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Christopher posts on 9/29/2008 10:02:24 PM Dear Lena I think the key reason I and others rate the Casteels as one of the least favorite series is that the story moved very slowly. It also involved too many characters failing to follow thru with some of the most interesting ones. The books seemed to lack coherent endings. I felt no real romance between Heaven and any of her lovers. And yes Jenny is right, they lacked any real sense of incest or forbidden love. GATES OF PARADISE was just tacked on with the fabricated incest of Luke Jr. and Anne Jr. falling in love. They lived happy normal lives believing they were siblings. Why would they fall in love? The other incestuous siblings fell in love because their lives were so miserable they could only bond with someone whom uniquely understood their experience. I like Misti enjoyed WEB OF DREAMS the best. I cried the last 100 pages. It was amazing how different the Casteels world of the Winnerrows was. They were all happy. Luke was Leighs savior. It showed how the wealth of Fathinggale Manor could not buy happiness. Dear Jenny. I am noting the MANY errors Neiderman made in GOS and will document them fully later. It is hard to distinguish Olivias errors in her version of events from Neidermans. I suspect the truth about Corrines childhood may rest somewhere in the middle. Corrine may not have been so completely abused but I suspect her life was not as pleasant as Olivia made it out to be. Corrine seemed very eager to escape the wealth of Foxworth Hall with Christopher. She may have been treated very coldly. In the first few chapters in FITA Corrine seemed to know the fear and horror of Foxworth Hall and the attic. She seemed to sympathize greatly with the children. Of course not hardly enough for any good mother as Cathy notes on page 90. Quote. Inside I was screaming with joy. Momma was going to take us out of here. We were leaving! Good-bye, room! Good-bye, attic Good-bye, all those millions I dont want anyway! But, as I watched, as I waited for Momma to spin on her heel and head for the closet, for our suitcases, I saw instead something that was noble and fine in our mother crumble. Unquote. This was the scene that proved Corrine knew the difference between good and evil and chose evil of her own free will.
Jenny posts on 9/28/2008 7:22:00 AM Once again Christopher drags up an incest angle. I rest my case on that score. Sorry, couldnt resist and we havent had a debate for a while! Personally I just think there is not enough research done by Andrew Neiderman when he is finishing a serial and makes things up to suit his storyline. too many inconsistences in all the series he has finished. It likes he gets the bare bones and fleshes it out as he sees fit. Or Christopher is right about the main women telling the story themselves and having their own point of view. I dont think Malcolm would have abused his daughter. I think they both saw things differently and we know that Corrinne lied thru her teeth to get what she wanted so I am more inclined to believe Olivias version of events.
Christopher posts on 9/27/2008 12:48:19 PM I finished SECRETS IN THE SHADOWS the sequel to SECRETS IN THE ATTIC. As predicted I was disappointed. It started off strong by casting a wholly new character as narrator, Karens daughter. It also began with her investigating the unexplained circumstances of the central murder. What had really happened to Karen? What had she just imagined? Could she be innocent? Unfortunately Neiderman takes to plot off on a completely separate tangent bringing the heroine to a new town where she predictably falls for an emotionally troubled boy. Why? Also if the first book is supposed to take place in the 1960s, why is there reference to them living in the 21st century? It would be in the late 70s at the very latest. Rather than finishing out his already unfinished series the new book DELIAS CROSSING starts a brand new one about a Mexican immigrant. I wish he would finish out the SHADOWS and EARLY SPRING series with at least one last book. I am also rereading the DOLLGANGER saga. Each time I find Olivia more and more evil. Concerning Corrines childhood there seem to be two very different perspectives. In FLOWERS Corrine told the children her life was miserably sad and she too was locked in the attic simply so she would not get into trouble and experience the world. In PEDALS Bart also comments to Cathy that Corrine told him of being abused and locked in the attic. However he also notes at the final Christmas party how for all the abuse she claimed Malcolm put her through he never saw Malcolm speak a single nasty word to her. In GARDEN Olivia talks greatly about how Corrine was an extremely happy child because Malcolm spoiled her rotten. Since both Corrine and Olivia are both villainesses who always believed they were right no matter what, it is difficult to tell what actually happened. Corrine may have been spoiled with riches but abused none the less mentally and physically, and possibly sexually. Malcolm was a horrible rapist infatuated with his mother Corrine. It would not surprise me if he molested his own daughter. Olivia may simply have left this all out in her version of events. Or perhaps Corrine was spoiled rotten and simply made up the abuse excuse. I tent to lean toward the former. For such a charmed life she instantly became infatuated and ran away with Christopher to live a simple but happy life. It is more likely she was a horribly abused child who reached out to the first savior she could. Even if it was her own brother. Life for her at Foxworth Hall would have to be horrible to give up all her money and power to live a happy simple life married to her brother.



Lena posts on 9/17/2008 9:22:53 PM Misti, why is it you didn't like the Casteels? Just curious.
misti posts on 9/14/2008 8:00:32 PM Some of my favorite series are the Dollangangers,the cutlers,the landrys, and the logans. My least favorites are the casteels,although I did enjoy Heaven and web of dreams,the hudsons, and the debeers. I also enjoyed the orphans,the other series wildflowers and shooting stars were allright.Broken flower and scattered leaves was boring and dumb.
Lena posts on 8/10/2008 3:17:18 PM I agree that Wildflowers girls had more common problems, and that's why I didn't like them that much. I don't read V.C. Andrews for girls with common, everyday problems. I don't mean that in a bad way, but it seems that the GW is trying to make money by targeting the books at younger teenagers who can relate to, say, having divorced parents. What happened to Flowers in the Attic-type problems and conflicts?
Christopher posts on 8/7/2008 9:08:45 PM This is being worded carefully as to not spoil the ending of SECRETS IN THE ATTIC for those who have not read it. As is so often Neiderman seems to simply tack on an unsatisfying ending. He tries to wrap up the whole story in 20 pages. I would think Zipporah, Jesse, and Karen would have done more than meekly accept defeat. Where did the truth end and the lies begin regarding Karens stepfathers abuse? She was clearly very mentally ill which very well could have been the result of abuse. I cannot believe that Zipporah and Jesse would not try to explain and justify their actions by detailing Karens abuse, real or imagined. Karens seduction of Jesse was predictable but I was hoping Jesses diary would reveal that he was in love with Zipporah. The Steins also seemed to passively accept the paternity of the child. Frankly I would not be so sure. The Steins made a brave choice. It might bring up all the pain all over again but it could result in something good coming out of something bad. Karen told contradictory stories about many things including her lovers. I do not have a copy of the book with me to cite the pages but Karen claimed at first she could not honestly tell the police she was virgin when her stepfather molested her, yet in a later instance she accused him of doing just that. Then she fooled around with another rapist Dana Martin while telling both Dana and Zipporah she was doing it all to hook the two of them up together. What kind of a plan is that? She even claimed to have slept with him the night of the killing. Again, how much of anything is true? After Neidermans last few series I am not counting on getting any answers from the next book. I am surprisingly enjoying the WILDFLOWERS series. The heroines stories are not being dragged out. Unlike the disappointing ORPHANS and SHOOTING STARS series these girls have very real and too common problems I feel we can all relate to. Just because their tales of woe are common does not make them any less tragic. They call themselves, orphan with parents. A sad reminder that every neglectful parent results in another promising life being destroyed. Unfortunately the cycle may repeat with their children as well. In other news the last horror movie to give me nightmares was TEETH. A tragic tale of a girl cursed with shark teeth the last place a female should have teeth. It uses the classic horror concept of being unable to fight the monster because the monster is you. The heroine has many VC Andrews experiences. This nice girl just cannot catch a break. She comes to embrace the horror that her curse may be a blessing as every male she meets is a rapist. Many VCA heroines could have used a form of self defense like this. As a warning, TEETH is extremely gory. I felt all this blood demeaned the film to the level of a slasher flick when in fact the story was far more dramatic.
Lena posts on 7/24/2008 6:01:00 PM You're absolutely welcome. Yeah, I see what you mean. At least good ole' GW didn't just copy another name from other VCA books. And Zipporah is one of the most Jewish names out there, and the book had almost no mention of it in her life. I thought that was weird.
Jenny posts on 7/24/2008 4:44:07 AM Thanks Lena. It is a lovely name and I guessed it was Hebrew but it is not the sort of name you get in modern literature! I think it was more of an attempt to make her more memorable.
Lena posts on 7/23/2008 1:27:52 AM Dear Jenny. I'll post what it says on behindthename.com. It's spelled Zipporah, actually. ZIPPORAH; Gender: Feminine; Usage: Biblical, Jewish; Pronounced: zi-POR-[uh] (English), ZIP-[ehr]-[uh] (English); From the Hebrew name (Tzipporah) which meant [bird]. In the Old Testament Zipporah was the wife of Moses... Rather detailed. I love looking up name origins on that particular website. Note some of the symbols won't show, so I bracketed them.
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