“Brooke” is the third book in the Orphan miniseries by V.C. Andrews. I enjoyed this one more than the first two books, Butterfly and Crystal. I think that has largely to do with Brooke herself as a character.
Brooke is tough as nails – and she doesn’t lose that. When Brooke is brought into Pamela and Peter’s home she is grateful, but she spends time reflecting about how unnecessary everything is that they have, and how their things and their ways don’t really fit her. Although she is dropped into the lap of luxury, Brooke doesn’t let the riches around her go to her head. The challenge she faces is trying to follow her own interests, while at the same time having her ultimate wish fulfilled. “But what choice did I have? A foster child who was soon to be legally adopted was like someone without any rights or even feelings. If I wanted parents and a home and a name, I had to be obedient. Pamela talked about my auditioning for the pageant, but what I was really doing was auditioning to be her daughter.” (Brooke, pg 121)
Pamela wanted Brooke because of her looks, because she wanted a beautiful daughter without the trouble of rearing one. Instead of trying to get to know Brooke as a person, Pamela ignores her desires and accomplishments and just tries to fit her into the mold of a perfect pageant daughter, which of course does not work out. “People who lie to themselves have a hard time looking at other people directly. They are afraid that their eyes will reveal the self-deceptions.” (Brooke, pg 160). I really liked this quote. It is a powerful observation, and that is part of what I liked about Brooke as a character. She is strong willed.
Would I recommend this book? Probably, it was enjoyable enough. I think the nice thing about the miniseries is that these are novellas and it isn’t a huge time investment to read. There are deeper issues that Andrews tries to tackle in these books, but it isn’t quite as prominent and there wasn’t any incest either, so that’s a plus. I already have pulled the fourth book from its spot on my shelf and plan to start it in the very near future.