Into the Woods (De Beers Series #4)

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Overview

The only child of a US naval officer and a charming mother, Grace Houston is the centre of her parents' universe - until sudden tragedy tears her world apart. Grace and her mother, Jackie Lee, must leave the naval base in Virginia to head for ritzy Palm Beach, Florida, to start all over again. It's hard enough being the new girl - but Grace is enrolled at a prestigious private school where what you wear is more important than who you are. Now her own mother is pressuring her to do whatever it takes to be accepted...

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Into the Woods (De Beers Series #4)

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Overview

The only child of a US naval officer and a charming mother, Grace Houston is the centre of her parents' universe - until sudden tragedy tears her world apart. Grace and her mother, Jackie Lee, must leave the naval base in Virginia to head for ritzy Palm Beach, Florida, to start all over again. It's hard enough being the new girl - but Grace is enrolled at a prestigious private school where what you wear is more important than who you are. Now her own mother is pressuring her to do whatever it takes to be accepted by the in-crowd. But Grace just wants to close her eyes and disappear.
Soon Jackie Lee marries a sophisticated millionaire, Winston Montgomery: her ticket to high society. But happiness once again vanishes into the shadows - and it's not long before the young and dashing Kirby Scott works his way into Jackie Lee's life. He's got his eye on her newly-inherited fortune - and something much more precious: her beautiful, innocent daughter . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743428590
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 12/30/2002
  • Series: De Beers Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

V. C. Andrews

With the publication of her first novel, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, Virginia Andrews became a bestselling phenomenon. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than forty novels in the Virginia Andrews' series. Her novels have sold over 100 million copies worldwide and been translated into 22 languages.

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

Prologue: Goodbye, Sailor Girl

My last memory of my daddy was watching him walk out to his helicopter at the Norfolk Naval Base, where his student pilots waited respectfully at attention, their helmets under their arms.

They saluted him, and he saluted back. Then he turned to smile at me the way he always did whenever Mommy brought me to see him take off in a helicopter. He and I called it putting sunshine in our faces. In the years to follow, that smile would fade slowly like an old photograph until my imagination did more for it than my memory.

His face would always brighten with a fresh, happy surprise when he looked back at me standing beside Mommy. The specks of hazel in his otherwise light blue eyes would become more prominent. He used to call me Sailor Girl, and we would salute each other with only two fingers. He did it one last time that day. I responded with my salute, and then he turned back to his men.

My eyes drifted to a sea gull that looked lost, confused, even a bit frantic. It did a quick turn and dipped before shooting off toward the ocean as if it had seen something that had terrified it. I watched it until the sounds of the helicopter motors ripped the air and pulled my attention back to Daddy.

I stepped closer to Mommy. Something dark had already put its cold fingers on the back of my neck. My heart sank, and my stomach felt queasy. I had to feel Mommy beside me. Even at fifteen, I needed to be within the walls of her security. She and Daddy were my fortress. Nothing could harm me when I was with them.

"How he stands that noise is beyond me," Mommy said, but she looked so proud and so beautiful with her shoulder-length apricot brown hairdancing about her chin and cheeks. She was five feet ten and always stood with an air of confidence, regal. Anyone who glanced her way stared at her for a few moments longer as if he or she were hypnotized by her beauty.

Mommy's eyes were almost navy blue, which Daddy said proved she belonged with him, a navy man. She was as loyal to him as he was to the flag, her devotion and her admiration for him unflappable. My eyes were more turquoise, but I wished they were more like Mommy's so Daddy would think I, too, was meant to be always at his side.

"C'mon, Grace," she said. "I have errands to run, and you have studying to do and a guest for dinner."

She nudged me, and I followed along reluctantly. Something was telling me to stay as long as I could. I looked back only once as the helicopters lifted. I didn't see Daddy, and that disappointed me. They whirled off toward the ocean, following the sea gull.

A cloud blocked out the sun, and a long shadow fell around us as we continued toward our car.

I would remember that.

I would remember it all for a very long time.

And then, like the sea gull, it would all disappear into the distance and leave me standing alone, yearning for just one more smile, one more salute.

Copyright © 2003 by the Vanda General Partnership

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    Money Can't Buy Happiness

    I read this book way back in 2003 when I was 15 and it left me feeling funny. I've read it at least twice since and every time I re-read it I see Jackie Lee as a very evil woman. Not only is she selfish, but she's vindictive too. After her husband dies she starts feeling like the world owes her something and she uses an older man to get everything she wants. Grace tries hard to fit into the new life her mother has chosen (rather carelessly) for them. Instead Grace is rejected over and over again and finally breaks down mentally. With no regard for her daughter Jackie Lee marries a younger man who has no intentions on being anything, but a leech. He sexually abuses Grace who's not in her right mind. She get's pregnant which throws her deeper into the abyss. After she has the baby she's too far gone to be saved and ends up in a mental clinic for the rich. This book includes so much sorrow and it truly shows the emptiness of the rich and of the poor. This book is very deep. It took me four years to understand this book, but I finally got it so I recommend it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    So it seems with each 5 book series, the last book in the series

    So it seems with each 5 book series, the last book in the series is a prequel. Like with flowers in the attic you had garden of shadows and with this series you have into the woods. If you already read the other books then you know what's to happen with our MC in this one. And wow was it uncomfortable. And sad. Both really. You feel for Grace and what her to find some happiness you know? This series..just...ugh!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2007

    Not the BEST book, but not bad!!

    Into the woods was not like I thought it would be. At first the book started off O.K. but when I reached the middle and towards the end, it was not like I wanred it to be. Its not like this book is good, its that the end really killed it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2006

    Into the Woods book 4

    This is more of a prequel told through the point of view of Willow's mother Grace Montgomery and the story behind her years leading up to Kirby, Lindin, Claude and lastly Willow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    Iconsistant Family Values?

    It's very upsetting to me that a story supposedly well written,we tend to take our family life for granted.Grace had a close relationship with her father,but I can't understand the fact that after her father dies,her mother puts aside her pride and whisks Grace away to a place that makes Grace feel inferior to her mothers selfish behavior in the men she chooses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2003

    This is disappointing

    I'm not even half way done with this book, and I already know it's disappointing. First off, this is supposed to be a prequal to the first three books of the DeBeers series. And unless I'm mistaken, the first three started out in as much of present time as possible, and probably ventured a little into the 'future.' But Into The Woods is supposed to take place in the PAST. In not only the series' history, but I believe ours as well. So, how come the author is obviously placing this story in the present? It should take place in the 80's at the latest, but as far as I can recall, I don't think the Internet AND e-mail were as commonly used back then as is shown in this book, and I don't think anyone knew of Shania Twain yet. So, that gives me the further impression that the author has not been thinking about the books he's handing out. It's like he's just writing them to meet deadlines and get paid. They have no substance, and their always almost the same plot line. And it really angers me that we still haven't ventured from the same main heroine type. She's always portrayed as being so much better than everyone around her, except of course, for her parent's or her own children, usually. She's always perfect in school, really smart, yet is ALWAYS niave too...which is getting to be a little unbelievable. Her friends are never as good looking as her, they always have some flaw, whether their 'plump' or 'fuller figured' than her, or their eyes are too close together...whatever. And, their not as smart as she is. They always have emotional problems. And in this book I was easily able to predict that even though Grace's friend Autumn had a huge crush on this one guy, for some reason the guy likes GRACE! This always happens. And, if there are any girls who become her aquantance who are as pretty as her or prettier, they always are the enemies. They have bad attitudes, and you can always see it in their eyes for some reason. It's like, in the world of VC Andrews (just by name, i mean, not the actual vc, who was an awesome writer) no one but the main protagonist can be both beautiful and smart and NICE at the same time. If I hadn't read all of the already written VCA books, and made an unofficial pact with myself to keep the tradition up as each book comes out, just so I can say I've read them all, I would NOT read this book, or any others by 'VC' in the future. Please, what happened to the old but wonderful tradition of VC Andrews story telling? This is getting very old. These stories aren't well thought out, they seem hastily written, no matter how many details of random things are put in there, and the stories are all the same! Find a better technique, or quit dragging VC Andrews' good name in the mud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    What happened to writing like VCA?

    This book was okay, but it is not modeled after V.C. Andrews style. I think the first couple of books he wrote after VCA died showed that he was really making an effort to write in her style (The Cutler series is a good example). Now after the last few books ... (I'd say since they started coming out with all these miniseries with all these characters...which should have never been done in my opinion)I just feel like I am reading another writer's books that just happen to have VCA's name on the cover.I basically now collect VCA books just for the sake of collecting them (I have all of them except Broken Wings). Read this book if you want some reading material, but if you read 'Flowers in the Attic' or 'Heaven' (and loved them), and haven't read VCA since but want to revive your interest -- be prepared to be disappointed with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2003

    V.C.fanclub

    Well first I'd like to say the way I got into V.C. Andrews books was when we were going through boxes getting ready for the move. My mom pulled out two of her old V.C. Andrews books tarnished gold and hidden shadows since then I've been hooked on them though I started out with only two books, I know have 45 and am still collecting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2003

    Well...

    Well this book at the beginning was really good, but toward the end it got a little silly. I noticed that in the middle of the book Grace's mom was the only one talking and all Grace did was agree. Grace could have had more of an opinion. I was also shocked that her mother had turned into such a tyrant. It was aso weird how Grace's Mother hadn't even noticed her slipping away. The book also left with a bunch of loose ends. What ever happened with Trent or the others? And the book never said why Randy was in that car. This was a little dissapointing, but overall I liked how Grace expressed her feelings. I just wished she had told her mother her feelings, even if she didn't listen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2003

    Very appreciative reader

    I have collected all of the V C Andrews books thus far.The books are mind catching and you cant put them down.Keep up the good work and hope to aquire the next one soon.Make another one to go with My Sweet Adrina its the only one by itself. Thanks....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Good Book

    Overall this was a good book. There were some things that popped out to me as funny. This book supposedly is about Grace who was Willows mother so it should have been written more in a time frame that was years and years ago, however when Grace and her mother were in a diner after her father died there is a mention of a Shania Twain song on the juke box which was funny, and there are a lot of references to the internet which surely was not around then. Overall as I said though it is a good story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    Great Book!!!

    I thought this was a great book!!! i couldnt put it down untill it was done! i still cant beleive the ending though, with kirby and her dad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2002

    Interesting

    I read all the other DeBeers series and i found them to be pretty good. This one seems to look pretty good also. I can not wait until this book comes out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2002

    Wonderful Writing

    I have ready all of V.C. Andrews books and loved everyone of them. I am anixously awaiting for the 4th in the DeBeer's series to come out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2002

    Great Author

    I wasn't much of a reader...until that is I picked up one of V.C. Andrews books one day! Then I just couldn't get enough...I have read every book she has written and can't wait for the next one to come out. I almost go into withdrawl symptoms waiting to see what's going to happen next in each series. Keep up the good work!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2002

    DEBEERS SERIES

    I HAVE READ THE FIRST THREE BOOKS AND I ENJOYED THEM VERY MUCH. I COULD NOT PUT THE BOOK DOWN UNTIL I FINISHED IT. IM VERY ANXIOUS TO READ THIS ONE. I HPE THE FOURTH BOOK IS JUST AS GOOD OR BETTER.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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