After the untimely death of her parent’s, Christie Longchamp is thrust into a world she does not recognize. Truthfully, I shed more tears over Dawn and Jimmy’s deaths than I did for Christie over the course of her story. Following the “formula” V.C. Andrews tentatively established, and her ghostwriter capitalized on, Midnight Whispers follows the next generation of the Cutler family – Christie, and through her eyes, her younger brother Jefferson, and her step-father’s younger half-brother, whom Christie has a strong connection with, one that often amazes and confuses her. After her Uncle Philip and his family move in to take over guardianship of Christie and Jefferson, Christie sees firsthand Philip’s strange behavior…behavior Dawn blindly never truly warned Christie about.
I think this was one of my absolute biggest peeves in this book, and in this series. As a mother, Dawn should have taken steps to either get Philip the help he needed, or to keep her daughter away from him. Instead, it seems she thought she would always be there to protect her innocent daughter – until she wasn’t.
One night strips the last of Christie’s innocence, and she and her brother run away – first to one location, then another, finally calling on Gavin to help whisk them away, to a place where they can hide from reality instead of face it. This was maybe the part I found the least believable. Christie, at this point, has been sexually assaulted…yet she throws herself fully into the romantic relationship she hasn’t thus far indulged in with Gavin. The first time I read this book that didn’t strike me as odd; this time, as an adult, I couldn’t wrap my head around her actions. For me, Christie jumping into a relationship with Gavin almost cheapened what might otherwise have been a very touching young love.
I have a lot of issues with this book. Andrew Neiderman (writing as V.C. Andrews) crossed a line when he took Philip’s character in the direction he did. Before, I had some sympathy for Philip; after, I can understand why Christie ran away from him, in some ways. I also absolutely loathed Fern’s character in this book. I thought it was utterly a waste of pages, bringing her in at all, much less for the 100+ pages she was in the book. Her character was given love and chance after chance at redemption, but all she was interested in throughout the this book and the previous one, was telling everyone how bad her life had been.
Overall, I disliked this book. I thought a few times about not finishing it, but to respect my series re-read, I pushed through. I did want Christie and Jefferson to find happiness, and was somewhat satisfied with how the story ended, but I felt Midnight Whispers was by far the weakest book in the series (I refuse to re-read the prequel so I won’t/can’t comment on it) and it was not in any way the story I imagined for Dawn’s daughter.