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Web Of Dreams (1990)

Web of Dreams (1990)

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3.86 of 5 Votes: 4
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0671729497 (ISBN13: 9780671729493)

About book Web Of Dreams (1990)

Ahhh, two years after rereading the first book in the Casteel series, I have finally read the fifth and final. And, you guy, soooo much better than the fourth book, which I only gave one sad star. While our fourth book gave us Annoying Annie, Heaven's daughter, the fifth one showed us where all of the sick secrets ("the evil Casteel curse") began with Leigh, Heaven's mother.The book starts out with Annie and (not actually her brother/cousin) Luke at Farthinggale, there to bury Troy, Annie's real and fabulous father. Oh, Troy. I weep. And Annie discovers a diary...Bam, it's Leigh's 12th birthday. She has a great life, the daughter of a luxury cruise owner, living it up in a brownstone if Boston. Then her selfish, social-climbing, crazy mother runs away with Tony Tatterton, a much younger but much wealthier man. The family is broken up, Leigh's father fading into the background without too much of a fight. It's never really clear if he knows that Leigh isn't really his daugher (Jillian duped him), but regardless, I found his abandonment of Leigh deplorable. Shame on you, Clive.Jillian spins into her own world, constantly working to keep up her beautiful youthful appearance, and ignoring her own daughter, new husband, and adorable brother-in-law, who is essentially her stepson because he's four and being raised by Tony. Which, shame on you too, Tony, for not figuring out that Jillian was a real bitch and not going to help raise this kid. Leigh has disturbing encounters with her new stepfather, who is secretly encouraged by Jillian to seduce Leigh (apparently sex takes away from your beauty, who knew?). When Leigh is raped and Jillian doesn't believe her, Leigh runs away, meets a dude at a train station, misses her train because she's at the circus with this guy, then she marries him. You guys, it's a sweeter, younger Luke! Not Annie's Luke, but Heaven's father! Not biological father because that's Tony. But the father she grew up who really sucked, but you see, it's because his life was destroyed when his child bride died while giving birth to Heaven. Sigh. It all makes sense now.The only thing that doesn't make sense? How old Leigh is. She's 12-14 in the book, but either acts like she's 5 (stand up to your mama, dangit) or 16 (when she's with her friends, dating guys). I forgive you, V.C. and/or ghostwriter. This was so awesome otherwise, and good grief, so much better than Annie's story that I just feel grateful. And want to read another V.C. series. Obviously.

This certainly doesn't hold it's own with classic literature but it was almost 500 pages & good to hammer in lots of verbs & nouns. For pulp writing though I must say that V.C. Andrews was quite admirable. The story is a retelling of *Lolita* but with many twists. Our nymphette Leigh although maybe slightly curious & flattered by her stepfather's attentions, is not seduced, but raped by him, which I think makes quite a powerful & accurate statement about the nature of the Humberts & Lolitas in the world. If not an actual rape, I'm sure Andrews wished to express that behind all such twisted relations involving abuse of power, there is at the very least a kind of rape of the soul or will. Leigh tries to turn to her mother to protect her & reveals that she is going to have a baby. Her mother, a narcissistic psychopath, insists that she is a lying dirty slut. Well, at this our heroine runs away & meets a hillbilly at a bus station. She runs off with him to his mountain home to discover the joys of living with honest people who have hoedowns & smoke corncob pipes. [TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK...] ;)V.C. Andrews was a woman of little education. She was half crippled for a lot of her life & mostly a recluse. Despite that she studied from home to become a professional illustrator & wrote her many books which are noteworthy in that they leave no taboo or corner of human brutality unturned, all written in something of a southern gothic tradition, although she admitted having no aspirations towards literature, but only wanting to tell a good story...Note - I read this in the French edition, *Le Labyrinthe des Songes* - I see that Goodreads switches editions of reviews... Not impressed!!

Do You like book Web Of Dreams (1990)?

Satisfies your curiosity for what started it all.Novels that were truly written by Ms. Andrews were Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, My Sweet Audrina, Heaven, and Dark Angel. When Virginia became seriously ill while writing the Casteel series, she began to work even harder, hoping to finish as many stories as possible so that her fans could one day share them. Since her death many have wondered whether there would continue to be new V.C. Andrews novels. Beginning with the final books in the Casteel series they worked closely with a carefully selected writer to organize and complete Virginia's stories and to expand upon them. The identity of this writer was kept a secret from the general public at the request of the Andrews family for years. The ghostwriter has since been identified as thriller and horror novelist Andrew Niederman. The novels that may have been begun by Andrews and finished by Neiderman were Garden of Shadows, Fallen Hearts, Gates of Paradise, and Web of Dreams. Everything after Dawn was written by Neiderman.

Personally, I find the title 'Web of Dreams' a bit off, as it doesn't fit in with the rest of the series titles. But Leigh's story is good, and gives a LOT of explanation as to how Heaven's life turned out the way it did. Tony had told Heaven that it was Leigh's fault, that Leigh was the seductress, but this book shows that not only is Leigh a victim of Tony's unrestrained lust, she is also a victim of her father's neglect and her mother's willful ignorance. In Dark Angel and Fallen Hearts, it's hard to not feel sorry for Jillian as she falls into madness, but in this book, you cannot help but think that Jillian got what she deserved, for being so selfish to Leigh.The business with Leigh's questioned paternity was a completely unnecessary detail in this book and would have been better left out. Two other things always bothered me - that in the beginning as Annie is going through her great-grandmother's things, she finds Leigh's diary. If Leigh ran away with Luke and took the diary with her, then Jillian wouldn't have been in possession of the book (and thus she would have known of the truth), and the letter at the end reveals that Tony was aware of Heaven's existence long before she came to Farthinggale Manor, since he had a detective track Leigh down. Why did he choose to leave the baby girl up there? Yes, Tony was a slimeball for what he did, but leaving his child up in the mountains without even checking up on its welfare?It seems that these flaws are Andrew Neiderman's making, since VCA was unable to finish this book, and Neiderman had to finish it for her. He uses the snotty schoolgirl cliche in here that he has used in future books, and in this book, the school drama was really unneccessary. These flaws are what keep this book from being 5 stars, and it would have been great if Neiderman had paid more attention to VCA's detail to make sure he didn't contradict or retcon anything, but what's done is done and you'll just have to take this book as it is. At least it was better than Gates of Paradise.
—Delicious Strawberry

I first read this book as a teenager, then as my obsession with all literature grew, I managed to find another copy of it. This was the first book of this series I read, which made more sense to me than it being at the end of the series. The story of Leigh struggling with her mother's vanity is something that is quite reachable in today's world. And the fact that V.C Andrews never made a lot of reference to the time period that the stories were written in made this book particularly easy to relate to.
—Katy Blue

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