- Darkest Hour (Andrews)
"Darkest Hour" is the fifth and final
novelin a series of books about the Cutler family attributed to V. C. Andrewsand published in 1993. It is allegedly based on the original ideas of Andrews but was written by ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman. Andrews is the credited author.
The novel made the "
New York Times" paperback best sellers list in 1993. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980CE7D81F3CF935A35755C0A965958260&scp=1&sq=darkest+hour+andrews&st=nyt PAPERBACK BEST SELLERS - New York Times ] ]
"Darkest Hour" is a
prequelto "Dawn".The last book in the series, goes back in time to focus on Dawn's grandmother, Lillian.
This book is about how Grandma Cutler became who she was, it takes place at the Booth Plantation "The Meadows". Lillian Booth is the second daughter of an overbearing
plantationowner known as the Captain and a delicate Southernwoman who lives in a dream world of sorts. She has two siblings, the evil and devoutly religious sister Emily, and her best friend and very sickly sister Eugenia. Her sister Emily tells her one day after school when Lillian is just 5 that she is not her real sister and her parents died, because she is a Jonah and every thing she touches will die. Lillian finds out that she is actually the daughter of her "mother's" young sister Violet, and her lover who was tragically killed before Lillian's birth. The theme of Lillian being a curse is re-enforced by Emily through out the whole book, which includes Emily murdering Cotton, Eugenia and Lillian's kitten. Lillian soon begins to believe this after the death of her beloved sister Eugenia, which Emily solely blames Lillian, seeing as how Eugenia was born after Lillian brought Satan into the Meadows. Dawn was named Eugenia after Lillian's sister, who died of cystic fibrosis. Lillian's mother is dramatically changed by her youngest child's passing and goes into a deep depression.
Not too long after the death of Eugenia, Niles Thompson climbs up to Lillian's room on the night of his twin sisters' big party because Lillian was forbidden to go. Niles was Lillian's first love and had been seen coming out of the woods with Lillian by Emily and was used against her. Niles was found the next morning dead on the ground by Lillian's window.
With the onset of a great depression the Meadows begins to slip into failure which is also blamed on Lillian by Emily. Her hopeless father knowing not how to handle all this going on around him feels inadequate and begins to drink heavily and more often, which results in him falling down the stairs and breaking his leg. He tells Lillian that she must move into his quarters and take care of him until he is well, this ends in Lillian being raped repeatedly by her "Father" which leads to Lillian becoming pregnant at the age of 14. Lillian was in her father's office reading up on pregnancy when the Captain catches her. She reveals that she is pregnant with his child. At this point, her father makes it seem as if Niles is the father of her child and puts Lillian in the hands of Emily who sets out to cleanse Lillian's soul of Satan. The pregnant Lillian is locked away in her plain room while the Captain puts the charade that his ailing wife is the pregnant one. About a month before Lillian gives birth her mother passes away untol to her, she is told that she is not longer allowed to see her because it upsets her. We later find out that her mother had been dying of stomach cancer the entire time. The death is blamed on child birth and right after Lillian gives birth her mother is buried. Lillian is told not to refer to baby Charlotte as her own and it is passed that the baby is her sister. While her father is very unhappy he still has no son.
The Meadows continues to fail as a plantation. Her father goes off into a drunken stupor and gambles away the home to Bill Cutler, the owner of what has the become the luxury Cutler Hotel and Resort. Bill is very taken with Lillian even if she has nothing to do with him, he works a deal with the Captain that he will take Lillian as his wife instead of the destitute Meadows. After many tears, Lillian agrees to marry Bill a man which she does not love or even really like. Although she wants to take Charlotte with her the Captain refuses thinking that someone may find out his secret, and she has to leave her baby girl behind. Bill and Lillian marry and she becomes the new mistress of Cutler's Cove, and the brains behind the operation. Lillian becomes pregnant and has a boy Randolph, whom she is very close to and he will never leave her sight. She goes back to visit the Meadows only a few times because her sister Emily will never change. All the while her husband whom she doesn't love has affairs and is never half the family man he promised to be.
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