Lisa Brown is the author of The Porter's Wife and its sequel, The Seeds of Sorrow.
Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Weddings, births, pursuits of better lives in a post war depression, aging parents and death are the seeds sown in The Seeds of Sorrow. One family’s story is told, spanning through generations - children grow up, get married, dream dreams and follow them. Lisa Brown’s The Seeds of Sorrow centers on the life of Agnes Craig. Agnes was a young child when her family traveled from England to Winnipeg, Canada. Whatever memories she had from her distant childhood home have now faded. Agnes matured into a practical, hard-headed, sarcastic “take charge gal.” Agnes loves to be busy; she never acts spontaneously or on a whim, believing nothing good comes from change. Agnes marries Art, who suffers from “shell shock” after serving in WWI. He is haunted by the demons of war. “Every memory plays out in detail, tormenting his soul with exact precision.” Agnes was determined; she would support Art, no matter what happened. They live in a time and in a land of extremes. In a blink of an eye, the path of their lives changes drastically. God alters their direction, “with no explanation, no apology.” Can forgiveness and unconditional love piece together their fragmented and broken lives? Will there be an end or only another doorway in time?
The Seeds of Sorrow is the continuing story of the characters from Lisa Brown’s The Porter’s Wife. The novel is figuratively written, full of insightful and passionate descriptions, and romantic and poignant language. Lisa Brown reveals her love for her native homeland as she writes of the extreme nature and beauty of Canada. Her appreciation for history shines through as well as she depicts the harsh reality of the economic crash after World War I. Being a student of the effects of PTSD on today’s soldier, I was very impressed with her portrayal of PTSD (shell shock) in Art Craig’s character. Lisa Brown paints a sad, but true-life illustration of the never-ending trauma for the war veteran and his family. The characters in The Seeds of Sorrow develop and arc with dynamic precision. Its plot ebbs with waves of familial warmth and love and then crashes unexpectedly with the gale forces of grief and despair. The ending was brutal, certainly not a happily ever after resolution. Therefore, I am hoping that Lisa Brown has one more story in her, making this saga a trilogy of triumph.