Jul 18, 07
Read in January, 1984
The only Virginia Andrews book that didn't spawn a bloated series of sequels. I read this one when I was nine, shortly after her first book - Flowers In The Attic. I'm not sure why she never wrote a followup to this - it's not like the themes were any different to those in any of her other books - incest, secrets, false identity, tragic accidents and dead babies. I think My Sweet Audrina is the best of Andrews' vast (although of course these days none of it is written by her. I believe the first three books of the Heaven series are the last she wrote before she died. Every other book under her name since then -the early 90s- has been written by a team of ghostwriters employed by the Andrews estate) oeuvre simply because it stands alone. It seems more mysterious, somehow. The other books, that are prequels and sequels and presequels and preprequels of themselves expose so much information about the families they're supposed to be about (not to mention that the same thing happens every single time. The eighth time someone discovers that their boyfriend is their brother, you begin to catch on that perhaps old VC had a few hangups, or maybe just very few ideas) that you get burnt out by Andrews' old thematic chestnuts describing super-rich families with incestuous secrets, monstrous grandmothers and maternal death in childbirth, not using too many big words, of course. My Sweet Audrina is terrible, mind you. Don't be deceived by my romantic view of it as a Book Of My Youth. It's just the best of an appalling bunch.