Title: Garden of Shadows.
Author: V.C. Andrews.
Genre: Fiction, prequel, horror, family saga, romance, mystery.
Publication Date: 1986.
Summary: Long before terror flowered in the attic, thin, spinsterish Olivia came to Virginia as Malcolm Foxworth's bride. At last, with her tall handsome husband, she would find the joy she had waited for, longed for. But in the gloomy mansion filled with hidden rooms and festering desires, a stain of jealous obsession begins to spread - an evil that will threaten her children, two lovely boys and one very special, beautiful girl. For within one innocent child, a shocking secret lives, a secret that will taint the proud Foxworth name, and haunt all their lives forever.
My rating: 8/10.
♥ Cruelty comes in many forms - ignorance is one of them.
♥ But it was not to be. It seemed God was deaf to my hopes and prayers for love. I sighed. As I turned back to my book, I realized all I could know of love and life would be from books.
♥ It was almost as if this house had a life of its own, as if it could make judgements about its inhabitants while they slept and cause those it did not like to suffer.
Also, I had learned something from my father about the places people lived. Their homes always reflected their personalities.
♥ I would never be one of those thrilling flowers for Malcolm. No, I would be like a hardy lily that survived the frost, the tallest flower in the garden, sturdy, proud, and defiant of even the coldest winter wind.
♥ I went into my own bed, alone, wondering how I would compete with such a beautiful and innocent creature. Every time she spoke it would emphasize my silence; every time she laughed, it would emphasize my sadness; and every time Malcolm looked at her, it would remind me of all the times he avoided looking at me. Her smallness made my size greater.
I hated her, or at least I wanted to hate her.
And yet, how difficult it was to harden my heart against her simply because she had everything I wanted for myself.
♥ “Life makes you strong. If you don’t let it make you strong, it will kill you.”
♥ “But Olivia, I will feel… imprisoned.”
“Yes,” I said. “I know. But we are all imprisoned in one way or another, Alicia. Ironically, your beauty has imprisoned you.”
♥ I would be in firm control. It was little enough compensation for the things I didn’t have, things I had always dreamt of having; but I was not lying to Alicia when I told her we were all imprisoned in one way or another. What I had decided after Alicia had told me about all that had happened between her and Malcolm was that I would accept my imprisonment, and in accepting it, I would become the master of my own prison house.
♥ If he was worried, he didn’t show it. He went back to his reading, finished his breakfast as quickly as usual, and went off to work, leaving me to continue as caretaker of the madness his own madness had created.
♥ Then I cried; then my heart tore; then I found the hidden well of tears just under my parched soul.
♥ Memories and time took their toll on me as well. Once again my life was painted gray, as it had been before I came to Foxworth Hall, as I had feared it always would be. But I no longer feared gray, I had become one with it. It was the only color I wore, it was the color of my hair, the color of my eyes, the color of my hopes, the color of my life.
This was who I was; this was who I had become. Prayer and work had hardened me until I was a statue of myself. But I was convinced that this was what God wanted; this was what God had designed.