Fallen Hearts is Written Like a Delightfully Awful Soap Opera | Review: Fallen Hearts by V.C. Andrews

6:00 AM

Written in part by V.C. Andrews, before her death, and completed by the V.C. Andrews ghost-writer, Andrew Neiderman, Fallen Hearts proves to be a solid third installment to the messy Casteel series.

Fallen Hearts 
by V.C. Andrews
and Andrew Neiderman 

Now a major Lifetime movie event—the classic story of the Casteel family saga continues with this third installment. Proud and beautiful, Heaven came back to the hills—to rise at last above her family’s shame.

As Logan’s bride, Heaven would savor now the love she had sought for so long. And free from her father’s clutches, she would live again in her backwoods town, a respected teacher and cherished wife. But after a wedding trip to Boston’s Farthinggale Manor and a lavish, elegant party, Heaven and Logan are persuaded to stay…lured by Tony Tatterton’s guile to live amidst the Tatterton wealth and privilege. 

Then the ghosts of Heaven’s past rise up once more, writhing around her fragile happiness…threatening her precious love with scandal and jealousy, sinister passions, and dangerous dreams.

Fallen Hearts by V.C. Andrews

"You are an idealist of the worst kind - the romantic idealist. Born to destroy and self destruct."

Oh, Fallen Hearts. How darkly indulgent you were. Corny, soap opera dramatics at its finest with the press of some classic V.C. Andrews plot-twists. There's so much to be said about this tiny novel. Boy, it was a doozy. This is truly some peak-V.C. Andrews trash and honestly I was kind of here for it. My favourite of the Casteel series, still, remains Dark Angel, but Fallen Hearts was pretty intense and is a close runner-up.

First thing's first: Fanny and Tony are still the worst characters in this series. It was destiny. Even if as you consider that literally all the characters in this family saga (except Tom, who is an angel and who deserved better) are awful, they are the Absolute Worst. They've earned the title as shittiest sister and father/grandfather of the lot. 

Granted, they couldn't possibly compare to the horrendous character development that was Vera in My Sweet Audrina or Corinne in Flowers in the Attic. Well, Fanny can't. Tony can. The point is: they are AWFUL. Awful, awful, awful.

Fallen Hearts proves this in multiple ways, but we'll get to that later.

Let's circle to the writing, first. 

I want to talk about the writing and how it feels in comparison to the other books completed by V.C. Andrews before her death, before anything else. Because the shift is something to be noted, even if it doesn't necessarily disrupt the story at hand. Fallen Hearts, of course, was written in part by the beloved author herself and in part by the ghost writer who writes under the name even now: Andrew Neiderman.  

While the writing change isn't as obvious I thought it might be, it's definitely apparent which parts were penned by Andrews and which were penned by Neiderman. Fans, at least, will notice it fairly quickly. Look at the original set of V.C. Andrews stories and look at the modern ones--you'll soon be able to distinguish who's prose is who's. 

Details start to blur and inconsistencies appear, but it's nothing to write home about; Fallen Hearts still feels like your typical V.C. Andrews novel at its core. Sometimes, I found myself wondering if V.C. Andrews was headed in a different direction entirely in the story. Other times, I felt as if the collaboration between Andrews and Neiderman was brilliantly teamed and they were of the same mind when it came to endgames for this saga.

Fallen Hearts could have fallen into a trap of its own making with all the twists and turns; from our beloved Heaven's never-ending hypocrisy, to the truth about Troy, to Tony's infatuation with young girls, to Fanny's desire to mess everything up for Heaven out of pure and hellacious jealousy that leads them straight to court and pregnant at the same time, to affairs and back again. Yet it never stumbles, even when it feels like it should

This, I think, is primarily because Fallen Hearts doesn't feel serious. Despite constantly tackling serious and triggering topics with a strangely serene sort of ease, its soapy goodness combines with the heavy in a way that makes it purely entertaining.

No, really. For every cringe and triggering moment, there's a face palm. For every romance, there's a foil and a death or two. Fallen Hearts takes readers in a circle of V.C. Andrews' signature Gothic prose. It is, like the other books in the series, addictive and difficult to stomach or put down. 

While I won't ever rush to call these books 'good', they definitely serve their purpose well--thrilling, chilling and a whole lot of disturbing. 

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