Saturday, January 31, 2015

Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanger-V.C Andrews

Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanger
V.C Andrews
Pocket Books, Jan 27 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9781476790626

In Charlottesville, construction company owner Burt Masterwood’s teenage daughter Kristin accompanied him to his latest job; inspecting twice burned down Foxworth Hall.  A fourth cousin on her late mother’s side to the lunatic Dollanger family who lived in the mansion, Kristin found the diary of oldest child Christopher.  She read his account of being locked away in the attic for years with his three younger siblings until one died and the survivors eventually escaped (see Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth).

Obsessed with the then teenage diarist, Kristin wonders if her school peers are right that she inherited the family insanity taint; especially with as her fixated fascination growing with every page.  However, her Dollanger passion seems harmless compared to her boyfriend Kane Hill’s preoccupation with the tragic family.  He wants to reenact the Dollanger incarceration by pretending to be Chris to Kristin’s Cathy and have sex with her while role-playing.

The second Christopher’s Diary entry continues the retelling of the Dollanger family drama but from the viewpoint of Christopher instead of Cathy.  The intense psychological thriller contains a present day lead couple as mentally disturbing as Grandma Dearest.  However, a radical departure from Cathy’s journals comes across as a shocking forced attempt at freshness that instead takes fans out of the storyline.  Those able to quickly embrace the change will enjoy the journal; while purists will suffer strokes.

Harriet Klausner

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