“Dawn” by V.C. Andrews is the first book in the Cutler family series. This is only the second series that I have read by Andrews, but I find myself devouring the books very quickly. One thing that I have noticed about V.C. Andrews’ books is that often times you can get the entire plot off of the back of the book. Her books are part of the reason that I have stopped reading the back of books. I like to be surprised when I am reading and that doesn’t happen if I have everything given away to me.
There is a little blurb at the very beginning of the book. “Momma once told me that she and Daddy named me Dawn because I was born at the break of day. That was the first of a thousand lies Momma and Daddy would tell me and my brother Jimmy. Of course, we wouldn’t know they were lies, not for a long time, not until the day they came to take us away.” The book dives immediately into Dawn’s life. The book opens on her and her family. We quickly learn that she has had to travel constantly from place to place for reasons unknown to her. She has an older brother, Jimmy whom she is forced to share a pull-out sofa bed with. This is especially awkward for them because they are both blossoming into adulthood. You can easily tell by both Dawn and Jimmy’s reactions when they accidentally touch how uncomfortable they both are with the situation.
Then they find out that things are about to get even more crowded. Her mother comes home one day very upset and Jimmy and Dawn find out they are going to have a new sister. Life becomes even more complicated for them and then their dad lands a job at a fancy private school. For once the family isn’t packing up in the middle of the night and Dawn thinks that maybe this new school will be a nice change. So Dawn and Jimmy are pulled out of public school and sent to this new one. This is the first domino that sets off a series of events that leads to Dawn’s life changing dramatically. She discovers many skeletons that were in her family’s closet.
Dawn is a very likable character. I see a lot of similarities between Dawn and Heaven, who was the main character in the first series that I read by V.C. Andrews. They both have had many hardships to endure, but they both manage to take advantage of their hardships to build their character and become stronger people. They both came from families with a big secret, one so big that it changed their lives when they found out.
There are a number of other characters in “Dawn” who were significant. Some of these characters I liked very much, like Jimmy and some I didn’t like at all such as Clara-Sue, Grandmother Cutler, and pretty much everyone that Dawn meets in the second half of the book. V.C. Andrews is very good at forming characters to be either very likable or completely detestable.
Would I recommend this book? Meh, maybe. I found it to be rather entertaining although it would probably be something that would appeal to female readers more. I was a little disappointed seeing so many similarities between the Cutler series and the Casteel series. Hopefully this is a fluke and the rest of the series will be more original. I would hate to think that I got all the books that she has written just to find out that each series is just like the other.