It amazes me that the VC Andrews monopoly on these bizarre books about children is still going strong even though she’s been dead for over two decades. However, I have to admit I own a Kindle and I took this book out of the library and even shlepped it to London in my Speedy, why? Because I was waiting! I turned pages like a maniac, waiting fiendishly for some kind of crazy to happen; especially Elle because I was waiting for the crazy to happen.
Any sort of crazy. Elle refused to cook for Grandma Myra, who has made her an indentured servant. Or Elle trying to perform some weirdo religious event over Grandma because she wants to get her back for all the prayers, slaps, dirty looks, days gone with out food, or just being the general family dog who was kicked around a lot. Grandpa Prescott isn’t much better, with his promises that Elle will understand why they both treated her horribly when she gets older. Grandpa Prescott is an ineffective parental figure because Myra takes her venom out on him when she’s done with Elle, or couldn’t find Elle to take it out on.
Myra and Prescott are designed after Malcolm and Olivia Foxworth, another pair of religious lunatics. However, the Flowers in the Attic series was compelling and well-written, and we’re given prequels that explain Malcolm and Olivia’s behavior (Malcolm’s diary in If There be Thorns, and Olivia’s story in Garden of Shadows.)
Then as Elle turns 15, something changes, they are going to take her out to dinner. But then there are pages and pages of Prescott trying to convince Myra that Elle should be allowed outside, drawing, using his watch; it all gets to be too much, all that bickering at one another. Then she meets Mason and Claudine. Twins who are hypersexualized and seem way less innocent than a 25 year old. They bathe in the water and the sun nude, they last entangled, nude, and Mason may start hitting on Elle, but he learned how fro by hitting on his sister first.
Between meeting the scintillating Mason and Claudine, and going on a treasure hunt for her father, the sperm donor, Elle meets her mother, Deborah. She makes the whole family uncomfortable with her new Hispanic, second, husband; her gaudy makeup and poor vocabulary. Elle realizes that her mother isn’t the mother she had fantasized about for years. Deborah leaves with a flippant, so long, see you, but not any time soon stance. Then when Deborah’s grandparents are out doing errands, Elle receives a phone call asking her to come live with mommy and her new step-daddy, which has a Nip/Tuck sexually ambiguous feel to it.
Myra stroked out and is hospitalized, and I was hoping the whole time that Elle would do what Cathy did to Olivia in Petals on the Wind. Instead, Elle decides to stay with her grandparents despite what they put her through.
The Unwelcomed Child starts out as a bit of light abuse, mostly psychological, not physical, and then becomes a book more about Elle’s sexual awakening. While I read the whole thing to see if something crazy happened, I was disappointed in the soft core porn feel to it.
I’m not a Neiderman fan and will never waste my time again on any book by him or the V. C. Andrews label. @krautgrrl says, Don’t waste your time on this book. There are far better books to read.