Review: The Disillusioned
Ideals, visions and your take on the world are your own. One’s thoughts, feelings and biases should be based on research, understanding and your specific beliefs that are unique to you.
But, sometimes what you see in front of you has not been orchestrated, choreographed and coordinated to such perfection that you do not see past what has been projected in front of you nor do you see any flaws. Picture a mural or tapestry of your family. Each part of the mural creates its own story for the person whose life is depicted. But, what if what you see on the surface is not really what lies beneath?
What if when you learn the secrets behind the illusions created and realize that your life is about to change will you be shattered, will you feel disenthralled or will you feel free knowing the truth. Samuel and Danny Armstrong are about to come face to face with more than just a secret that is uncovered about their father a revered Pastor and force in their church.
The story begins on a tragic note as we hear the voice, thoughts and can picture the actions taken by Carole Armstrong, their mother whose life has shriveled up along with her body and soul. Living in horrific conditions in a place where many are forgotten, she lingers on but not for long. Carole Armstrong will end her life in order to protect her sons. But what is her secret? What doesn’t she want revealed and what will her death accomplish?
The Disillusioned is a powerful novel written by D.J. Williams which brings to light what happens when one family has lost much of it color, luster, and vibrancy once clearly seen in their family’s mural. Living in a world some think of her own yet really quite astute, alert and definitely not delusional Carole Armstrong explains in her own voice her feelings, thoughts and shares her final moments with readers.
Danny Armstrong receives a phone call that will change the complexion and course of his life forever. Learning about his mother’s death was just part of what would send him in search of someone and answers to questions that he hoped to find but learning the truth behind his father’s actions and more would send him on a quest that could cost him more than just his life. Samuel Armstrong is a Grammy Award winning record producer whose schedule is so filled that he might have to make time to deal with his mother’s death when he learns about it. As he and Samuel discuss their mom, learn more about her death many questions come into play, guilt feelings arise and then something would change it all.
Mark Watson is the attorney for their mother and what he reveals after her burial is startling. Sam, Danny and his wife Brooke, hear the terms of her will and the startling revelations are just beginning to come to light. Imagine splitting 35 million dollars but there is one catch. First they had to find someone by the name of Stella Adams because she was left a certain amount and they could not get their inheritance until she received hers. Strange to say to least but there is much more. Just who is she and where will this take at least one of the brothers? Researching more about her he learns that she might be one of many young girls taken by a powerful man in Africa and sold to the highest bidder. Sad but true there are so many children who have tone missing, so were sold as part of Africa’s slave trade. One man known as Die Duiwel holds the key to what has happened to these children but how will anyone find him and why can’t or won’t the government protect the children? Why do parents sell them?
Danny decides to find his way to Africa and search for the missing Stacey but encounters more than he bargains for when hooking up with someone claiming to want to help him and going under the guise of being a reporter. Learning more about his father we find out that he was more than just a pastor but a charismatic leader whose ideals were strong and whose convictions and ideas were respected as well as being highly regarded. So, why would he embezzle money from the church as we hear what Brooke has to share with readers about Carole and John Armstrong? Going to Carole’s house to find out what lies hidden beneath the walls is her quest and searching beneath the lids or tops of 20 boxes her goal. Family photos, snapshots, sermon notes, messages and more but nothing at first and then a photo would change it all. Just who was in the photo and their connection would enlighten her to who Stella was and much more.
Sam decides to go to Africa when he realizes that Danny might have gone missing but never realizes at first that one relentless reporter named Angela is following him on his travels. Anything for a story no matter what she has to do and trusting her will not be easy and for her it might be a high price. Landing he’s met by the Ambassador to Zambia, David Stone and from there things start to heat up when he learns the truth about who was behind his father’s murder and what really happened to Danny. Finding someone to trust in this country is difficult and those in power seem to be hindering him every step of the way and some might be feeding the wrong people.
An orphanage set up by his father, a government corrupt and a leader who would sacrifice one person in order to attain his own glory and more, as we hear the voices of the President of this country the man that would make sure he took his place, the reasons why Danny was kidnapped and those behind it. Just who Stella is and how an article in the Times would shed light on the situation you just won’t believe. Sam, who has guilt feelings about how he did not really help his mom, deserted Danny when needed would not give up until he finds him and bring him home. But, who can be trusted and why is he allowing the reporter to remain by his side? Why did the church take the five million dollars and where would the end result lead them?
How far would you go to find someone you love? How far would you go to bring out the truth and find a killer? How far would you go to save so many children because they are being abused? How far would you go to find someone in order to honor your mother’s final request? Author D.J. Williams raises each of these questions and more in this well written, fast paced novel that will keep you on the printed page from start to finish as you take the journey to Africa, feel the pain inflicted on so many and pray for the release of more than just Danny.
Characters that are well defined, well-crafted and a story line that is both interesting and easy for readers to follow. When you hear the voice of Sam and learn what his father did you will understand the many who were more than just disillusioned by John Armstrong. The people he promised to help in his church did not see past what he wanted them to see. One man who would kill small children, torture them and use them for his own folly or worse, one man named same who hid behind the religious curtain and was disillusioned by what he had seen. Danny who believed that he could find the answers did not realize what the end result would be.
The courage of three women would bring Sam to face his own demons and hopefully right the wrongs that befell so many at the hand of his father. One man who wanted Danny, and if he could make Sam pay for what he thought was rightfully taken from him. Siatembo, Mwananmuke, Kone, Sam, Danny, Stella, Jessica and Angela: who survives and who will pay the ultimate price for being DISILLUSIONED? Remember the orphanage. Remember Bethel: child labor, destruction, prostitution, tunnels built for a sadist and a family hoping to find more than just answers.
Some endings come in a dramatic way and others will change so many lives. The Disillusioned: find out who finally sees the light.