V. C. Andrews [also published as Virginia Andrews]
The Unwelcomed Child
Simon & Schuster (US & CA: 21st January 2014; UK: 24th April 2014; AU: 1st May 2014)
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From the cover copy: Elle Edwards grew up believing that because of her mother’s sinful ways she was born without a soul…
Yet in the prologue we are informed that Deborah was raped, resulting in Elle’s conception. Because rape victims are “sinful”? (NOTE: I choose to believe all the shaming in these novels is to show that the characters doing the blaming are awful people. Authors are separate from their characters.)
From page 21: I gathered that my mother was far from the perfect child in their eyes and that the man who had raped her was obviously pure evil, if not the devil himself. But if she were a better person, he wouldn’t have been so drawn to her […] Not only was I fathered by a rapist, but I also had a mother who was more evil than most girls her age.
On the bright side, at least the rapist is blamed somewhat. On the bad side, THIS IS STILL VICTIM-BLAMING.
Look, I don’t know much about the mindset of strict, conservative parents, but… Why would you home-school someone when they’re YOUNGER, instead of when they are most likely to “sin”? Sending someone to school-outside-the-home for the first time when they’re fifteen doesn’t make sense in this context.
From page 238: “There are rapes, and there are rapes.”
AW, HELL NO! There are rapes. Period. Full-stop. Rape is rape, whether it’s by a stranger or someone you know. Whether you’ve flirted with them or not. Whether you’re sober or unconscious. RAPE IS RAPE. The scenarios may differ, but the end result is the same.
From page 250: “…but my parents have always been active professionals, my father the lawyer and my mother with her decorating business.”
Mason and Claudine Spenser are Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield! (I realised this post-midnight, and it was hilarious at the time.)
From page 261: “Men don’t sin so easily with ugly women, and women don’t sin easily with ugly men.”
I take that to mean consensual sex, and not rape. Either way, it’s still pretty-blaming.