 141
by Lauraine Snelling

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Book 1 in A Secret Refuge series. At her dying father's request, Jesselyne Atwood takes her family's Thoroughbreds and heads for her uncle's farm to escape the Civil War. Will they fall prey to the bushwackers and vigilantes prowling about?


Book 1 in A Secret Refuge series. At her dying father's request, Jesselyne Atwood takes her family's Thoroughbreds and heads for her uncle's farm to escape the Civil War. Will they fall prey to the bushwackers and vigilantes prowling about?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Voya Reviews
Jesselynn Highwood always has been a tomboy--not easy for a girl in the 1860s--and horses have been her way of life on her family's Kentucky horse farm. During the Civil War, both armies are desperate for good horses, and with her brothers and father away at war, Jesselynn's responsibility is to keep the horses hidden. When her seriously wounded father comes home, he makes Jesselynn promise to take the remaining horses to safety on his brother's farm in Missouri. After her father dies, Jesselynn frees all her family's slaves, cuts her hair, puts on trousers, and sets off with the horses. She travels with her baby brother and three of the freed slaves. Along the way, they are joined by three children, also orphans of the war, and a soldier whose life the children saved. While Jesselynn travels west, her sister Louisa is with their aunt in Richmond, Virginia, volunteering in a hospital. Because of all the carnage she sees, Jesselynn loses her faith in God, whereas Louisa, who daily nurses desperately wounded soldiers, finds her faith is a solace to both her and the soldiers in her care. Snelling writes an affecting story that does not gloss over the horrors of war. Jesselynn and Louisa are strong women who go against the grain of society to do what they believe is right. The issues of faith are woven smoothly into the story rather than being imposed upon it. This book should appeal to readers of historical romance as well as to readers of inspirational fiction who will welcome the next installment in the Secret Refuge series. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to12). 2000, Bethany House, Ages 13 to 18, 282p, $10.99 Trade pb. Reviewer: Ann Bouricius

Product Details

Topeka Bindery
Publication date:
Secret Refuge Series , #1
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of over 60 books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold over 2 million copies. Besides writing books and articles, she teaches at writers' conferences across the country. She and her husband make their home in Tehachapi, California.

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Daughter of Twin Oaks (Secret Refuge Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 141 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Daughter of Twin Oaks was not the best book I have ever read, but it was okay. I really am becoming somewhat partial to war stories, especially those about the Civil War. When I picked the book up, I have to admit I wasn't expecting a masterpeice due to a bad experience with another Civil War novel that involved a female main character that dressed as a man. (Forgive me for being bias) However, as the story picked up I was pleasently surprised. The only problem I had with this book, apart from the usual plot issues, was that there were parts in it that didn't seemed to be explained. The author would say something, then never quite finish the thought or would jump ahead to something else. I don't know...it was weird. Other than that, it was a decent book. I would recomend it if you like war stories that don't focus too much on the war, but instead on how it affects the women left behind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent, heartwaring, very human series! I was so happy to find out tis was a series. I like the rest of the readers, couldn't put it down! These books you can letvyoir grandaughters read & not have to explain filth to them!! Granny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Lauraine Snelling's books because she puts herself and felling in her characters. She stops to think how would I feel in this situation. I have never read one of her books that I did not like.Jesselynn was angry at God because so many bad things had happened to her family yet she had times of reaching out to him. Her faith was a little weak but who of us in the same situation would have been much different. I have read some Civil War history and it was a very bad time especially for the South. I could hardly wait to read the next chapter and am waiting for the next book. I like historical Christian books very much...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not put this down unless I absolutely had no choice and finished the book within 24 hrs. I loved the characters and storyline. The author did a great job, and I don't think you would be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a stand alone book.
OzarkPeaPod More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time... Kept me ready almost from beginning to end in one sitting... I wish book 2 was ready to buy because I would have jumped right into it... This book is about the civil war time and this woman Jesselynn trying to save both her slaves *by setting them free) and their top dollar horse.. Trial she goes thru Etc.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is Book 1 in a series of historical romances set during the Civil War. Jocelyn is a strong heroine who has to cope with the responsibility of protecting her remaining family and servants from both Union and Confederate soldiers. She decides to save the family farm by taking the remaining four thoroughbred race horses from Kentucky to her uncle's ranch in Missouri. Full of adventure and accurate details of day to day life in the 1860's, this book also has humourous moments.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't bother to read this one unless you plan to read the series. The story kept me reading, anxiously waiting to find answers to the many, many loose ends it creates but never answers. The ending was totally unsatisfactory and obviously attempting to urge you to buy the next one in the series. For me, if a book cannot stand on its own whether part of a series or not, it is not worth reading. And I definitely wish I had not read this one, nor will I make the mistake of reading this author again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely frustrating at times. It jumped around a lot and left you hanging. I found the plot line with Lousia to be unnecessary to the whole story as it was. That being said, I found the Lousia/Virginia parts to be far more compelling. I very much wanted to like this book. There were parts of the book that I did enjoy. I loved the Virginia chapters, as I stated before. I think they had the potenial to add a cool aspect to the book, showing different areas of the war being effected differently. These chapters didn't live up to their potenial because they seemed to be of lowering writing quality and were just thrown in random spots, often ending with cliffhangers that were never answered later on. It is the first book in a series, which explains all of the unanswered questions. That being said, there should be some sort of conclusion at the end of a book, series or no series. I think the story had a lot of potential, but it just didn't do it for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having read others of Snellings book I was really looking forward to this on.  It was a little hard to get into, but once the story got rolling it was compelling, if a bit far-fetched.  However, the ending cancelled any good feelings I had about the book.  It just ended.  It did not conclude in an at all satisfying way.  I understand this number one in a series, and that I am  supposed to be so caught up in the story I can't wait to read the next one. That's not going to happen.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader and enjoy historical fiction. I found this book to be overall well written and historically sound. The book did leave me with a few questions but as it is the first in a series I am sure those questions will be answered upon my reading the rest of the books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I was entertained but could easily put it down. Was textbook FORMULA i have read this story a thousand other times just different settings. Loose term "christian" if you need a easy read that won't tempt you to stay up cuz you can't put it down-- this is a decent way to waste time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was supposed to be a historical romance not a nonfiction account. The ending was depressing, and offered no hope for the future. This was the first and last book I will read from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This could have been a really good book if it had been resolved in the end. I was left with questions as to whether everyone in Jesselynns family had been killed and she and the people around her were the only ones left. Needed to tie up loose ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never written a review before, but have read 100s of books. This book was a waste of time. Should be zero stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didnt really like the ending and the fact that she dresses like a guy and walks around like one. It didnt really hook me in the beginning that much. Im glad this was just a free book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was interesting. A little more than half way through, the main female character started having conflicting emotions regarding God, which I thought was played out a little bit too much. It came up a little too often. I realize this is book #1 in a series, but it ended a bit abruptly. Thank you author
BkwormKC More than 1 year ago
I like this story. Sometimes the events were a bit hard to imagine or follow and contrived but overall interesting plot.
chicapo More than 1 year ago
a good story of faith and courage and adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this series very much. I read all three and enjoyed them all. The story lines are good and the author keeps you interested all the way through. This author has become one of my favorites. I will use this one review for all three books. That gives me more time to read. LOL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It does leave you needing to read the next book, which i have not yet, but Im gonna for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good .. great take on the war and its brutality ... liked the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give this book a nice, round 8 (out of 10). It's a little jumpy in thought process, but hey, we think in incomplete sentences! Nonetheless, Snelling is a gem. :) One thing that continually irks me is the phrase "tobacco picking". A Northerner might say that. But a born and bred Kentuckian (and daughter of tobacco farmers) knows that the proper term would be "cutting" when referring to harvesting. Burley tobacco is sown, pulled, set (transplanted), chopped (hoed), topped (cutting off buds to promote leaf growth), cut, hung, cured, stripped, and baled. Nevah, evah "picked".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Because it has all my favorites in it action, romamce, and despetion. Great book I reccommend.
Anonymous 3 months ago