“Raven” by V.C. Andrews is the fourth and final book in the Orphan Miniseries. What set this book apart from the other three was that Raven is not actually an orphan. We learn early on that her mother is a drug addict and barely pays attention to her daughter. When she gets picked up and thrown in jail, Raven is sent to live with her Aunt Clara and Uncle Reuben. That is when the real nightmare starts for her.
Raven quickly learns that the home she has been brought to is an unhappy one, and that her Uncle Reuben is a tyrannical monster. “I was beginning to think I would rather settle for the occasional good days with Mama than the constant life of tension and fear that existed in this home, but I didn’t even have the choice anymore. Maybe I truly was a mistake.” (Raven, pg 89). In true V.C. Andrews fashion, there is plenty of horror and uncomfortable sexual situations throughout the novel. The way that sex is portrayed in this novel felt really forced. Like the book would have been good enough without the uncomfortable sexual situations. But that does seem to be a constant in Andrews’s work.
Would I recommend this book? Not really, the series was somewhat enjoyable, but it isn’t something I would push on other people. I thought that since this was a series that there might be more of a connection at the end between the four characters in the four books, Butterfly, Crystal, Brooke, and Raven. There was just a paragraph or two at the end of each book where the girls met; I expected more of a conclusion. Overall, I finished the book and the series with a feeling of eh. Not terrible, but not great, and certainly not something that I would recommend.