Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good. A former corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family, Melanie has worked in the fields of journalism and publicity for more than eighteen years. She and her family live in Oregon.
The Black Cloisterby Melanie Dobson
On Elise Friedman's eighth birthday, she lost her mother and any connection to her mysterious past. Now a young woman in college, Elise is traveling to her homeland of Germany to uncover her family's past, but what she finds is much more harrowing than she ever suspected.
- Kregel Publications
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- 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
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I couldn't put it down - I read it start to finish during my kids naptime. Addresses a sad reality to the truth of child prostitution in our world, as well as the darkness that lies in the midst of twisted lies from truth. Definitely a good, make you think read! Melanie is really good at writing about hard things in life to overcome, and giving understanding to how people end up in hard situations to begin with.
This brilliantly written novel is sure to educate and inspire readers. The insight Dobson demonstrates regarding the minds of cult leaders and their victims is incredibly accurate. In fact, this is the by far best book I've read that addresses this important issue. I've worked with abused children and pedophiles for nearly two decades and the way perpetrators view the world is clearly skewed by their own twisted desires. The author brings that out in The Black Cloister and shows why women stay in situations that are obviously abusive and why they often don't tell anyone who can help them get out. Dobson weaves a powerful and emotionally gripping tale that at times was so suspenseful that I would rather read the story than eat or sleep. The conclusion is also satisfying as it shows the power of true Godly love and how truth is more powerful than evil when you cling to His promises and minister to His children. I would love to read a sequel to this story.
I wanted to read this book because it looked like an interesting adventure story-- the kind that would send a shiver down your spine. But I really did not know what it was going to be about. From the first couple of pages, I was hooked and I knew it was going to be a gripping story. The story was well crafted, and I felt for the characters. Although I thought I had figured out the whole plot by Ch. 3, there were still some other twists and surprises right up to the Epilogue, and I wanted to see how everything turned out in the end. Probably the only thing I didn't like about the book was the thoughtlessness of the main character and her penchant for dashing into things without thinking-- but then, of course, there really wouldn't have been a plot if it wasn't for that! The author never gets graphic, but 'adult content' is addressed continually throughout the book. Somehow, the author handles these subjects with hope, and not depression. This is a good book for anybody who would like to learn more about, or who sympathizes with people caught in lies, cults, and human trafficking. A powerful story everyone should read. It is difficult to realize that there are real people in the world who are in bondage, like Sara.
In 1991 when Elise Friedman turned eight her mom Catrina suddenly died. Raised by an adoptive father Steve, she grew up wondering about her biological dad and her mom¿s life in Germany before coming to the States. She especially thought about reasons her mom left her homeland. Now seventeen years later, Elise obsesses over knowing the truth. In Berlin Elise meets her mom¿s best friend Ambassador Addison Wade, showing the stunned older woman a photo of Addison with Catrina. Addison wants to ignore Elise as she has buried the past especially since her next post will be American Ambassador to the UN. Elise explains discrepancies in her mom¿s past and Steve¿s story. Reluctantly Addison, understanding the resolute visitor and fearing for her going solo, takes her to Heidelberg where the quest of the Chosen began. ___ THE BLACK CLOISTER is a fascinating look at a cult from several perspectives. The story line is fast-paced from the moment a determined Elise arrives in Berlin and never slows with one twist after another as the danger mounts. Steve¿s refusal to explain anything leaves Elise taking risks that turn her into a target yet remaining true to his vows just seems wrong. Still this exhilarating thriller will hook the audience as the present inquiry into the past turns dangerous. ___ Harriet Klausner
The Black Cloister takes you along a path of a young College girl trying to find her Mother's roots. She does not understand why her Mother would die at a young age. She cannot get answers from her step Dad or a friend of her Mom's. She wants to know who her father is. Little does she know the dangers of this trek and finds herself entrapped in the very cult her Mother had friend her from when she was young. She manages to learn who her father is but it is a sad tale. In reading this book, you will see how well you need to be there for all young people so they won't feel like they have to look for love in the wrong places. People use scriptures to entrap people. It is like the enemy of our soul who appears as light but is darkness. You won't be able to put the book down when you start it.
The Black Cloister falls in the category of 'disturbing but good.' Disturbing because cults exist, and innocent people are taken in by them...children are raised by them. The book is good for many other reasons: Dobson's excellent storytelling kept me up much too late, and left me drifting to sleep feeling I was in a small town in Germany. Characters are well-developed and believable. And the book leaves you with hope for anyone who seeks truth.