Cinnamon (Shooting Stars Series #1)

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Overview

For Cinnamon, dreaming of imaginary worlds and characters is her only escape from her mother's breakdowns. Her grandmother's overbearing control. Her family's turmoil. But Cinnamon is discovering something special about herself, a gift from deep within that sets her apart: a talent for the theatre that would finaly give her a chance...to truly escape.
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Cinnamon (Shooting Stars Series #1)

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Overview

For Cinnamon, dreaming of imaginary worlds and characters is her only escape from her mother's breakdowns. Her grandmother's overbearing control. Her family's turmoil. But Cinnamon is discovering something special about herself, a gift from deep within that sets her apart: a talent for the theatre that would finaly give her a chance...to truly escape.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671039936
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/26/2001
  • Series: Shooting Stars Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

V. C. Andrews
Cleo Virgina Andrews was born to William and Lillian Andrews on June 6, 1924 in Portsmouth, Virgina. She was the youngest of three children, and spent her childhood in Portsmouth and Rochester. She enjoyed ballet, classical music, chess, and astrology. She read all the time and excelled in art. At the age of fifteen, Andrews won a scholarship for a literary parody she had written.

In her late teens, Andrews fell down a flight of stairs and tore a membrane that led to bone spurs. That and botched orthopedic surgery would lead her to a dependence on a wheelchair. She finished high school in spite of the operations and went on to complete a four-year art course. After Andrews became disabled, her mother tried to hide her fromt the world. She would not accept the accident and told Andrews that she could not be a writer. This is why Andrews is sometimes referred to as a "closet writer".

Andrews' father died in the late 1960s and her and her family moved to Manchester, Missouri.

Andrews was living in Apache Junction, Arizona, when she began to devote all of her time to writing. She completed her first novel, The Gods of the Green Mountain, in 1972, but it was not published. Andrews managed to produce from thirty to forty pages a night in spite of her disability, but her only sales before 1979 was a small piece in a confession magazine.

Nine novels and twenty short stories were rejected, but Andrews kept on writing. A tenth novel, called The Obsession, was sent to a publishing company. The editors told Andrews that the story showed much promise, but it was too long. Andrews did much revising and shortened it to a ninety-eight page version she entitled Flowers in the Attic. She rewrote it a second time, dedicated the book to her mother, and sold it to Pocket Books for seventy-five thousand dollars.

It was not Andrews' decision to use her initials on her books. At first, she was told that it was an irreversible error by the printers, but later learned that it was an editorial decision. The editors wanted to prove to men that women didn't always write about so-called "girlish" things. They used her initials, instead of Virginia, so men would buy the books.

Flowers in the Attic was released in November 1979. It rocked to the best seller list two uneventful weeks after its release . It remained there for more that fourteen weeks.

Word spread that there would be a sequel to Andrews' popular novel. The demand was so great that the publisher moved the publishing date up by several months. Petals on the Wind was released in June 1980 and became an instant success. It rose to the number one position and remained on the New York Times best seller list for nineteen weeks. Its popularity was so great that it caused Flowers in the Attic to reappear on the list.

If There Be Thorns was the third book in the series. It was released in June 1981 and was also successful; it appeared on the best seller lists the second week after its release.

Shortly after Thorns, Andrews wrote a new novel entitled My Sweet Audrina which was released in April 1983. The fourth book of the Dollanganger series, Seeds of Yesterday, was published in March 1984. Andrews then started the Casteel series, publishing Heaven in October 1985 and Dark Angel in November 1986.

Andrews died of breast cancer on December 18, 1986. Her family had promised themselves to continue her novels. The fifth and last book of the Dollanganger series, Garden of Shadows was released in November 1987, less than a year after Andrews' death. The movie adaptation of Flowers in the Attic, in which Andrews had a cameo as a window-washing maid, was released to theatres in the fall of 1987 and made into video in the spring of 1988.

Andrews' family carefully selected a "ghostwriter" after her death to complete novels.

Biography

"The face of fear I display in my novels is not the pale specter from the sunken grave, nor is it the thing that goes bump in the night," V. C. Andrews once told Douglas E. Winter. "Mine are the deep-seated fears established when we are children, and they never quite go away: the fear of being helpless, the fear of being trapped, the fear of being out of control."

Andrews's novel Flowers in the Attic launched the popular genre sometimes dubbed "children in jeopardy" -- stories about young people abused, lied to, and preyed upon by their evil guardians. The author's own childhood was not nearly so lurid, though it did have an element of tragedy: As a teenager she had a bad fall, which resulted in the development of bone spurs. A botched surgery, combined with arthritis, forced her to use a wheelchair or crutches for the rest of her life.

Andrews lived with her mother and worked as a commercial artist until the 1970s, when she began to write in earnest. Most of her early stories and novels went unpublished (one exception was "I Slept with My Uncle on My Wedding Night," which appeared in a pulp confession magazine). Finally, in 1979, Flowers in the Attic made it into print. The book soared to No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was followed by two equally successful sequels, Petals on the Wind and If There Be Thorns. Critics weren't always kind -- a Washington Post reviewer wrote that Flowers in the Attic "may well be the worst book I have ever read" -- but that didn't matter to millions of Andrews's readers, who devoured her gruesome fairy tales as fast as she could pen them.

As E. D. Huntley points out in V. C. Andrews: A Critical Companion, Andrews's novels fit neatly into the "female Gothic" tradition, in which an innocent young woman is trapped in an isolated mansion and persecuted by a villain. Andrews's own contribution was to take some of the themes implicit in early Gothic novels -- incest, sexual jealousy, and obsession -- and make them sensationally explicit in her works.

As most of her fans know by now, V. C. Andrews died in 1986, but new V. C. Andrews books keep popping up on the bestseller lists. That's because the Andrews estate hired a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, to continue writing books in the late author's style. Andrews's heirs have been cagey about just how much unfinished work she left behind when she died, but testimony during a 1993 tax case suggested that Andrews had only completed a portion of Garden of Shadows, the eighth book (out of more than 50) published under her name.

Still, even if the vast majority of "V. C. Andrews" books weren't actually written by V. C. Andrews, many of her fans are happy to have her tradition carried on. Neiderman has drawn on Andrews's novels, notebooks, and drawings for inspiration. "Don't make this sound weird," he once said in a Washington Post interview, "but sometimes I do feel possessed." To the original V. C. Andrews, who believed in precognition and reincarnation, it probably wouldn't sound weird at all.

Good To Know

Andrews wrote nine novels before Flowers in the Attic, including a science fantasy titled The Gods of the Green Mountain. Later, when she was a bestselling novelist, she wanted to try her hand at different kinds of fiction, but her publisher discouraged her. "I am supposed to stay in this niche, whatever it is, because there is so much money in it," she told Douglas Winter. "I mean, I have tapped a gold mine and they don't want to let go of it. I don't like that, because I want to branch out."

Though V. C. Andrews went by the name Virginia, her birth name was Cleo Virginia Andrews, not Virginia Cleo Andrews. She had planned to publish her books under the name Virginia Andrews, but her first publisher printed Flowers in the Atticas the work of "V. C. Andrews" in hopes that the gender-neutral name would make the book appealing to male readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Cleo Virginia Andrews
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 6, 1923
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, Virginia
    1. Date of Death:
      December 19, 1986
    2. Place of Death:
      Virginia Beach, Virginia

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Darkness Descends

"What's wrong? Why have you come for me?" I asked her.

Once I had arrived, she had simply started out of the principal's office and begun her stomp through the corridor to the exit for the parking lot. As usual she expected me to trail along like some obedient puppy.

She continued to walk, ignoring my questions. She always fixed herself on her purpose or destination as if she were a guided missile. Getting her to pause, turn or stop required the secret abort code only her own private demon knew and was reluctant to relinquish or reveal. You just had to wait her out, calm yourself down and be patient as difficult as that was. Grandmother Beverly could spread droplets of poison frustration on everyone around her like a lawn sprinkler.

But this was different. She had ripped me out of school and sent my head spinning. I would not be denied.

"Grandmother?"

"Just let's get out of here," she said sharply, not looking at me. She lowered her voice and added, "I don't want anyone hearing about this, if I can help it."

My heart was racing now, galloping alongside my unbridled imagination.

"Your foolish father," she muttered. "I warned him. No one can say I didn't warn him."

We passed through the doors and headed toward her vintage Mercedes sedan.

"Grandmother," I cried, planting my feet firmly in the parking lot. "I'm not taking another step until you tell me exactly what is going on."

She paused finally and turned to me, hoisting those small shoulders like a cobra preparing for a deadly strike.

"Your mother has gone mad and you're the only one who can talk to her. I certainly can't. Of course, I can't reach your father," she said, "and there's no time to wait for him anyway. I don't want to call an ambulance if I can help it."

"Ambulance?"

"You know how one thing leads to another and in this community there's enough gossip about this family as it is," she continued. "Maybe you can get her to stop."

"Stop what?"

"I can't even begin to describe it," she said, wagging her head as if her hair had been soaked. "Let's just get home," she insisted and hurried to get into the car. Now that she had sharpened my curiosity and raised the level of my anxiety like mercury in a thermometer, I rushed to get in as well.

Once I was seated, my head bowed with the panic I felt.

"I must tell you," she continued after starting the engine and pulling away from the school parking lot, "I have always felt your mother was unbalanced. She had tendencies I spotted from the first moment I set eyes on her. I warned Taylor about her minutes after he had brought her around for me and your grandfather to meet her.

"She was coming to see us for the first time, but she wore no makeup, draped herself in what looked to be little more than a black sheet, kept her hair miles too long like you do and had enough gloom in her eyes to please a dozen undertakers. She could have worked constantly as a professional mourner. I could count on my fingers how many times I've seen a smile on that face, and even if she did smile at me, it was the smile of a madwoman, her eyes glittering like little knives, her wry lips squirming back and into the corners of her cheeks like worms in pain. How many times have I asked myself what he could possibly have seen in such a woman?"

I had heard a similar lecture before.

"Maybe he was in love, Grandmother."

"Love," she spat as if the word put a bitter taste in her mouth. "How could he be in love with her?"

She glanced at me and then put her eyes back on the road. She was a good driver for someone in her early seventies, I thought, but then again, she was good at everything she did. Failure wasn't in her personal vocabulary.

"Your mother was certainly never what I would call beautiful. I'm not saying she doesn't have pleasing features, because she does, but she does nothing to enhance them. In fact, what she does is diminish them just like you do with that silly makeup you wear.

"Of course, it didn't help that she had the personality of a pallbearer. Believe me," she said, "that takes the light from your eyes, the glow from your smile. It's no wonder to me that she never made any friends. Who wants to listen to the music she likes or read those poems about loss and death and insanity? She has no social graces, doesn't care about nice clothes or jewelry. She was never interested in your father's work or helped him meet business associates."

"Then what do you think it was, Grandmother," I asked dryly, "a magic spell?"

"You think you're being facetious, I know, but let me tell you that woman can cast spells of sorts. I'll tell you what it was," she said, after a short pause, never wanting to admit to not knowing something. "She was probably his first love affair. Men, foolish men, often mistake sexual pleasure for love. Sex is like good food. You can eat it with anyone, Cinnamon. Remember that," she ordered.

"Then what's love?" I asked her.

"Love is commitment, responsibility, dedication. It requires maturity."

"Sounds boring," I said. "If that's love, I'll take good food."

She opened her mouth wide and glared at me, shaking her head.

"You'd better be careful of your thoughts," she admonished. "Insanity can be inherited, you know. The genes from our side of the family just might not be enough."

I wanted to laugh at her, but I kept thinking about what awaited me and how it might make her right.


No one could tell anything about the inhabitants of our home by simply driving up, especially this time of the day. The front faced east so that all morning the windows were turned into glittering slabs, impenetrable crystals, twisting, turning and reflecting the sunlight. In fact, if it wasn't a day for the gardeners, and today wasn't, there was a look of abandonment about the place. Our cars were always left in the rear, out of sight. Two tall weeping willows on the northeast end painted long shadows over one side of the structure, adding to the sense of desertion.

There was a swing under a maple tree to the right on the west side. I noticed it was going back and forth, which made me smile. Anyone looking at it would be convinced there was a ghost sitting on it. I imagined one myself, one of the Demerest girls, smiling.

Fall had just lifted its head and begun to blow the cooler winds over the landscape, waving a magical hand to change the greens into yellows, browns and oranges. The grass, however, seemed happier, waking to heavier dews every morning. It was a deeper green. I loved the aroma of freshly cut lawns, the freshness traveled into my brain and washed away the cobwebs and shadows from my darker thoughts.

As Grandmother Beverly turned up the drive, she finally revealed the situation in detail.

"I was in the living room, watching a good Cary Grant movie, when I heard her humming in the hallway. What is she doing downstairs? I wondered. The doctor had specifically told her that if she was going home, she was to remain in bed, resting, getting stronger. I offered to be her nurse, to march up and down those stairs as many times as need be, so she couldn't use that as any excuse.

"But your mother never listens to wiser voices. She hears only what she wants to hear. Secret voices out of the shadows," she muttered.

"Anyway, I went to the family room doorway. At first, I didn't see her. Then I heard her talking to her plants."

She paused, smirked and shook her head.

Mommy often spoke aloud to her plants as if they were her little children. She said when she was sad, which was far too often, the leaves were limp and dreary, but when she was happy, they were crisp and alive.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter 1: Darkness Descends

"What's wrong? Why have you come for me?" I asked her.

Once I had arrived, she had simply started out of the principal's office and begun her stomp through the corridor to the exit for the parking lot. As usual she expected me to trail along like some obedient puppy.

She continued to walk, ignoring my questions. She always fixed herself on her purpose or destination as if she were a guided missile. Getting her to pause, turn or stop required the secret abort code only her own private demon knew and was reluctant to relinquish or reveal. You just had to wait her out, calm yourself down and be patient as difficult as that was. Grandmother Beverly could spread droplets of poison frustration on everyone around her like a lawn sprinkler.

But this was different. She had ripped me out of school and sent my head spinning. I would not be denied.

"Grandmother?"

"Just let's get out of here," she said sharply, not looking at me. She lowered her voice and added, "I don't want anyone hearing about this, if I can help it."

My heart was racing now, galloping alongside my unbridled imagination.

"Your foolish father," she muttered. "I warned him. No one can say I didn't warn him."

We passed through the doors and headed toward her vintage Mercedes sedan.

"Grandmother," I cried, planting my feet firmly in the parking lot. "I'm not taking another step until you tell me exactly what is going on."

She paused finally and turned to me, hoisting those small shoulders like a cobra preparing for a deadly strike.

"Your mother has gone mad and you're the only one who can talk to her. I certainly can't. Of course, I can't reach your father," she said, "and there's no time to wait for him anyway. I don't want to call an ambulance if I can help it."

"Ambulance?"

"You know how one thing leads to another and in this community there's enough gossip about this family as it is," she continued. "Maybe you can get her to stop."

"Stop what?"

"I can't even begin to describe it," she said, wagging her head as if her hair had been soaked. "Let's just get home," she insisted and hurried to get into the car. Now that she had sharpened my curiosity and raised the level of my anxiety like mercury in a thermometer, I rushed to get in as well.

Once I was seated, my head bowed with the panic I felt.

"I must tell you," she continued after starting the engine and pulling away from the school parking lot, "I have always felt your mother was unbalanced. She had tendencies I spotted from the first moment I set eyes on her. I warned Taylor about her minutes after he had brought her around for me and your grandfather to meet her.

"She was coming to see us for the first time, but she wore no makeup, draped herself in what looked to be little more than a black sheet, kept her hair miles too long like you do and had enough gloom in her eyes to please a dozen undertakers. She could have worked constantly as a professional mourner. I could count on my fingers how many times I've seen a smile on that face, and even if she did smile at me, it was the smile of a madwoman, her eyes glittering like little knives, her wry lips squirming back and into the corners of her cheeks like worms in pain. How many times have I asked myself what he could possibly have seen in such a woman?"

I had heard a similar lecture before.

"Maybe he was in love, Grandmother."

"Love," she spat as if the word put a bitter taste in her mouth. "How could he be in love with her?"

She glanced at me and then put her eyes back on the road. She was a good driver for someone in her early seventies, I thought, but then again, she was good at everything she did. Failure wasn't in her personal vocabulary.

"Your mother was certainly never what I would call beautiful. I'm not saying she doesn't have pleasing features, because she does, but she does nothing to enhance them. In fact, what she does is diminish them just like you do with that silly makeup you wear.

"Of course, it didn't help that she had the personality of a pallbearer. Believe me," she said, "that takes the light from your eyes, the glow from your smile. It's no wonder to me that she never made any friends. Who wants to listen to the music she likes or read those poems about loss and death and insanity? She has no social graces, doesn't care about nice clothes or jewelry. She was never interested in your father's work or helped him meet business associates."

"Then what do you think it was, Grandmother," I asked dryly, "a magic spell?"

"You think you're being facetious, I know, but let me tell you that woman can cast spells of sorts. I'll tell you what it was," she said, after a short pause, never wanting to admit to not knowing something. "She was probably his first love affair. Men, foolish men, often mistake sexual pleasure for love. Sex is like good food. You can eat it with anyone, Cinnamon. Remember that," she ordered.

"Then what's love?" I asked her.

"Love is commitment, responsibility, dedication. It requires maturity."

"Sounds boring," I said. "If that's love, I'll take good food."

She opened her mouth wide and glared at me, shaking her head.

"You'd better be careful of your thoughts," she admonished. "Insanity can be inherited, you know. The genes from our side of the family just might not be enough."

I wanted to laugh at her, but I kept thinking about what awaited me and how it might make her right.


No one could tell anything about the inhabitants of our home by simply driving up, especially this time of the day. The front faced east so that all morning the windows were turned into glittering slabs, impenetrable crystals, twisting, turning and reflecting the sunlight. In fact, if it wasn't a day for the gardeners, and today wasn't, there was a look of abandonment about the place. Our cars were always left in the rear, out of sight. Two tall weeping willows on the northeast end painted long shadows over one side of the structure, adding to the sense of desertion.

There was a swing under a maple tree to the right on the west side. I noticed it was going back and forth, which made me smile. Anyone looking at it would be convinced there was a ghost sitting on it. I imagined one myself, one of the Demerest girls, smiling.

Fall had just lifted its head and begun to blow the cooler winds over the landscape, waving a magical hand to change the greens into yellows, browns and oranges. The grass, however, seemed happier, waking to heavier dews every morning. It was a deeper green. I loved the aroma of freshly cut lawns, the freshness traveled into my brain and washed away the cobwebs and shadows from my darker thoughts.

As Grandmother Beverly turned up the drive, she finally revealed the situation in detail.

"I was in the living room, watching a good Cary Grant movie, when I heard her humming in the hallway. What is she doing downstairs? I wondered. The doctor had specifically told her that if she was going home, she was to remain in bed, resting, getting stronger. I offered to be her nurse, to march up and down those stairs as many times as need be, so she couldn't use that as any excuse.

"But your mother never listens to wiser voices. She hears only what she wants to hear. Secret voices out of the shadows," she muttered.

"Anyway, I went to the family room doorway. At first, I didn't see her. Then I heard her talking to her plants."

She paused, smirked and shook her head.

Mommy often spoke aloud to her plants as if they were her little children. She said when she was sad, which was far too often, the leaves were limp and dreary, but when she was happy, they were crisp and alive.

Anyway, I didn't think much of that.

"She's always talking to flowers, Grandmother. Many people do that."

"Naked?"

"What?"

"She was standing there in the hallway, watering those plants naked, and she was using a bed pan to water them," she said, her voice rising. "Who even knows if it was water?"

I felt the blood drain a bit from my face and looked at the house as we started around back.

"But that wasn't the horror of it, Cinnamon. 'What are you doing, Amber?' I asked, and she turned slowly toward me, a crazed smile on her face."

Grandmother stopped the car and turned to me before shutting off the engine.

"Over her stomach, with a stick of red lipstick, she had drawn the outline of a baby, a fetus!" she cried with a grimace. "I screamed, 'Oh, my God!' I nearly fainted at the sight, but she continued to smile at me and then went back to watering the plants, humming and watering.

"So, I got into the car and went for you."

I swallowed back the rock that had risen into my throat and got out of the car. All I could think of was Ophelia's mad scene in Hamlet. With my head down, my feet feeling like they had turned into marshmallows, I charged toward the rear entrance and quickly went inside, through the rear entryway and down the corridor to the stairway, gazing in each room to be sure Mommy wasn't downstairs.

Then I pounded up the stairs and paused when I reached the top. I could hear her humming and talking to herself. It was coming from the room that had been set up to be the nursery. Slowly, I approached it and looked in. It was just as Grandmother Beverly had described: Mommy was naked, the imaginary baby crudely drawn over her stomach in her apple red lipstick.

She was folding and unfolding the same little blanket at the side of the bassinet.

"Mommy," I said.

She stopped humming and looked at me.

"Cinnamon, you're home. Good. I was having labor pains this morning. It won't be long now," she said.

"Labor pains? But Mommy -- "

"It's expected, I know, but it's still very difficult, Cinnamon. Most wonderful things are difficult," she muttered, "and worth the pain," she added with a new smile.

How could she have forgotten she had just had a miscarriage? It was so sad, so tragic, I thought, and then: Maybe that's why she's forgotten. She doesn't want to remember. She and I have done so much pretending in this house. This comes easily to her.

"Mommy, you've got to return to bed."

"I will as soon as I do this. I want everything to be ready when we come home with little Sacha," she said, gazing around the nursery.

"Come back to bed, Mommy," I said, moving to her. I gently took her by the elbow. She smiled at me and put the blanket in the bassinet.

"My grown-up little lady, taking care of me. You're going to be such a big help with Sacha, I know. I'm as happy for you as I am for Daddy and me," she said. "Did you know I always wished I had a sister, especially a little sister who would look up to me for everything?

"Sacha's going to idolize you, Cinnamon. She'll want to do everything you do just the way you do it, I'm sure. You mustn't be short with her or impatient," she warned, her face full of concern. "Always remember she's just a little girl who doesn't understand. Explain things; make sure you and she always talk and never hide anything from each other. A sister can be your best friend in the whole world, even more than your mother. I'm sure mine would have been."

She started out with me, but she didn't stop talking.

"It's all right for her to be a better friend to you than I am. I'll never be jealous of the two of you, honey. I realize you will have more in common with her than you will with me. You don't ever have to worry about that."

"Please get into bed, Mommy," I said when we entered the master bedroom.

Mommy and Daddy had a king-size, oak four-post bed with an oversized headboard on which two roses with their stems crossed were embossed. Mommy loved roses. The comforter and the pillow cases had a pattern of red roses, which made the room cheerful. When they were younger and more affectionate toward each other, I used to think of their bed as a bed that promised its inhabitants magical love, a bed that filled their heads with wonderful dreams when they slept afterward, both of them, smiling, contented, warm and secure, those four posts like powerful arms protecting them against any of the evil spirits that sought to invade their contentment.

I pulled back the comforter and she got into the bed, slowly lowering her head to the pillow. She was still smiling.

"I want you to help take care of her right from the start, honey. You'll be her second mother, just as Agatha Demerest was a second mother to her younger brothers and sisters," she said. "Remember?"

Mommy was referring to a story she and I had actually created during one of our earliest visits to the attic.

When I was a little more than fourteen, she decided one day that we should explore the house. She had been up in the attic before, of course, and told me that shortly after she and Daddy had moved into the house, she had discovered an old hickory chest with hinges so rusted, they fell off when she lifted the lid. The chest was filled with things that went back to the 1800s. She had been especially intrigued by the Demerest family pictures. Most were faded so badly you could barely make out the faces, but some of them were still in quite good condition.

Daddy, who works on Wall Street and puts a monetary value on everything in sight, decided that much of the stuff could be sold. He took things like the Union army uniform, old newspapers, a pair of spurs and a pistol holster to New York to be valued and later placed in a consignment store, but Mommy wouldn't let him take the pictures.

"I told him family pictures don't belong in stores and certainly don't belong on the walls of strangers. These pictures should never leave this house and they never will," she vowed to me.

She and I would look at the women and the men and try to imagine what they must have been like, whether they were sad or happy people, whether they suffered or not. We did our role-playing and I would assume the persona of one of the women in a picture. Mommy would often be Jonathan Demerest, speaking in a deep voice. That was when we came up with the story of Agatha Demerest having to take on the role of mother when her mother died of smallpox.

But Mommy was talking about it now as if it were historical fact and we had no concrete information upon which to base our assumptions, except for the dates carved in a couple of tombstones.

"Okay, Mommy," I said. I was thinking about washing the lipstick drawing off her stomach, but I was afraid even to mention it.

I have to try to get in touch with Daddy, I thought.

"Oh," Mommy suddenly cried. "Oh, oh, oh, Cinnamon, it's happening again!" She clutched her stomach. "It's getting worse. I'm going into labor. You'd better call the doctor, call an ambulance, call your father," she cried.

She released a chilling scream that shook my very bones.

"Hurry!"

I didn't know what to do. I ran from the room. Grandmother Beverly was already at the top of the stairway.

"What is it?" she asked, her hand on her breast, her face whiter than ever.

"She thinks she's in labor. I think she really is in pain!"

"Oh dear, dear. We'll have to call the doctor. I was hoping you could calm her down, get her to sleep and be sane," she said. Another scream from Mommy spun her around and sent her fleeing down the stairway.

Mommy continued to moan.

I glanced at my watch. Daddy had to be at his desk. Why did Grandmother Beverly say before that she certainly couldn't reach him? He should be easy to reach.

I rushed to my room and tapped out the number for his office quickly. It rang and rang until his secretary finally picked up and announced his company.

"I need to speak to my father immediately," I practically screamed.

Mommy was crying out even louder now, her shouts of pain echoing down the hallway and through the house.

"He's not here at the moment," the secretary said.

"But he has to be. The market is still open."

"I'm sorry," she said.

"Where is he?"

"He didn't leave a number," she said.

"It's an emergency," I continued.

"Let me see if he answers his page," she relented. Why hadn't she said that first? I wondered. I held on, my heart pounding a drum in my ears.

"I'm sorry," she said. "He's not responding."

"Keep trying and if you get him, tell him my mother is being taken to the hospital."

"The hospital? Oh, dear. Oh," she said. "Yes, I'll keep trying."

I hung up just as Grandmother Beverly came up the stairs, looking more her age.

"The doctor has called the ambulance," she said. She swallowed and continued. "It's no use. She has to return to the hospital. When I told him what she had done, he said he'd have her brought to the mental ward."

"Mental ward?"

"Of course. Look at her behavior. That's exactly where she belongs," she added with that damnable look of self-satisfaction I hated so much.

She put her hands over her ears, but Mommy's heart-wrenching scream drove Grandmother Beverly back down the stairs to wait.

I was hoping it would drive her out of our lives.

Copyright © 2001 by the Vanda General Partnership

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Customer Reviews

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( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2004

    An excellent book

    When Cinnamon's world starts to fall apart, people aren't surprised. In fact, her grandmother gloats about it. Of course she would, she said Cinnamon's mother was crazy all along. Cinnamon knows the only was to help her mother escape her prison of madness and fantasy is to tell her of the real world and live the dream her mother always had for her, the theater. In the meantime things are getting worse at home. Her father is acting strange and her grandmother has taken over the house. She begins changing things from the first moment Cinnamon's mother went to the 'clinic'. She's changing the decor, throwing older antiques out and worst of all trying to put a lock on Cinnamon's door so she can't go to her bedroom whenever things get rough at home. Will Cinnamon be able to help her mother live in reality again? Will she overcome the obstacles her grandmother sets in front of her? Will she finally be able to confront her father about the truth of his adultery? And most of all will she learn that her mother's dream for her is really her future? Find out by reading Cinnamon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2003

    Cinnamon

    falling stars is much better than the first four books if you ask me. there isn't really any horror in this series like in most of the vc andrews books. in some ways it was a real let down. to me, rose was the character that had the most connections to real series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2002

    Really good

    I loved this book. You should defiantly read this book. After you read it you will want to read the reast of the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2001

    Great Book

    I loved this book. Cinnamon is faced with a lot of problems in her life dealing with her mother that has gone all strange on her because of the loss of the baby. Cinnamon finds out that she is a very good actor and she actually then follows her dream for her mother and father, but her grandmother disagrees with the whole ordeal. However, Cinnamon finally gets accepted to a great school to show her acting skills that she has. I absolutly recommend this book to any one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    Awesome Book

    I thought this book was excellent. I thought it was especially good for the teenage girl, ages 13-any age. GOOD BOOK =c)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2001

    Please fulfill us

    I have read all of the V.C. Andrews series. They are easy to read & very enjoyable. I love them. However, they are very similar to each other. This one, true, is somewhat different, but still reads like many of the others. I'm hoping the author will branch out a little more with this series (as it seems) & keep me coming back for more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2001

    Back on Track

    Neiderman has finally given us a book that he can be extremely proud of again. Cinnamon wasn't the same as the other characters. She is more headstrong, more sarcastic, and in the physical appearance department A LOT more different than any of the other 'squeaky clean' types. Cinnamon lives up to her name. A bit sweet, followed by a whole lot of spice. Move over Cathy and Heaven, there's a new girl in town.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2001

    A Wonderful Way to Start a New Series!!!

    Cinnamon Carlson finds herself trapped between her mother's mental problems and her problems. She finds out that she has more to offer to the world...to act!! A great, wonderful story, between loving your family and caring for your dream!! A best way to enter the bestselling list for the first book to a miniseries!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2001

    First installment to the new miniseries!

    The beginning of a new miniseries by bestselling phenomenon V.C. Andrews. When her mother has a mental breakdown after a miscarriage, Cinnamon Carlson escapes her domineering grandmother by turning to the theater.

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    Posted January 20, 2010

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    Posted April 5, 2011

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    Posted September 30, 2010

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    Posted January 11, 2010

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