Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Black Cloister

Title: THE BLACK CLOISTER
Author: Melanie Dobson
Publisher: Kregel Publications
May 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8254-2443-4
Genre: Inspirational/suspense

Elise Friedman is on a quest to find out what demons in her mother’s past caused her to kill herself. Her adoptive father, Steve, tries to discourage Elise from making the trip, but on the guise of researching a famous woman, Elise makes the trip to Germany to learn the truth about her mother, Catrina. She tracks down the US Ambassador, Addison Ward, hoping Addison will tell her about the past. But Addison advises her to stay out of it.

When Elise meets a cocky young man, Carson, who claims to be backpacking across Germany, they travel to Heidelburg, where Elise attempts to talk to the natives to see if they remember her mother. She doesn’t understand or speak German, and most of those she talks to don’t speak English. Carson offers to help with translations, but he is actually hired by Addison to keep Elise from discovering the truth. Will even Carson’s well-meaning interference keep Elise from becoming ensnared in the same evil that once held her mother captive?

Oh wow. Based loosely on a real story, THE BLACK CLOISTER explores the confusion of children born into cults and often abused. I was hooked from the moment I opened this book, and I couldn’t put it down, reading straight through. Often scary at times, the story is extremely well-crafted and thought provoking.

Although a bit preachy at times, it is all in relation to the setting, and true to the nature of the characters. I enjoyed getting to know Elise, Carson, and all the other characters in this spell-binding novel. Don’t miss THE BLACK CLOISTER. It is a story that will stay with you for a long time to come. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. 288 pages. $13.99.

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