I will begin this review by stating that I have a soft spot for Virginia Andrews and her stories. They are by no means incredible pieces of literature but for long commutes on trains or late night bedtime reading they are great. As a whole I prefer slightly more thought-provoking reads but sometimes you just want to kill some time, curl up with a trashy novel, and shut out the world outside. This is when I grab one of Virginia Andrews’ books and settle in for the night.
Heaven is a young girl growing up in the Willies in West Virginia with her four brothers and sisters, her stepmother, father and grandparents. They are the poorest of the poor but somehow Heaven and her brother Tom are always able to make the best of it. Heaven’s biological mother, Leigh, died in childbirth and because of that her father is unable to love her, but her siblings are enough for her to get by.
At fourteen, Heaven’s stepmother leaves and her completely broke father sells each of his children to new adoptive parents. Unfortunately for Heaven, the woman (Kitty) who adopts her is at best bi-polar and at worst a psychopath. The only thing that keeps Heaven going is the thought of finding her siblings and taking them to Boston to find her mother’s family. Eventually she does head out to Boston making way for the next three books in the series.
This is without a doubt a long tale of woe with no happy ending in sight. It is not fabulous writing, but for a trashy soap-opera type of read it serves its purpose well. It is a good read, gritty and full of twists and turns that leave you rooting for Heaven. She is a likeable main character and narrator (unlike some I have read, Twilight I’m looking at you) which makes it an easy and fast read.