Pride’s Castle Is Overvalued Property

Pride’s Castle is the tale of a poor boy determined to be rich and the women who love him.

Pride Dawson and his trusty sidekick, Tim McCarthy, land in New York after the Civil War. Two women fall madly in love with Pride immediately. One is honest but poor Sharon O’Neil. The other is the rich but unscrupulous Esther Stillworth.

Before long, Pride is on his way to being a robber baron on a par with the Goulds and Vanderbuilts.

He marries Esther for her money, but continues seeing Sharon, who eventually becomes his mistress. Both women exist at the back of his life.

Pride’s real passion is making money. He spends it ostentatiously, among other things modeling the décor of his pseudo-medieval castle on the Hudson on that of an upscale New Orleans brothel.

The ups and downs of the American economy and labor movement of the late nineteenth century form the backdrop of the story. Tim and Pride split over Pride’s treatment of workers, and even Esther argues for workers’ legitimate concerns.

Plot is everything in this novel.  Frank Yerby ties up all the lose ends but never shows what makes Sharon tick — and she’s what makes the novel interesting.

Pride’s Castle
By Frank Yerby
Dial Press, 1949
382 pages
1949 bestseller #9
My Grade: C
© 2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni
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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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