Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New V. C. Andrews' novel CHRISTOPHER'S DIARY an homage to fans worldwide

by Cyrus Webb

I, like millions of others, fell under the spell of V. C. Andrews years ago. For me, my first experience with her books began with FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC when I was just 14 years old in the 8th grade. The year was 1990. Though most of her fan base is made up of girls and young women, there were other guys in my school that were fascinated with the stories that V. C. Andrews weaved—mainly because they were unlike anything we had read before. The books were written in the first person and told the stories of young people going through extraordinary circumstances. In order to survive they had to grow up fast if they were to grow up at all. Not all here books were the happy endings we had gotten used to with fairy tales, but it did give you some hope. It was the hope that captivated me and kept me reading.

You see, though I couldn’t relate entirely to the exact situations the characters of V. C. Andrews novels experienced, I knew what it was like to go through challenges, family secrets and the doubt of would I be enough to make in the world that seemed to chew you up and spit you out. I knew what it was like to not feel as though I belonged, having very few that seemed to understand what I was going through or who I was. Through the fictional stories of V. C. Andrews individuals like myself felt a connection. That connection would continue from book to book, even after her death and the books that would continue thanks to ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman.

That brings us to the new book CHRISTOPHER’S DIARY: Secrets of Foxworth. This book is one that I think fans of V. C. Andrews will devour and further see themselves in because it deals with the fantastical world that V. C. Andrews created with Foxworth Hall and its inhabitants—and the mystique that surrounds about what may or may not have happened there.

We are guided through the book by Kristin Masterwood, a distant cousin of the Foxworths who in many ways still lives in the shadow of the family and the mansion, even though it has burned to the ground. Her trip the grounds with her father leads her to the discovery of a book that is written by Christopher Dollanganger Jr., the brother of Cathy, Carrie and Cory. Readers of the Dollanganger series will remember that it was Cathy’s perspective that guided us through much of the books. Now we are able to get her Chris’ perspective and look at the world the way that he saw it. Through Kristin, however, we get so much more. We get to share the experience of what the Dollanganger series has meant for us over the years, and better understand the phenomena that the books have created and why.

You see with Christopher’s diary Kristin is drawn into the world as he lived it—just as we as readers were able to do through the series. Like us, Kristin saw the story impacting her life and her relationships—and she began to wonder if the curse of the Foxworths might have found its way to her after all.

In the 90s the horrendous things that the Dollanganger’s experienced seemed almost unimaginable. For us that had known challenges, though, we have always known that such evil did exist. The news of the day also bears that out as we hear of families that do cruel and unspeakable things in secret. I have always believed that V. C. Andrews was ahead of her time in many ways, making us face the worst of humanity as we look to the good within ourselves and others to survive.
Christopher’s Diary is really a thank you to V. C. Andrews and a recognition of what these books have meant for us. As we see in the conclusion this newest book featuring Kristin, the story doesn’t really end. In many ways it continues through us and those that we share it with, and we are definitely grateful for that.

CHRISTOPHER'S DIARY: SECRETS OF FOXWORTH officially releases Tues. October 28th. Pre-order on Amazon here.

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