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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
The Girl on the Fifth Floor by W. Lawrence Johnston is an adventurous novel that follows the life of young Sydney. Her fate was already decided before she was even born; she was contracted to her grandfather like a piece of property. In exchange, he would train Sydney to run the family business. He started her education at birth; business books instead of fairy tales, operas instead of the television, and a nanny instead of parents. Her grandfather refused to spoil her like he did his own daughter who wasted her life on drugs. Though few even know of her existence, her life is continually at risk. The little blond girl has some connection to these death threats, if only Sydney could find the link between her and her deceased Aunt Zoey.
W. Lawrence Johnston lures his readers in with the mystery of Sydney’s life and her deceased Aunt Zoey. The Girl on the Fifth Floor reveals that the glamorous life of the super-rich isn’t always a pleasurable way to live. Sydney had to learn to live with bodyguards always beside her and still her life was not safe. This novel sadly outlines the intense education she endured so she could finally get the love and acceptance she craved from her parents and grandfather. The disappointment she constantly felt will surprise the reader as she still loved others unconditionally. The author's knowledge about music and art made a unique addition to the story as Sydney studied these subjects. The characters are interesting, though I doubt many will like her parents for their callous attitude. With multiple people wishing her dead, it fascinated me with how it all came together at the end.