The house likes you. You glitter in its light. I can only imagine what it would be like to have you here all the time. You’d fall so in love with it I’d be jealous.
Two generations before Corinne Foxworth locked her children in an attic, her grandmother, a gorgeous young girl named Corrine Dixon, is swept away by the charms of rich, sophisticated, and handsome Garland Foxworth. After discovering that she’s pregnant, Garland does what appears to be the honorable thing and marries her in a huge ceremony on the luxurious Foxworth Hall grounds. Both families fervently overlook the pregnancy, happy for a suitable resolution.
Now the mistress of a labyrinthine estate, Corrine discovers that nothing is what is seems. Garland is not the man once captivated by her charms, and she’s increasingly troubled by his infatuation with memories of his departed mother.
Can Corrine survive this strange new life? Or is her fate already sealed?
What the actual fuck? That was my full reaction when I finished this … book. I actually said that same phrase several times while reading this 357 page monstrosity. Okay, let’s back up. First, a little history.
V.C. (Virginia Cleo) Andrews died way back in 1986. She wrote eight/nine (apparently the actual number is up to debate?) novels that were very popular, the first being Flowers in the Attic (which the book I am reviewing is a prequel of). I started reading VCA when I was 12? So six years after she died. I was a MASSIVE fan. To the point that in 1999 I made my first website. A V.C. Andrews fan site. And it was pretty popular for awhile. For 1999-2001 standards. So yeah. Massive VCA fan.
After she died, Andrew Neiderman took over as ghostwriter and now there are like 80ish books under her name. Many of the books Neiderman wrote have been good or decent. But in the last 10, maybe 15 years, his books have become rubbish to the point where I stopped reading them. Why I thought this one would be any better, I’m not sure. But I was always a sucker for that series and had always wanted a story about the first Corrine Foxworth. And there you have it. So let’s move on to this review.
– Pros –
- The book (for all that is holy and good) finally ended. That’s all I have. Seriously.
– Cons –
- The writing is fucking atrocious and downright creepy. At one point Neiderman discusses Corrine’s appearance. Here is the quote: “Was I to ignore my perfectly shaped , firm breasts that had appeared almost overnight, disregard this smooth curve in my waist and completely overlook the deliciously formed rear end that Nature herself had designed?” At this point in the book, she is FOURTEEN years old. WTF Neiderman?
- Corrine was mentioned throughout the original Dollanganger series and was described as selfish. But selfish doesn’t begin to describe her. She’s a 16 year old, petty, selfish, manipulative and annoying brat. Hard to feel bad for her when you keep thinking she was a child that SHOULD have been spanked. Repeatedly.
- Garland Foxworth, who in the previous book Garden of Shadows, had been a loving and doting husband and father (okay, his second wife was young but at least it was consensual) has been reduced to a weirdo obsessed with his dead mother and has become a goddamn rapist. WTF Neiderman?!
- NOTHING HAPPENS in this book. Okay, clearly stuff happens. But it is 357 pages long and the wedding that is mentioned in the book summary DOESN’T EVEN HAPPEN IN THIS BOOK. It’s literally Corrine bitches about her mom, charms her dad, tells her friends she knows everything about sex, meets Garland and dances with him, goes to visit a great aunt so she can see him again, is date raped, becomes pregnant, keeps the pregnancy a secret, becomes engaged to her rapist and then the family go to Foxworth Hall and plan the wedding. THAT’S THE BOOK. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WTF NEIDERMAN?
- Finally, this is a period book. It takes place in 1890 yet aside from mentions of carriages, petticoats and candles everywhere, you wouldn’t be able to tell. It could easily be set in the 1990’s with a Victorian era cosplay theme.
I know. I should have known what I was getting myself into. But seriously, this was probably THE WORST book I have ever read and Neiderman needs to step down. The woman has been dead for 34 years this year. Maybe it is finally time to let her rest. But he won’t. After all, he’s seen more success as V.C. Andrews than he has as his own name. Save your money. Don’t read this nothing of a book. Or if you absolutely have to, rent it from the library.