Dawn - V.C. Andrews, Andrew Neiderman Wow, is this story ever dramatic! As a pre-teen, the original VC Andrew's books made me ache with emotional pain but now that I'm, eh, a little older they seem rather silly. The world Andrew's creates is so damned black & white, good vs. evil, innocent or black-heart it's nearly laughable. I do miss those innocent days of old when I could read this book and fall for Philip Cutler along with Dawn instead of screaming, "He's a smarmy bastard who is going to ruin you! For god sakes Dawn he felt you up the first chance he got you alone. He doesn't love anything about you but your budding breasts. Run Dawn, run as fast as you can from the evil legacy that will haunt you, your daughter, your granddaughter and branches of the family tree no human could ever live long enough to see."

Recently, I made the mistake of reading one of the newer books written by ghostwriter Neidermann (Midnight Flight, maybe?). I've tried to put it out of my mind but the images have been branded into my memory. I found it utterly horrible and unreadable. He had nubile young girls wearing diapers and being forced to urinate in them. Male fantasy gone out of control? Out of shocking, incestuous ideas, anyone?! So, I decided to go back and reread Dawn, one of the older novels, to see just how far these books had denigrated.

Lucky for me there were very few similarities besides the fact that the protagonists are innocent, dim-witted, pretty things who constantly have butterflies buzzing around in their bellies and brains. Dawn's life is turned upside down when she discovers her parents were keeping secrets and have been on the run. Without spoiling things, these *parents* are candidates for the biggest pair of dumb asses ever in a fictional novel. Now she's forced to live with people who resent her and treat her to cruelty piled upon cruelty. To add to the angst, she's also all mixed up inside sexually about the two boys in her life. Jimmy was raised as her brother and Philip (with the groping paws) whom really *is* her brother. Ehhh, what a dilemma!

I don't know what's wrong with me but I have to admit that I was absolutely riveted to this story while listening despite all of its flaws. And there were many. These books do not stand alone and now I'm left hanging and will have to find the rest of the series on audio to see what happens to Dawn's messed up clan.