Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Daughter of Twin Oaks (A Secret Refuge, #1)” as Want to Read:
Daughter of Twin Oaks (A Secret Refuge, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Daughter of Twin Oaks

(A Secret Refuge #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  3,224 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Seeking to fulfill the promise she made to her dying father, eighteen-year-old Jesselynn Highwood determines to take her little brother and the family's Thoroughbreds from Twin Oaks plantation in Kentucky to her uncle's farm in Missouri to protect them from the ravages of the War between the States.
They embark on a perilous journey, riding at night, hiding during the day,
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Bethany House Publishers (first published January 1st 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Daughter of Twin Oaks, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Daughter of Twin Oaks

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,224 ratings  ·  165 reviews

Sort order
Susan Lower
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This book had good characterization. It felt real and I loved following the main character Jesselynn on her adventure from her home in Kentucky to Missouri during the civil war. Just when I felt the book was picking up pace and getting really interesting, I found myself on the last page. Since I was using my kindle app to read this I thought maybe my app messed up and it was stuck, but no... the book ends and leaves you hanging. I was like "What?!? No ending!"

I don't like being forced to have t
Lisa C.
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Until the end, I found this to be a captivating story. The characters were realistic, it had great Civil War depictions and the heroine was a decent person and could stand on her own two feet. Some of the parts I found a little unbelievable or predictable, but nothing crazy.

Then I got to the end. Oh, wait. There was no ending. The book stopped. Two things that drive me to not read an author again are ridiculous grammar/spelling issues and forcing a reader to get another book to finish a story. I
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The genre of this book is historical fiction and it is a well written Civil War dram that actually describes the lives of several daughters of the Twin Oaks Plantation. Twin Oaks is well known for their excellent horses - BEFORE the war and before the Armies conscripted horses for their uses. Daughter Jesselynn is left in charge of the few quality horses left and charged with the task of moving them to Springfield. MO TO HER uncle Hiram's Plantation for help in saving the bloodline. Figuring out ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
I REALLY wanted to love this book, but it was so boring and very hard to read when the characters spoke southern. I love reading books that focus on the civil war, but I was just not into this story at all. It was a type of story that I knew what would happen next and being right.
Frances Chrisman
An interesting book

I really enjoyed the book. The tragedies of the Civil War is difficult to visualize but it is part of our country's history. This story showed you how some of the most prosperous people had to adapt.
Marlana Sanders

Good book. Obviously trying to set up for next in the series. Disappointing that there were no conclusions to any of the story lines. If there had been a better conclusion would have rated it better. You enjoy each of the characters so you want to keep reading.
Cheri Jarvis
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
The way this book ended, it could have ended at any given chapter. It's as if the author decided to just stop writing. This is author manipulation at its best!
This book is aptly named Daughter of Twin Oaks as it goes to narrate the arduous journey of Jesselyn, the oldest Highwood daughter, from her home Twin Oaks to Missouri in search of a safer ground in the Civil war-torn America. The Highwoods plantation was thriving before war. Joshua Highwood never had to worry over feeding his big family or his slaves, whom he dreamed of freeing as soon as the opportunity arrived.

But the wretched war changed everything for them. Joshua went to war, his wife Miri
Karen & Gerard
Daughter of Twin Oaks by Lauraine Snelling is the first book in her Secret Refuge Series that I enjoyed. It is at the time of the Civil War and Jesselynn is the daughter left to run the family's tobacco plantation called Twin Oaks. Her brother is off at war, her parents are both dead and her two sisters are living with an Aunt in Virginia. Twin Oakes is in Kentucky and she is trying to keep her few horses from being taken for use in the war. After giving all her slaves their freedom, they decide ...more
Aug 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
I've been slowly dragging along in this book over the last few days and I finally decided to call it quits. A good book draws me in. It's world becomes my world to the point where I almost forget I'm even reading. This book just didn't do it for me.

The story line was a bit obvious and awkward. I didn't feel like the relationships were authentic. The characters and story line were not developed well. Instead of leading the reader along so they could see who everyone is and how they fit in to the
I read this book a while back and loved it then. So when I saw that it was getting reprinted, I knew I had to get them to add to my library of books. After finishing this first book in the Secret Refuge series, it still remains one of my favorite historicals of all time. I am a BIG lover of history and, more specifically, the War Between the States, and for such a controversy war, Lauraine handles it well.

While both the main characters in Daughter of Twin Oaks -- Jesselynn and Louisa -- have th
Faith Cummings
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daughter of Twin Oaks: A story of love and loss

Daughter of Twin Oaks: A story of love and loss

This is a riveting story of the south in 1862. It tells of love and loss, as a family strives to hold on to their lives as they were before the war broke them and changed them, almost beyond recognition. Old traditions are swept aside, as they attempt to salvage what they can and move forward to a new life even as the old one shatters around them. This is a story from a great storyteller, and it kept me
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was a good book about the Civil war and all the trouble a horse farm had in Kentucky...and I would add more to my review...BUT there was no ending...and books like that don't deserve to have anything else said. I turned the pages and read on...and on....and on...about this family...BUT there was NO ENDING.....
Christine Meunier
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse, 2014-reading
The first in the Secret Refuge series, this book leaves you wanting to know more! Another great read by Lauraine Snelling, Daughter of Twin Oaks follows the lives of eighteen year old Jesselynn Highwood and her two younger sisters who are battling to enjoy life in the midst of the civil war... more at
Mary Ellen
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the book on the whole. The disappointment came at the end. There was no end! Nothing is resolved in the first book. It just stops and leaves you hanging.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
As much as I wanted to like this book I just could not. There were some good parts but it seem to me that the went on and on with no ending.
Amanda Potter
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!

This book was good from the first page on. I can't wait to read the next one!! I love finding out what happens with my favorite characters from the story!
Pat Langhelt
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Disappointed at the ending oh no it didn't end!!!
Judy Tuck
Not happy with ending

Great book until the ending which just leaves you hanging. I like multiple books but they should not be dependent on other books.
Deana Myers
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did enjoy .
Lisa Taylor
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Read

I could not put this book down. When I turned the last page, I was disappointed that there wasn't another chapter.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I would have loved to rate this five stars. But the cave scene with the scorpions was too much.

If anyone had so much go wrong in the time span Jessie and her parade has had gone wrong, they would be mentally gone.

The tragedies never stop. Enough already and I haven't even finished the book.

All this time and her sisters and brother, while not sipping tea in Virginia, have the life of relative ease.

Three weeks, start with her pa dying, she has to sneak out of her plantation at night, more and more
Molly Cline
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, series-1
This story gives the reader a different outlook on the Civil War; one I never thought about. A family torn apart due to having to be sent away to fight some members killed, some missing and the women all wondering about them. All the while the oldest daughter has to do what she has promised her dieing father she'd save the Thoroughbred horses that has made their ranch. So after the war they can start over. She has sent her two younger sisters to live in a different town to be protected from the ...more
3 1/2 stars

I realy wanted to love this book. The cover is beautiful and the story sounded like my cup of tea.However, there was a lot of things I didn't like. The writing itself is entertaining but some things annoyed me while reading. The fact that none of the slaves at Twin Oaks wanted to be freed and that all in Jesslynn's home apeared content was to me at least unrealistic even if her father was a kind master. ( After being freed one slave miraculously now looked people in the eye! ) Even a
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is as historically accurate as I have seen about the early days of the Civil War. The trip from Kentucky to Missouri was maybe the best I've read that conveyed how broken our state was and how deep and violent the split was between families.

From where I live in Raytown, a suburb of Kansas City, MO (the biggest Kansas City), there are over a dozen battle sites within a three hour drive.

I've noticed that some readers seem to think the two sisters who went to Richmond were much better off
Teresa Griffis
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set in the time of the Civil War, the author writes such descriptions and dialog you could almost be right there. After the death of her parents, Jesselynn takes on the responsibility for her family. She sends her 2 younger sisters to live with an aunt in Richmond, while she tries to save the thoroughbred horses by taking them to her uncle.

Traveling with her baby brother and a few of the freed slaves, she disguises herself as a teenage boy and heads out from Kentucky to Missouri. It's not easy h
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Daughter of Twin Oaks was excellent. I'm not much for reading Civil War books but this one was great. Jesselynn Highwood was a well-bred gentlewoman with a tendency to do things her way. She loved her fathers Thoroughbred's like she loved life and farming was just an added bonus. Then the War hit and her father and brother's go off to fight leaving Jesselynn and her sibling at home to work the farm. Well, one of her brother's dies and her father gets injured and returns home with a severe injury ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting story of the Civil War. Focus is mainly on one sister from Kentucky who is trying to get what's left of her racing stock to a relative's house on Missouri before they are conscripted into the army. She dresses as a boy and takes her little brother and 3 of her freed slaves with her. They travel at night and sleep in secluded woodsy areas during the day. They have quite an adventure and add people to their group along the way. One of the other sister's story is also interesting. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Dec 21, 2014 07:58AM  
  • The Heart of Thornton Creek (Queensland Chronicles #1)
  • In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman #1)
  • Waiting for Summer's Return (Heart of the Prairie #1)
  • Rosa's Land (Western Justice, #1)
  • Shadows of the Canyon (Desert Roses, #1)
  • Distant Dreams (Ribbons of Steel, #1)
  • A Place Called Bliss (Saskatchewan Saga, #1)
  • Pirate Hunter
  • Paradise Valley (Daughters of Caleb Bender, #1)
  • Fairchild's Lady (The Culper Ring, #1.5)
  • A River to Cross
  • The Lawman Claims His Bride (Charity House, #4)
  • Beautiful Bandit (Lone Star Legends, #1)
  • The Solitary Envoy (Heirs of Acadia, #1)
  • All the Blue of Heaven (Colors of Faith #1)
  • The Beloved Land (Song of Acadia, #5)
  • Skip Rock Shallows (Copper Brown, #3)
  • All in Good Time (The Gilded Legacy, #2)
Award-winning and bestselling author Lauraine Snelling has over 80 books published with sales of over 4.5 million. Her original dream was to write horse books for children. Today, she writes adult novels about real issues centered on forgiveness, loss, domestic violence and cancer in her inspirational contemporary women’s fiction titles and historical series, including the favorite, Blessing books ...more

Other books in the series

A Secret Refuge (3 books)
  • Sisters of the Confederacy (A Secret Refuge, #2)
  • The Long Way Home (A Secret Refuge, #3)
“felt a rush” 0 likes
“big house to the slave quarters was nothing short of miraculous as far as” 0 likes
More quotes…