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Heaven

Casteel, Book 1
Narrated by: Candace Thaxton
Series: Casteel, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

From the legendary New York Times best-selling author of Flowers in the Attic and My Sweet Audrina (now Lifetime movies) comes the first book in the Casteel Family series - for fans of Emma Donoghue (Room) and Kay Hooper (Amanda). 

Of all the folks on the mountain, the Casteel children are the lowest. Even the families that buy them think so.

Heaven Leigh Casteel may be the prettiest, smartest girl in the backwoods, but her cruel father and weary stepmother work her like a mule. For the sake of her brother Tom and the other little ones, Heaven clings to the hope that someday she can show the world they are worthy of love and respect.

But when the children’s stepmother can’t take it anymore and abandons the family, Heaven’s father hatches a scheme that will alter her young life forever. Being sold to a strange couple is just the beginning; ripping away the thin veneer of civilization and learning the adult secrets of the world around her means Heaven must abandon someone, too - the child she was, to become the woman her mother never had the chance to be. 

©1985 Vanda General Partnership. All rights reserved. (P)2019 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A truly thrilling read

Candace Thaxton gives a truly captivating performance as she brings the world of Virginia Andrews "Heaven" to life. The story is an instant classic Gothic Horror, with compelling characters and a twisted story of family secrets and betrayals. Thaxton gives perfect voices for each of the characters, especially Heaven as the main narrator, who she stays perfectly in character for.

A truly great book, but this audiobook made it a much more enjoyable read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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This is yet another great book by Virginia Andrew

I first read this book at 17 and now 20 years later at 37 and I still enjoyed it as much. The way she describes things in the book really make it like a movie playing in your mind.

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Profile Image for VampSlayer0
  • VampSlayer0
  • 23-06-19

Finally, REAL VC Andrews on audio!!

To begin with, "Heaven" is a pretty good book. It was actually the very first VC Andrews novel I ever read back in 199-whatever, and I'm so happy to see it, and the rest of the series, finally on audio--though that is, of course, because of the Lifetime movies being made. I won't go on forever about the plot. It's dramatic and soapy and far-fetched, but that's exactly what we all want from a VC Andrews novel. Especially as this novel was actually written by Andrews herself. As usual, the writing is a little stilted and old-fashioned (people don't talk that way, Virginia, and even the narrative sounds a little too much like you were borrowing from Dickens) but I can overlook that. The story is a ripping good time!

As for the narration: that took a little time to grow on me. Simon & Schuster seem to pick really odd narrators for the VC Andrews audiobooks (and I'm afraid of this new audio for the 40th anniversary of "Flowers in the Attic", but Mena Suvari...I guess we'll see...the old Recorded Books narrator was AMAZING!!). Candace Thaxton is another odd choice. There is a singsongy lilt to her speaking voice, and a peculiar oldness to the timbre of her speech as though she imagined Heaven as being an old woman, looking back and telling her story from the end of her life. In the prologue, I had a difficult time differentiating between Heaven's Granny's dialogue, and the actual narrative--they sounded the same. However, with time, Ms Thaxton grew on me and I enjoyed the performance more and more. She does an excellent job with men's and boy's voices (I did not care for how high-pitched she played Cal, however) and her handling of the accent through the whole book was very well done. VC Andrews was southern, her books mostly took place in the south, so all her characters should have southern accents. At last somebody gets that. If you're undecided about Ms Thaxton as the narrator of this book, it's worth listening to for her portrayal of Kitty alone! Wow! She sounds like Britney Spears when she's doing Kitty's voice--all low-class and southern hick! It's fantastic and not to be missed! I smiled a lot whenever Kitty was in a scene!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-07-19

I had to return this one

While I loved this book in my high school days...MANY MANY years ago! The narration to this wonderful story is just horrible and slow. After a few chapters, I had to return it.
But it’s still a great book, so i recommend just reading it and avoid the audible

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • S. J. Melton
  • 29-05-19

Great Book

In the 80’s as a young woman I read this book twice. It was one of the most interesting and engrossing books I have ever read. When I got Audible just recently I saw this book on it and just HAD to listen to it. It was just as wonderful now as it was then. The real V.C. Andrews was one hell of a storyteller.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 15-04-19

Great Story but Narrator...not so much

I have loved this series of books from V.C. Andrews since I was in high school. So when I heard that it's on Audible I was excited to listen to it! But as soon as I heard the narrator I was disappointed. I always envisioned her voice sweeter and not so harsh. But that is just my opinion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jody OBrien
  • 27-03-19

Sing-song-y Narrator

I have been anxiously waiting for this series (and the rest of V.C. Andrew’s series) to be recorded audiobooks. These books and I go way back and I am thrilled to be able to “re-read” them through audible. I have to say that I am disappointed in the narrator, unfortunately. The dialogue and voices of individual characters were completely fine but Heaven’s narrative was way too sing-song-y for my liking. I suspect that the same narrator will finish the series so I pray that it gets better!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • jb11
  • 26-08-19

Pure indulgence

I read this book when I was in my early 20's... then all the fuss about the Lifetime movie brought it back to my attention. Skip the movie, it's awful. This book, however, is amazing. Although our heroine is not sweet and demure (rather, she is cynical, sharp and carries a lot of pain), you do find yourself caring about her and rooting for her. Not to mention, Candace Thaxton gives great life to all of the characters! I easily tend to drift away if the narrator isn't grabbing my attention, and this never happened to me in this book. If you're a VC Andrews fan, or a fan of this genre, I would highly recommend this book. But as I said, steer clear of the movie, it's truly awful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sandra
  • 23-08-19

Such a great book!

Thanks to the reader the character all came to life for me! I was hooked

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • isabella
  • 21-03-19

Finally!

My grandmother introduced me to this book when I was thirteen. Love it then and love it now. I have been searching for this book on Audible since I down loaded the app. Thank you so much! Now I have to go and read the second installment because it's not on here... yet?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-19

Great Book!

I have been waiting so long for this book series to come on audible. I loved the book when I first read it and love it now. The narrator did a perfect job narrating. I highly recommend this book and hoping more early V. C. Andrews books come on audible.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Shirley Suarez
  • 13-11-19

Didn't Finish It.

The problems never end. This is a series mire like Unfortunate Events. Plus if you seen the movies, you seen enough.