From the bestselling author of 'Flowers in the Attic' comes the first book in the series centred around the Casteel family and its dark and mysterious past. Repackaged to attract a new generation of Andrews' fans HER NAME WAS HEAVEN, HER LIFE WAS ANYTHING BUT Heaven's mother Angel had died in childbirth, and from that moment her father turned ...
From the bestselling author of 'Flowers in the Attic' comes the first book in the series centred around the Casteel family and its dark and mysterious past. Repackaged to attract a new generation of Andrews' fans HER NAME WAS HEAVEN, HER LIFE WAS ANYTHING BUT Heaven's mother Angel had died in childbirth, and from that moment her father turned against her. Her only allies, it seemed, were her four half-brothers and sisters. When their father, poor and desperate, sold them to strangers, Heaven was left alone and friendless. Her only hope was to reunite her family. But how? So begins the heartbreaking, magical story of the Casteel family, continued in 'Dark Angel', 'Fallen Hearts', 'Gates of Paradise' and 'Web of Dreams'.
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This is the first V.C. Andrews book I ever read and one of the best, especially since it IS V.C. Andrews before she died and her ghostwriter took pen/processor to her many unfinished manuscripts.
Heaven Leigh Casteel is a beautiful young girl growing up in "The Willies" of West Virginia, which are vividly depicted. "Home" is a beyond-shabby cabin heated (sort of) by a wood stove the family calls "Ole Smokey"; beds are thin floor pallets.
Heaven is eventually the eldest of 5. On the eve of her 10th birthday she learns that she was actually born to her Pa's first wife, a delicate 14-year-old Boston runaway he met in Atlanta, married quickly, and loved so dearly that he still longs for her although he married Sarah rather quickly after his "Angel's" death in childbirth. Granny further gifts Heaven with Angel's suitcase full of rich-girl clothes, and a gorgeous doll that looks astonishingly like Angel--Heaven can tell, because she too looks just like her mother--except for her black "Indian Casteel" hair. It is this combination that finally explains Pa's bad attitude toward her...or is it?
When Heaven is 14, Sarah is expecting yet another child, and feeling more and more trapped. Heaven uneasily feels that it isn't "just talk" with her--one day, Sarah might actually up and leave, and then it's Heaven who will be trapped with all those kids and their/her aging grandparents. The worst does happen, and it's even worse than Heaven has been dreading, because Granny dies, taking the warmth and wisdom Heaven has thrived on and now needs more than ever.
But things are about to get worse even than that! Pa finally decides what would be the "best" for his kids (Heaven reads that as "himself") and follows through with his plan, one kid at a time (except for the first time). Heaven dreads being put in the worst situation, and although she is placed in an affluent setting and her "father figure" seems to care about her, her "mother figure" sees her as a chance to settle a score with Luke Casteel and takes every chance to treat Heaven brutally. Still, Heaven clings to the fact that she is away from "The Willies" and Pa, and that much closer to Boston--since learning the truth about herself, she has thought she should go to Boston and find her mother's parents.
A bit heavy on the dialect, and fine china is called "Royal Dalton" instead of "Royal Doulton," but a great read.
HEAVEN/DARK ANGEL/FALLEN HEARTS/GATES OF PARADISE/WEB OF DREAMS--The Casteel Saga
Oct 1, 2007
This is the best story in this rather dark series. This is a great character driven book, full of surprises. A young girl discovers family secrets after her father sells his children. This is a dark and twisted tale.
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