Whitefern by V.C. Andrews #Review @GalleryBooks

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It’s been nearly 30 years since I first read My Sweet Audrina. I loved the book, and read it many times over the years. I always wished a set of sequels had been written for this book, as there had been for the Dollanganger and Casteel series. When I heard a sequel had finally been written, I was very excited to read it. I was looking forward to finding out what came next for Audrina, and hoped the sequel would be a worthy follow-up to the story Virginia Andrews wrote so beautifully.

I was sadly disappointed, however.

Whitefern definitely had potential. Arden, once a loving husband, is now cruel to Audrina and obsessed with making money. Her father dies, leaving Audrina controlling interest in the family business, which surprises her and enrages Arden. Why did Arden change? And why did her father change his will? The answers to those questions were not nearly as shocking as I’d hoped they would be.

In fact, none of the major plot points delivered any shocking revelations. Every moment that was meant to leave the reader wide-eyed and thunderstruck fell flat, because I’d been anticipating it practically the entire time. There was only one thing that happened regarding a secondary character that actually surprised me, but given the explosive potential that could have played out involving multiple characters in the story, that one surprise didn’t pack much of a punch. The final conclusion was unimaginative, and boring in its predictability.

Whitefern is a pale imitation of the brilliant and hauntingly tragic My Sweet Audrina. As readers, we often crave to know what happens next with characters we’ve grown attached to… but —as the sequels to Gone with the Wind have proved— sometimes ‘what happens next’ is best left to the reader’s imagination.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Gallery Books via Netgalley.

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Author: V.C. Andrews

Title: Whitefern

Series: Audrina #2

Genre: Family Saga, Gothic

Published: July 26, 2016 by Gallery Books

Rating: ⭐⭐

About the Book

Audrina remembers a better time, when her husband, Arden, was a young man with a heart filled with devotion for her. He didn’t used to be this ambitious, expansive…this cruel. But then, the death of Aurdina’s father changed a great many things.

When the reading of her father’s will reveals that Audrina herself will control fifty-one percent of the family brokerage—the halls of Whitefern again don’t feel safe. Arden’s protestations become frantic, nearly violent. And while Audrina didn’t anticipate running the family business, she’s curious to do so. And she can’t help but wonder what had made her father change his will at the last minute? What did he know about Arden that she didn’t?

Trapped in the middle of it all: her fragile, simple sister—the beautiful, trusting Sylvia. Audrina promised her father she’d watch over the young woman. But after years of relative quiet, the dark days of Whitefern may have returned…

About the Author

NB: V. C. Andrews died on December 19, 1986. The majority of the books attributed to V. C. Andrews were actually written by a ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman. For more information on how he was chosen, read this page on  The Complete VCA.

 

Andrew Neiderman is the author of over 44 thrillers, including six of which have been translated onto film, including the big hit, ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, a story in which he also wrote a libretto for the music-stage adaptation. One of his novels, Tender Loving Care, has been adapted into a CD-Rom interactive movie.

Andrew Neiderman became the ghostwriter for V.C. Andrews following her death in 1986. He was the screenwriter for Rain, a film based on a series of books under Andrews name. Between the novels written under her name and his own, he has published over 100 novels.

Author photo and bio via Goodreads.

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7 thoughts on “Whitefern by V.C. Andrews #Review @GalleryBooks

  1. Such a shame to be let down after such a long wait to find out more. I wonder how you’d feel about the first book if you read it again now? Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I’m confident I would still love My Sweet Audrina as I always have. It’s one of the few books actually written by the real V.C. Andrews, and not the ghostwriter, Andrew Neiderman. (Virginia died in 1986, and Neiderman was selected to continue writing stories that would be published in her name.)

      It’s generally accepted that Virginia herself only wrote 7 of the books she is known for: Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday (Books 1-4 of the Dollanganger series), Heaven and Dark Angel (Books 1-2 of the Casteel series), and My Sweet Audrina.

      So of the 89 books published under her name, 82 of them were written by Andrew Neiderman.

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      1. That’s something I didn’t know and would explain a lot. I only ever read Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind and thoroughly enjoyed those.

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        1. She died in 1986, but it was 1990 before I knew anything about it.

          Petals is the first book of hers I ever read… at the time, I didn’t realize it was a sequel. The whole series is good… you should check out the other books sometime!

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