Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: The Unwelcomed Child

The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrews

Publication Date: 01/21/2014
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Imprint: Pocket Books
Genre: Psychological Horror
Pages: 400
ISBN-10: 1451650892
ISBN-13: 978-1451650891

(Received for an honest review from Pocket Books)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

V.C. Andrews on the WEB: website, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from, The Unwelcomed Child, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


My mother had looked into the face of evil so many times she knew what it was. It was me. I was born without a soul. . . .

Elle Edwards grew up believing that because of her mother’s sinful ways she was born without a soul; that’s why she was abandoned and left in the care of Grandmother Myra and Grandfather Prescott, who try to ensure her evil will not infect them—by raising her in a virtual prison. Because her days are occupied with homeschooling, strict religious studies, and vigorous housekeeping in their upstate New York home, Elle knows practically nothing of the outside world, even as she emerges as a young woman with impressive artistic talent. But when she makes a secret, forbidden connection to vacationers at the nearby lake—a handsome boy and his precocious twin sister—Elle’s world will shatter. Will discovering the truths about her past send her future plummeting to hell?


Author V.C. Andrews died in 1986 with only seven novels to her credit. Since her death several manuscripts have been uncovered and finished giving this author more notoriety in death than she experienced in life. The latest book from V.C. Andrews, The Unwelcomed Child uses Andrews' tried and true pattern of children with parental issues as a theme. Readers will find this psychological horror story hard to put down. With everything from young love to suppression and religious domination, this book packs a punch as most of Andrews' work does. An intriguing new addition to the V.C. Andrews collection.

What I liked:

I was a fan and read V.C. Andrew's book, Flowers in the Attic when I was a young girl. It was the kind of book that gave you an eerie feeling but you still couldn't seem to put it down. The Unwelcomed Child is much like that in the sense that it will definitely give readers the heebie-geebies. The horror element in this book is just in thinking that this could really happen. The conditions that this child lived in were hardly normal. With super religious grandparents who believed Elle was essentially the spawn of Satan there is ring of truth in to it that is disconcerting as you read it. Psychological horror at it's best!

Andrew's had a way with writing about the human condition that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I often wonder if she had some traumatic experiences in her own childhood that made her write the way she did. She had some kin of affinity with these characters that was unexplained. Elle is such an interesting protagonist. She is a young girl that has basically been taught that she is evil, yet she is becoming a young girl experiencing love for the first time and wondering what makes her so bad. 

Andrew's keeps you wondering through most of the book which direction she will take Elle. Will she prove that Elle truly was the daughter of Satan or will she show that she was just a young girl who was falsely accused even before her birth. I loved the fact that Andrews continued to write stories about children in circumstances beyond their control. This was a real niche for her and it worked again with this book.

I have to wonder though if perhaps this manuscript was a pre-cursor to Flowers in the Attic or in fact written after it's success. I find it interesting that she stayed with the theme she was famous for and didn't branch out at all. I think it amazing how someone else could have taken her work and re-worked it and changed it and still retained the essence of her writing. 

What I didn't like:

There is of course some repetition in this book, because it bears some resemblance to the Flowers in the Attic books. But really the only thing that is eerily similar is the fact that Andrews was writing about children with parental issues. In this case Elle's grandparents are keeping her conditioned against letting her evil get out. I loved this book in spite of the fact that there are similarities. It was still very good.

Bottom Line:

If you've read any of this writer's other work, you certainly won't want to miss this one. It's an excellent psychological horror novel. It is true to V.C. Andrews writing style and voice and has enough horror in it to make you not want to read it after dark. Fantastic new book!

The Unwelcomed Child is available tomorrow at your favorite bookseller. Pre-Order is available NOW. 

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of the spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began the renowned Dollanganger family saga, which includes Petals on the WindIf There Be ThornsSeeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than sixty novels in nearly twenty bestselling series. V.C. Andrews’s novels have sold more than 106 million copies and have been translated into twenty-two foreign languages.