Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[Review] - Out of the Rain by V.C. Andrews

The newest ghostwritten V.C. Andrews novel, Out of the Rain, was published last month by Gallery Books. It's the sequel to "The Umbrella Lady" (here's the link to my review if anyone wants to read it) written by Andrew Neiderman - otherwise known as the ghostwriter. After V.C. Andrews died in 1986, her family and publisher hired Andrew Neiderman (The Devil's Advocate) to write the Flowers in the Attic prequel Garden of Shadows, based on Ms. Andrews' notes, and finish the Casteel series. Since then, Mr. Neiderman has penned each new V.C. Andrews title, who just celebrated his 81st birthday in October.

The Umbrella Lady centered on eight-year-old Saffron Faith Anders. Her father left her at the train station and never returned. An older woman carrying an umbrella came to the rescue and brought the girl home with her. The woman claimed it would only be temporary until Saffron's father returned. Then weeks turned into years. 

After the woman died, a thirteen-year-old Saffron reunited with her father. Well, there's a catch - nobody can know he's her father. Yep, daddy dearest has a few skeletons in the closet. If Saffron lives in his household, she must pose as his niece and never tell a soul the truth, including her newfound half-sister.

Final Thoughts

V.C. Andrews was an incredible Gothic author. In the beginning, Andrew Neiderman tried his best to mimic Ms. Andrews's writing style and succeeded in continuing the Casteel series. Unfortunately, the quality of his novels has slowly deteriorated over the last few years. Long gone are grand family Gothic epics. Instead, we get unnecessary prequels and sequels with loads of continuity errors and the occasional boring standalone novel. 2021 began with the release of The Umbrella Lady. I gave it a 3 out of 5. Neiderman's writing had improved, but I still had issues with the dialogue and lack of descriptions. The story itself was intriguing, and at the time, I thought it was a decent start to a new series. Well, that is until I read the sequel Out of the Rain.

Where should I begin? Hmm. The dilemmas of writing a review can be mindboggling at times. LOL. 

Let's start with the narration. The narration is in the point-of-view of a sheltered thirteen-year-old girl, and she sounds nothing like her age. Not for one second did I believe a thirteen-year-old was telling the story. If anything, the narration sounds more like an older person. Oh, wait a minute. I forgot for a second that the author is an eighty-one-year-old man, so I guess that does make sense. (FYI - I have nothing against elderly authors. I'm just being sarcastic.)

There is absolutely no plot. There's an intriguing setup with Saffron having to pretend she's her father's niece, so his wife and daughter (Yep, he has another kid.) won't know he was previously married. (What a great dad!) Nothing else of any importance happens. There's just the same ole same ole filler that Neiderman has used countless times. The outcast protagonist goes to school and tries to live a normal life until the family's dark secret comes out of the closet. Yeah, I've already heard this story. 

Overall, Out of the Rain is a lackluster sequel. Saffron, the protagonist, is likable, but her thoughts and dialogue don't match her age. What little plot there is, is cliched as it can get. There's a light ending twist, but all it's there for is to set up a possible third entry. It's not the worst out of the recent ghostwritten books, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

1 comment:

  1. will there be a follow up to out of the rain?


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