Tag Archives: Secrets of Foxworth

[REVIEW] Secrets of Foxworth – V. C. Andrews

V. C. Andrews [also published as Virginia Andrews]
Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth (The Diaries, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster (US, UK, CA, & AU: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US Kindle Edition) Buy (US Hardcover) Buy (US Paperback) Buy (UK Kindle Edition) Buy (UK Hardcover) Buy (CA Kindle Edition) Buy (CA Hardcover) Buy (CA Paperback) Buy (Worldwide Hardcover) Buy (Worldwide Paperback)

NOTE: My review contains spoilers. If reading this via Goodreads, they’re individually marked. Elsewhere, they are not, and also there are spoilers for Flowers in the Attic, Garden of Shadows, and the forthcoming Echoes of Dollanganger and Secret Brother. Read at your own risk.

P.S. Secrets of Foxworth contains mentalism/saneism/ableism/gaslighting, and SO MUCH SEXISM. Seriously, that diary is full of it.

Well, that was pointless.

I don’t say that lightly. I spent 2013 catching up on the V. C. Andrews books I hadn’t read when they were first published (from Celeste onwards), and some would say that was pointless. But it eased my Fear of Missing Out – even though the books ranged from pretty good down to rather offensive, most were middling. (I didn’t read the Delia trilogy, though. The books involving the French, the Forbidden series, were so negatively stereotypical that I’m too afraid to read how VCA writes about Mexicans.)

But first, some backstory. Bittersweet Dreams would’ve been published this year, but due to the success (apparently?) of the Flowers in the Attic telemovie in the U.S., instead comes this first instalment of “The Diaries” – Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth. (Book 2 will be Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger. Book 3 is simply called Secret Brother, and though the narrator is not named in the summary, I have a pretty good guess who it will be: Cory.)

I was cynical about the change in publication schedule, but knew I’d read these anyway, shameless cash-grabs or otherwise. Secrets of Foxworth‘s cover declares, “Flowers in the Attic wasn’t the whole story,” which is technically true: Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday followed it, as well as the Olivia-narrated prequel, Garden of Shadows.

But I learned NOTHING new from Secrets of Foxworth, which renders it pointless, and the cover’s declaration misleading. In an interview when Christopher’s Diary was announced, ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman explained that he wanted to recapture the feeling people had whilst reading Flowers back when it was first published. And thus Secrets is narrated by Kristin Masterwood, a distant Foxworth relative, whose father’s construction company will demolish what’s left of Foxworth Hall (it was rebuilt after the first fire, but there was a “second fire in 2003”, which isn’t further explained) and build a new place. Whilst clearing out the basement, the team finds a box containing only…Christopher Dollanganger Junior’s diary.

Kristin’s life is the stuff of beautiful, middle-class white people with a wealthy boyfriend who doesn’t pressure her into rooting. But mostly Kristin is consumed with reading the diary. Secrets ends with her agreeing to share the diary with her boyfriend, who will read it aloud to her while they’re in her attic, and they can “pretend”. So obviously the scissors stabbing and incestuous rape part of the diary will be in Echoes of Dollanganger, and likely re-enacted by them.

So with nothing going on in Kristin’s life, and nothing new discovered about the Foxworths, Secrets of Foxworth is anything but. Kristin hasn’t even learned the big secret from Garden of Shadows: that Chris Senior is not only Corrine’s half-uncle, but also her half-brother. (They have the same biological mother, and Chris’s dad is the father of Corrine’s dad.)

I still plan to read Echoes of Dollanganger (to be released in late January 2015), though. Hopefully that book won’t be pointless, too.

P.S. My in-progress status updates with direct quotes are on Goodreads – scroll down to “Reading Updates”.

28th October 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

V. C. Andrews [also published as Virginia Andrews]
Secrets of Foxworth (Diaries, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster (US, UK, & CA: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The horrors have become the stuff of local legend in Charlottesville, VA. Many are the tales told of Foxworth Hall, which has lain dormant for years, ever since it burned to the ground supposedly at the hands of Corrine, the high-strung mother of four children who were said to have been incarcerated in the attic of the mansion, the youngest boy deliberately poisoned with arsenic. Who killed him and where his body was buried remains a mystery. Kristin Masterwood is the sixteen-year-old daughter of a local construction magnate who is evaluating Foxworth for a potential buyer. On their visit to the estate, she finds a very peculiar diary, one belonging to the oldest boy trapped in the Foxworth attic: Christopher. Michael Masterwood is anxious about the effect the young man’s diary will have on his daughter, though he equally does not want to make it more compelling to her by forbidding it altogether. Not that it matters anyway. From the moment she starts reading about the events through Christopher’s eyes, she is hooked…

Kelley Armstrong
Otherworld Nights (Otherworld, Anthology)
Penguin Plume (US: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Rare and never-before published short stories. It’s been more than ten years since Kelley Armstrong began the Otherworld series, a realm roamed by witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons. But not all of the Otherworld adventures have been easy to find. At last, Otherworld Nights shares short stories that have previously been available only online or in obscure collections. Concludes with a brand-new novella, “Vanishing Act.” This longer story is set after series finale 13, and features Savannah and Adam as they begin a new life – and a mysterious new case – together.

Ally Condie
Penguin Dutton (US: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above – of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self – and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced – she has nothing left to lose. Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the corrupted system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Megan Crewe
Earth & Sky (Sky, Book 1)
Amazon Skyscape (US: 28th October 2014); Penguin Razorbill (CA: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the visions of disaster that torment her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: that our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, life on Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for humans and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help to save the world and keep the very fabric of reality together.

Tracey Garvis Graves
Cherish (Covet, Novella)
Tracey Garvis Graves (US: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

When Daniel Rush wakes up in the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, the last person he expects to see at his bedside is his ex-wife Jessica. Their marriage disintegrated after the death of their infant son Gabriel, and Daniel gave Jessie what he thought she wanted: the freedom to start over with someone else. But Daniel never updated his emergency contact information, and Jessie is the one who receives the call with the devastating news. Daniel was Jessie’s one true love. Together since college, Jessie had dreams of raising a family with Daniel, and growing old together. When Gabriel died, Jessie buried those dreams with her beloved son and shut everyone out, including Daniel. Daniel faces months of gruelling rehabilitation and he’s going to need some help. Jessie is the last person anyone expects to volunteer, but this is her one chance to make amends, giving her and Daniel a shot at getting things right this time. The road to recovery will be long and arduous. But with Jessie leading the way, Daniel just might be able to get his old life back. Daniel knows how to covet. But can Jessie help him remember how to cherish?

Kim Harrison
Sudden Backtrack (Hollows, short story)
HarperCollins Voyager Impulse (US: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The origins of the elf and demon war have been shrouded – until now. Told from a demon’s point of view, join Al as he helps Newt spin the curse that caused the elven downfall…and perhaps holds the beginnings of their own reclamations.

Megan Hart & Tiffany Reisz
Captivated (Anthology, Novellas)
Harlequin Cosmo Red-Hot Reads (US: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

LETTING GO by Megan Hart – Colleen goes to the same bar every night and orders the same drink: a whiskey, neat. She doesn’t drink it, though. Jesse the bartender notices the beautiful, sad woman who keeps to herself. Until one night when she lets go and lets him in. And after that, Jesse has only one mission – to show her one night is only the beginning… SEIZE THE NIGHT by Tiffany Reisz – Five years ago, a night of forbidden passion between Remi and Julien, the heirs of two powerful and competitive horse-racing families, led to a feud that is threatening to ruin both farms. Now Remi must find Julien again – but when she does, her need for Julien is just as strong and just as forbidden…

Caitlin Kittredge
Black Dog (Hellhound, Book 1)
HarperCollins Voyager (US & CA: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Ava has spent the last hundred years as a hellhound, the indentured servant of a reaper who hunts errant souls and sends them to Hell. When a human necromancer convinces her to steal her reaper’s scythe, Ava incurs the wrath of the demon Lilith, her reaper’s boss. As punishment for her transgression, Lilith orders Ava to track down the last soul in her reaper’s ledger…or die trying. But after a hundred years of servitude, it’s time for payback. And Hell hath no fury like an avenging Ava…

Katie McGarry
Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, Book 3)
Harlequin Teen (US: 28th October 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The girl with straight A’s and the perfect life – that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy family…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker – a guy she has no business even talking to. But after the foster kid with the tattoos and intense grey eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind. The last thing Isaiah needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks. But when their shared love of street racing puts their lives in jeopardy, Isaiah and Rachel will have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

October 2014 Releases

Done with September 2014 Releases? Here are October 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist. NOTE: The images and formatting don’t show up properly through Feedly, so click the title of this post to view it on WordPress.

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7 New Covers (Andrews, Armstrong, Harrison, Hart, Kaufman & Spooner, Metcalf, Reisz)

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