Thursday, May 22, 2014

Black Lake-Johanna Lane

Black Lake Johanna Lane Little, Brown, May 20 2014, $25.00 ISBN 9780316228831 As his family has lived in isolated overlooking the Atlantic Dulough Castle, Ireland since it was constructed in 1857, John Campbell is heartbroken and feels like he betrayed his ancestors though he sought employment in nearby Donegal. He also thought of a flat in Dublin, but decided against dividing his family. Thus, unable to pay the exorbitant bills, John converts Dulough into a museum for tourists to visit. Depressed John, his grieving wife Marianne and their two mortified children (twelve years old Kate and eight years old Philip) move into a nearby cottage. The despondent foursome watches the renovations to what was home to the Campbell clan past and present; each change batters the current members’ psyches as none of them adapt to being banished from their home. The move was traumatic enough, but a more harrowing tragedy leaves the family on the brink of complete disintegration. Rotating perspective mostly between the Campbell’s (including past residents), this insightful leisurely-paced storyline looks deeply at voluntary displacement due to economics on a small scale. Readers will appreciate this profound, gloomy yet with a flicker of hope family drama; as the Campbell family feel lost in the wilderness. The audience extrapolates the Campbell sense of exile and loss to mass displacements by refugees forced to leave homes in combat zones and ethnic cleansing especially in the Middle East and Africa. Harriet Klausner

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