SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVE YET TO READ THE EARLIER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES (and you are planning on it)
“Gates of Paradise” by V.C. Andrews is the fourth book in the Casteel family series and it starts in tragedy. Logan and Heaven at the conclusion of the last book had a daughter, Annie. This book begins with Annie just as she turns eighteen. Instead of being told from Heaven’s perspective, as the previous books were this book is narrated by Annie.
After celebrating her eighteenth birthday Annie and her parents go to attend “Aunt Fanny’s” birthday. Fanny behaves even worse than usual, infuriating Heaven by sticking her tongue down Logan’s throat. Logan has a little too much to drink and Heaven is yelling at him on the car ride home. They are driving through a terrible storm and Logan loses control of the car. Annie wakes up in a hospital room to learn that she no longer can walk and she has been orphaned. Tony Tatterton swoops to the rescue to take Annie back to Farthy, the very place her mother fled. Heaven never had a chance to tell Annie why she cut off all ties from Tony and so Annie is completely unaware of Tony’s perverted past.
Annie is at the mercy of this stranger who promises to provide her with the best medical care money can buy. He hires a horrible nurse who is cruel to Annie whenever his back is turned. She has no access to a phone or anything that could link her to the outside world. Reading this book I became enraged on Annie’s behalf. Especially because as the audience, I knew of her mother’s past with Tony but she was clueless about it. Annie proves herself to be built of the same tough material as her mother was and works hard at getting better. There is hope that she will walk again, but every time she makes progress something stands in her way.
I am definitely a fan of V.C. Andrews and I like that she was able to make such a smooth transition to a different character telling the story. Annie is a very lovable character and you find yourself cheering for her. I don’t want to give away too much, but I would very much so recommend this series. There is one book left and I’m planning on starting that right away.