The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrews-Review, Guest Post and Giveaway
The Unwelcomed Child
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Genre: fiction, drama
Elle Edwards grew up believing that because of her mother’s sinful ways she was born without a soul; that’s why she was abandoned and left in the care of Grandmother Myra and Grandfather Prescott, who try to ensure her evil will not infect them;by raising her in a virtual prison. Because her days are occupied with homeschooling, strict religious studies, and vigorous housekeeping in their upstate New York home, Elle knows practically nothing of the outside world, even as she emerges as a young woman with impressive artistic talent. But when she makes a secret, forbidden connection to vacationers at the nearby lake;a handsome boy and his precocious twin sister’s world will shatter. Will discovering the truths about her past send her future plummeting to hell?
REVIEW: THE UNWELCOMED CHILD is the latest stand alone novel from V.C.Andrews. The storyline focuses on fifteen year old Elle Edwards-a virtual prisoner hiding in plain sight-from the world around her. Raised by her fanatically religious grandmother and long-suffering grandfather, Elle knows little about the real world other than what has been instilled by a grandmother with issues of religion, sex and Satan. Told from Elle’s POV, The Unwelcomed Child is a study in psychological, emotional and physical abuse perpetrated against a child for the sins of the mother.
The premise follows Elle as she reflects back on the only life she has ever known. Believing she is the product of a rape, Elle has been forced, by her religious grandmother, to atone for the sins of her mother. For most of her life, Elle has never known love, friendship, or the realities of life until the summer of her fifteenth year- she will meet and become friends with two vacationing teens who show her there is more to life than cleaning and praying before a statue of God.
THE UNWELCOMED CHILD is a storyline similar to many of V.C. Andrews’ previous novels and series (e.g. Flowers in the Attic) as well as the noticeable comparisons to Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’. The conflict between parent and child bleeds from one generation to the next. The religious ideals of purity and sex, evil and Satan have been drilled into a child who is innocent about the truth and the reality of the world. It is only when she meets two other teens does she finally realize that there may be more to her story than she has been told.
The bulk of the storyline encompasses a few months in the life-a summer of firsts: first taste of freedom; first friend; first kiss and a few more. For a child secluded from the outside world she is knowledgeable about some things and oblivious to many more. The building relationship with her grandfather is offset by the acidity of her grandmother and with it will come the knowledge that her grandfather may be as much a victim as is she or an enabler (at the very least).
V.C.Andrews (aka Andrew Neiderman) has written an interesting and reflective storyline that will pull the reader into the world of a young girl whose only sin is to be born. We watch as Elle blossoms under the guidance of two worldly teens whose hope is to bring our young protagonist into the 21st century.
Not quite a psychological thriller, THE UNWELCOMED CHILD is a work of fiction that, sadly, may mirror many young people’s experiences and life. The details of abuse are not graphic but will pull at your heart for a child who knew nothing else.
Copy supplied by the publisher.
Reviewed by Sandy
Writing V.C. Andrews
By Andrew Neiderman
A little over 26 years ago, I was asked by my agent, who was V.C. Andrew’s agent and who discovered her to complete the last novel in the Dollanganger series, Garden of Shadows because V.C. was seriously ill. For quite a while, my wife had been raving about Flowers in the Attic. I had published sixteen novels, most of them with young people as the protagonists, the most well-known being PIN, which became a feature film and is now in remake development. V.C. Andrews herself gave a testimony for my novel Brainchild.
Because I was still teaching English at Fallsburg High School where I taught creative writing, I was very familiar with emulating a writer’s style. However, I began a study of V.C. Andrews’ novels and successfully captured not only her writing style, but her characters and concepts. I finished the Heaven Series and went on to use her premises, sketches and even her artwork to develop her stories. Anyone reading a Neiderman thriller and then a V.C. Andrews novel, I’m told, would not believe the same writer had done both. I’m proud of that.
Being a writer is more than just composing stories built around good characters. The work never stops. Marketing and presenting became one of my major responsibilities. I did a number of talk shows in New York, Louisiana, Texas, California and other places discussing the books. I then became the V.C. Andrews ambassador, so to speak, because V.C. Andrews novels are published in 95 countries.
Here are a few funny incidents:
On a CBS Today Show in New Orleans, I was asked how can I write like a woman? I replied, “In the morning, I put on my wife’s high-heel shoes and nightgown and begin.” The moderator was taking it seriously until I laughed.
Meeting the South Korean publishers, two men and one woman for coffee, I noticed the woman never stopped staring at me. Only one spoke English, so I finally leaned over and asked him why she was staring so hard at me. He replied, “Because she can’t believe you’re a woman.”
It’s been a wonderful ride and experience, both writing the books, adapting one to film RAIN, and selling others to Hollywood. I’m happy to say, more are coming.
Short Bio:Andrew Neiderman was born in Brooklyn. His family moved to the Catskills of New York when he was an infant. He is a graduate of State University of Albany where he received his Masters in English. He taught at Fallsburg High School for 23 years before leaving to pursue a career as a novelist and screenwriter. As a teacher, he served as department chairman, faculty president, county teachers association president, director of dramatics and wrestling coach. He has been married for forty-four years to the former Diane Wilson of Fallsburg and they have two children, Melissa, a teacher at the Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California, and Erik, a private commercial jet pilot. The Neidermans have three grandchildren.
This past March 1st, marked the 26th year Andrew Neiderman has continued the V.C. Andrews franchise, one of the world’s biggest literary franchises and the longest continually running.
Palm Springs resident Andrew Neiderman had his 70th V.C. Andrews publication, Roxy’s Story published in September 2013. It is the second book in the Forbidden Series, Forbidden Sister, the first book, having immediately made the NY Times mass market print book list on its publication February 2013, as have most all of the novels Mr. Neiderman has written as V.C. Andrews. In April 2013, the 69th, Capturing Angels was published in hard cover in the UK. It was published in paperback in the UK in August. Neiderman continues his historic publication history with The Unwelcomed Child in February, 2014. Two additional titles, Bittersweet Dreams (November 2014 and Gypsy Eyes(February 2015 are completed, taking Mr. Neiderman to 73 V.C. Andrews titles.
Along with his own publications, 44, the most famous of which is The Devil’s Advocate, Neiderman has already gone over 115 published novels, seven of which had been adapted into films. He has co-authored the screenplay for Duplicates on one and written the screenplay for V.C. Andrews’ RAIN that featured Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway and nominee Robert Loggia.
He continues to write and publish both under his own name and as V.C. Andrews. Visit the Official V.C. Andrews Facebook page for updates.
Pocket Books (A Division of Simon and Schuster) and Andrew are offering a paper copy of THE UNWELCOMED CHILD by V.C.Andrews to one lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.
1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-in.
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3. Giveaway runs from January 22 to January 25, 2014
4. Giveaway is open to US and CANADA only.