Tuesday, February 11, 2014

review: the unwelcomed child by v.c. andrews

The latest title released under the V.C. Andrews name is a standalone vaguely reminiscent of Flowers in the Attic. The Unwelcomed Child is about a girl raised by her grandparents who have kept her captive in their isolated home. While the grandfather seems sympathetic (and later is revealed to be just that), he caves to his wife’s demands that Elle be severely punished for the circumstances of her conception which Elle’s mother claims was rape. But now at 15, Elle is gaining some freedoms including going into the woods by herself. That’s where Elle meets a set of boy/girl twins who skinny dip in the lake. They quickly befriend Elle and are shocked to learn how she’s been treated.

While the horrific child abuse of previous Andrews novels remains, the over the top drama is toned down in The Unwelcomed Child; one can imagine the plot here actually happening. The Unwelcomed Child is a bit horror-lite though as the abuse comes from Elle’s retrospective telling. By the time she’s 15, Elle has figured how to make it look like she’s obeying. As such, The Unwelcomed Child becomes more of a novel that explores a teen experiencing the world for the first time while also learning her own history.
4/5
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.

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