CASTLE OF SORROWS
by Diana Lee Johnson

October 2002
ISBN: 1-59088-082-X
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Dierdre Bryant worked for a company that helped other companies become computerized and bring them up to speed. Well, Dierdre was told she would be working for a Mr. Donald MacBaine and would be going to the United Kingdom to bring Mr. MacBaineís business into the 21st century. The only problem was Dierdre didnít know this until Mr. MacBaine showed up in her office along with her boss Mr. Jennings.


The more she got to know Donald, the more she wanted to see his home, which is a castle. A real castle with the dungeon, moat - the whole nine yards. But she was still not sure she would pick up and leave her home, family, friends and her job for six months. The more she was around Donald, however, the more she wanted to go. The castle was the icing on the cake, so to speak.


Deirdre was getting to know her new home in London and getting acquainted with her neighborhood, neighbors and her co-workers - a short vacation before her real work began. Donald took her to many places and to Dierdre it was dťjŗ vu. While sightseeing, Dierdre led the way around instead of Donald; this included many places, estates, and castles where Donald was a frequent visitor and where the properties had been in his family for generations.


Dierdre had no idea why she knew so much about these estates and castles. She had never been outside of the United States before. She was able to feel the inhabitants of these places, the inhabitants that were hundreds of years old.


Dierdre finally made it to Donaldís castle, a place that his twin brother Douglas was restoring. There were many factors to the castle that drew Dierdre. She felt like she was coming home but she didnít know why. Grandee, who is Donald's and Douglas' grandmother, was tracing the history of the castle and its inhabitants. The stories that Grandee told were just fabulous. All the stories came directly from diaries and letters that were found in the castle.


Ms. Johnson was able to make the characters come alive. I felt like I was right there beside Dierdre throughout the whole story, feeling what she was going through and seeing for the first time in her life. The secondary character of Grandee was an absolute joy, but Douglas was not, and Lorna, who is Donald's and Douglas' mother, was a bit off and seemed to be in her own little world most of the story. As a character, she seems to be just an ornament that was there with no substance at all - but she did have a place in the story. You will just have to read it to find out why and what. Each character played an important role in the story and without them the story would not have been half as good.


The only disappointment that I had with Castle Of Sorrows is the ending. It just sort of stopped and left me hanging. The ending did leave me laughing though, even with my disappointment in it. Even though I am unhappy about the way the story ended, I will continue to read stories by Ms. Johnson.


Reviewed in February 2003 by Pam.

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