- Egmont, 2003
Dinah and her mum have been in and out of bedsits, borrowed rooms or staying with relatives all of Dinah's eleven years, and when they finally come to a huge, ramshackle house in Cardiff, she hopes this will be home. Her mum's rich new boyfriend, Gomer Gwynne, has provided the house, and while Dinah and Gomer take an instant dislike to each other, Dinah loves the house and feels protective towards it. Dinah is bright and imaginative, and when she sees a row of stone animals on the wall at Cardiff Castle, she makes them come alive one by one. Each night a lion, a bear and a wolf guard Dinah and Griffin's Castle. She thinks of them as hers, but when she realises her two friends can see them too, they become menacing, not wanting her to leave the house. As the old house crumbles, so does Dinah's life. Her mum, a weak character, becomes more and more dependent on wheeler-dealer Gomer, and when the animals attack Gomer and almost kill him, Dinah must let her mum go to help him recover. In a stunning climax she finds herself alone in the old house at Christmas, facing a bleak time. The end is rather a cop-out as Dinah is rescued by her long-lost great grandfather from north Wales, who comes to take her home. Nevermind. It's a wonderful story, and Dinah's relationship with her mother's lover is painfully realistic. There is also a dark secret in their past history which is all too believable. Dinah is tough, but she doesn't make things easy for herself or for those around her.