Posted by: Megan | July 20, 2009

The truth will set you…wait, not really.

On a pretty sunny day they hold Vera’s funeral and Audrina finds it strange that she’s attending this particular funeral when she missed Elly’s and Billie’s. She hopes that one day she’ll be able to forgive Vera and only think about the good times. Wait…what? Which good times? When she gave you the empty box from the Valentine’s candy that was really meant for you? When she encouraged you to wear a pretty dress on your birthday so that it would be more poignant when you were gang-raped? When she killed her mother and your mother-in-law and blamed it on your little sister?

As soon as they get home from the funeral, Damian thinks that they should all play ball in the yard, since that will cheer them up. Wait…what? I say again. Huh? Shut it Damian. As Sylvia comes inside, there’s a new pep in her step and roses in her cheeks. Girl really hated Vera. Audrina hasn’t spoken to Arden since Vera died three days before and she hurries upstairs before he can try to give her puppy-dog eyes again. As Audrina is sitting in her bedroom trying to map her life out, Damian comes to the door and begs her not to leave him. After all, she’s promised her whole life that she’d stay with him forever. Gross. Audrina’s had it up to here with that shit, and she tells Damian that she’s leaving. There’s something in their house that keeps people from being happy (HINT: It’s two things, and one starts with a “D” and the other with an “Ar”), and she’s getting out. He guilts her about Sylvia and how Audrina is the only one who can take care of her and how can she just leave her? Audrina’s planning on taking Sylvia with her, but she doesn’t tell Damian.

Damian’s all “I guess those boys really did kill all that was special and wonderful about you, because my Audrina would have never abandoned her needy little sister. Way to lose your gift.”, and my migraine gets worse and my urge to kill rises, but Audrina’s not hearing that and tells Damian that there never was any gift, he’s full of it, and she pities the girl she used to be who believed in Damian so entirely. YES. YES. YES. Damian gives her the sad eyes and leaves.

At breakfast later on (I don’t know if this is the next day or if the funeral was at 5am or what), Damian’s sulking and quiet, but speaks up to theorize that Vera must have dressed Elly in that traveling suit and packed her suitcases (duh) and he goes on and on about how Elly would never have left him, not really, but Audrina knows that he’s just trying to mess with her mind some more and she ignores him. Sylvia starts playing with her prisms at the table, and Audrina goes upstairs to escape the colors and to pack. It’s 10:10, and she plans to leave by noon with Sylvia. As she’s packing, Arden shows up. He tries to kiss her and she avoids it, and then he plays this on the world’s smallest violin:

“I love you…I’ve always loved you. Terrible things, worse things happen to many people and still they stay together. They find happiness again. Help yourself, Audrina. Be brave. Help me. Help Sylvia.” THEN SHE SETS HIM ON FIRE. Okay, not really. But she does tell him to shove it, and that he’s no better than Damian and they’re both supremely messed up. Arden’s all “But you said you looooved me, you suck, you don’t know how to love, why won’t you see if we can make it work? I hate you. No I don’t! I’m sorry I said that. I loooooove you, please don’t leave me, you’re mean!” Audrina tells him to be grateful that he’ll get to escape the house before he turned into Damian, and Arden says that “I could say right now that Damian did try to help you, but I guess it’s too late to say that.” Audrina, channeling me, throws a paperweight at his head. It misses, damn it, but he leaves.

The door opens a moment later, and Sylvia comes in. Audrina tells her that they’re leaving, she’s packed their bags and they’re going to go somewhere to be normal and happy. Sylvia is having none of it, shaking her head and holding up her hands, and going “Noooooo, hoooooome” and the like.  Audrina tries to convince her again, but Sylvia throws a fit, so Audrina decides that, you know what? If Sylvia’s going to be that way after everything that Audrina has done for her, she can stay there at Whitefern with Damian, because maybe they deserve each other.

An hour later, Audrina is packed and ready to go. Damian’s following her around the foyer, crying, and Audrina tells him that Sylvia’s going to need him more than ever once she’s gone. Damian cries a little more, telling Audrina that he’s always just wanted one woman to see him as “fine and noble” and he always thought it’d be her, and if she’ll just stay he’ll give her everything that he has. Audrina tells him that he has Sylvia. He made Vera what she was, he made Audrina what she is, and he made Sylvia–she cuts off there, because she sees Sylvia in the doorway of the Roman Revival Salon, staring at them. Damian gets freaked out, as he and Audrina both realize that if there ever was a “gift” to be caught in the rocking chair, Sylvia has it now. Plus, she’s really, really unstable.

Audrina is taking Damian’s Mercedes, she hopes that’s cool. Damian doesn’t care about cars or anything if she leaves, wah wah wah. Sylvia comes to stand in the doorway, and Audrina can see Elly and Lucky in her. Audrina’s head starts to hurt, like it always does in that house. She knows that Sylvia will destroy any woman who comes into Damian’s life once Audrina leaves. She also thinks that only God knows who hated Damian more–Vera or Sylvia. Audrina says goodbye to her little sister, telling her that if she ever wants out of Whitefern, Audrina will come for her. Damian is sitting in the hall, depressed, and Arden comes downstairs to watch.

Audrina says goodbye to Sylvia again, and Sylvia turns and stares at Damian. Audrina suspects that Damian’s not going to like life in a house ruled by Sylvia and her prism powers. Maybe she’ll just make him buy fancy chandeliers? Arden helps Audrina load the car, and she gives him a hilarious apology for not banging him as much as he would have liked, even though she did love him in her own way. He doesn’t think that she’ll ever leave, and I’m wishing she would just get in the damn car already. She does! She gets in the car and notices that the storm has ended and the world is fresh and clean and inviting. She’s finally getting away from Whitefern, from the shadows and the stained glass and the cupola!

And then something makes her turn her head around and look back at the house. Up in a second floor window there’s a face looking down at her, one that looks so much like her own that it makes her gasp. Sylvia moves back and forth in the window, her lips moving with what Audrina assumes is the playroom song. Audrina looks away and tries to start the car, but her hand is shaking so much that she can’t turn the key. No! Nooooo, Audrina, start the damn car! Audrina works her telepathy, begging Sylvia to let her go. She’s already given her half of her life! She hears the windchimes in her head again. Audrina has a premonition then: If she leaves, something very bad is going to happen to Damian, and after it does, Sylvia will be locked away and will never see the sun again.

Audrina gets out of the car and embraces Arden. I vomit. They go back up to the house, where Damian  and Sylvia are  waiting, all overjoyed. Audrina decides that she is the First & Best Audrina and has put her loyalty for her family first. Besides, where would she run? She feels a strange, accepting peace (that’s called Stockholm Syndrome) as they go back into the house. She and Arden will try again, and if they fail (again), they’ll try a third time, then a fourth…

And that’s the end! Seriously! I am not messing with you. That’s how the damn  book ends. Jesus.

Okay. To the future! I had planned to go chronologically through the series and do the Dollangangers next, but the death of Vera has left a redheaded-bitch shaped hole in my heart, so in order to heal more gradually, the first series is going to be the Landry Series, starting with Ruby. What you have to look forward to: Voodoo! Superfluous French! Racism! Classism! Sailing terms! Redheaded bitchery! Twins!

See you then!

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Responses

  1. What? WHAT? I do NOT remember that ending! Oh, Audrina, NO!

    Worst. Ending. Ever.

  2. Ugh I obviously read that book a long time ago too because I don’t remember it ending like that either. Stupid Audrina! I actually started to like her (in your recap) when she FINALLY stood up to Damian and Arden. The only proper ending was for her to leave, to run far far away from Whitefern and get lots and lots of therapy. Boo…

    Oh well at least there’s Gisselle to look forward to and loads of stereotypical Cajun people =D

  3. Imagine if Audrina and Arden have a daughter… between her ineffectual, reclusive mother, her skulking jerk of a father, her creepy aunt and the blatant emotional abuse of her grandfather (and you just know Damien would transfer his creepy obsession at the drop of a hat!), that poor girl would keep a therapist in the clover for the rest of their life.

  4. I just pray to all literary gods that Audrina and Arden never have children. Talk about a house of horrors.

    And it is the worst ending ever penned. At least for an Andrews novel. Terrible!

  5. It’s a weird ending, and I never thought Vera killed anyone. I thought it was all Sylvia. So now I’m confused…

    • See, I am too, a little. I’ve always thought that it was Vera, and that Sylvia was just a convenient wacko, but why would Vera keep yelling at Sylvia about having killed Elly and Billie?

  6. I could have sworn that Sylvia was actually Audrina’s daughter … or something crazy like that. But I read this a long long time ago and there are too many crazy mother/daughter twists and turns in the V.C. books to keep them all straight!

    –I’m looking forward to the Ruby recaps!

  7. I just found your blog today and love it! I am including My Sweet Audrina (briefly) in my dissertation, and it was great to read your thoughts. I can’t wait to hear your take on the next series.

    Question: Damian mentions at the end of the book that it took 17 months for Audrina to start believing that it was Audrina (1) that was raped. If A was raped on her 9th birthday, that puts her at about 10 and a half when she has completely crossed over to crazy. So is that where the book begins? Is she 10 and a half when she thinks she is seven? Or does the book start when she is nine?

    (I was looking for a timeline when I found your blog–I’m still not sure when some of the early events take place.)

    • I think she’s 10 1/2, but thinks that she’s seven. Damian tells her that he “let her keep” certain memories, such as the day she met Arden, but when we see her meeting him, she clearly thinks that she had an older sister, so that’s obviously not her “kept” memory. How she can look in the mirror and believe that she’s seven…I guess that’s the price of crazy.

      What is your dissertation about?

  8. I’m looking at the way time works in young adult literature. This chapter is all about the way adults and adolescents use time as a way to exert power. My Sweet Audrina is pretty much the best, most extreme, example of aduts using time manipulation to control a teenager.

  9. Well, well, if there was a sequel, how should it begin…

    There is our one and only Audrina, aged somewhat30 devoted to take care of Damian who had and accident soon after Vera’s death (surprise, surprise, he tripped and fell..).
    So now he’s in a wheelchair and Audrina dresses him, baths him, shaves him, feeds him and plays piano to entertain him. When Papa goes to sleep, she’ll sing him a lullaby, the good old In the Playroom-song
    Naturally, that makes her quite exhausted and of course, lead into marital crisis, for Arden needs his daily sex, naturally..

    But then in one stormy, rainy day, Sylvia, 21 runs away, takes the famous path throug the woods and there is our Spencer Longtree again with his group, surprised to see another Whitefern girl, and decices to take what he took from the elder sister..now, it doesn’t happen, all we hear are cries and roars, but it is Sylvia who gets out of the woods. Her hair is messy and dress stained but she is unharmed and – completely sane and focused, believe it or not.

    So, there is a pretty young Sylvia, exhausted Audrina, and horny Arden…guess, what happens next…

    Looking forward to read tha Laundry recaps, this series is published in Finnish, too. So are the Dollangangers (exept prequel) Casteels (exept prequel AND Dark Angel, how stupid; well i read it in English, then) and Cutlers, the whole series. And two first books of Melody (was she a Logan or what..)

    • This sounds like an awesome sequel idea. Arden continuing his ass-iness and poor Sylvia :(, good idea for Damien.

  10. I just think I have to thank you for writing this. I read this book 25 years ago, so help me, when i was like 10 at the oldest, and i did not understand most of it, but it all still stayed in my head messing with me all this time. i read all the dollenganger ones and the first few casteel and, whichever family dawn was? And so help me, there was one where there was incest in a tree?

  11. Most frustrating ending in the world. And I wish someone would make a family tree for all the books! Spoiler on Corrine and Christophor from FITA- intense plot twist that completly mind effed me over.

  12. I literally laughed out loud so many times while reading these recaps, but “that’s called Stockholm Syndrome” was one of my favorites

    • Thank you!!

  13. I am loving this blog! I’m doing a V.C. Andrews re-read 🙂 I’m at Midnight Whispers in the Cutler series right now, but once I get to Ruby (which I don’t think I ever read before but I did read All that Glitters and was confused since it was out of context,,, that’s the one where she’s at the boarding school and they run out her friend for being part African-American, right?) I shall be reading it right along with your recaps 🙂 I also read your Dollanganger recaps and am loving them too! 😀

    • Thank you so much for reading! Oh and Pearl in the Mist is the Landry book about boarding school 😉

      • Ah thank you, All That Glitters did seem too late in the series for boarding school shenanigans but I couldn’t remember! I’m about to start Ruby in the next couple days, I have about 200 pages left in Darkest Hour (which was the first one I read… I still kind of want to name one of my future kids Eugenia, not gonna lie :P)… And then on to the Logans I believe, which I wasn’t as big a fan of… and then the Hudsons which I only read the first one of but it was crazy O_O (and has a movie with Giancarlo Esposito in it apparently… so I will have to see this :D) Sorry for the ramblings… Can’t wait to start Ruby so I can read the recaps right along with it! ❤


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