Yes, Heaven Leigh Casteel (which we are told to accept as a name someone would inflict on a child) is the most desired, yet the most hated. All the men leer at her, and all the women sneer at her. There is barely anything in between. But what do you expect? This is the V.C. Andrews formula.
Last time I wrote, I told you all about that formula: poor, special, tragic little darlings — haunted by secrets, taunted by happiness that is just out of reach! Everybody wants them! Heaven was the first of them. The last heroine Virginia Andrews wrote before her death and, sadly, the only one ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman looked at when carrying on her work.
It’s absolute schlock, but my preteen history with Andrews renders me unable to stay away from it. It’s been some time since I’ve read the book, which I thought would make the viewing experience more riveting, but I’m not sure riveting is the world I’d use for this movie. If you’re reading this, you’ve either already seen it and want to share the experience with someone else or you want me to save you the trouble. Either way, I’m here for you.
We first meet Heaven and her sister, Fanny, at high school where we learn that Fanny is boy crazy and kind of a bitch…
Heaven: I’m just waiting for a guy who cares about me
Fanny: Not even your own daddy cares about you, in case you didn’t notice.
Don’t worry. Fanny will be severely punished later. All women that exist in V.C. Andrews novels are punished, including the heroines.
Heaven’s family are “backwoods, no account, hillbillies” and everyone in town mocks them. Her mother is overworked and heavily pregnant, her brother always has a goofy smile on his face for no reason, the little twins are grubby, and then there’s Grannie, the only one who gives Heaven any affection. All of them have accents except Heaven. Have you guessed she’s special yet? Have you? Don’t worry…