The Most WTF Things from V. C. Andrews’ Cutler Series

Newton, Richard. Dawn, V. C. Andrews, Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster USA), 1990, stepback cover.

The first book from the Cutler series, Dawn, was actually the first V. C. Andrews novel I read. Not only had I never read a generational saga, but I’d also never read anything with so much WTF-ery.

Dawn tells the story of a teenage girl who discovers she was kidnapped as an infant. Her biological family is actually quite wealthy. In fact, her family owns a Virginia Beach resort. The remaining books in the series are Secrets of the Morning, Twilight’s Child, Midnight Whispers, and Darkest Hour.


Philip Is Disgusting

Not only does Philip sexually assault Dawn (his own half-sister/aunt), but he also attempts to do the same to her daughter, Christie.

Michael Sutton Is Disgusting

Michael Sutton, apparently some famous guy in the Andrews universe, not only gets one of his students pregnant but also abandons her. Oh yeah, he also tries to extort money from her later. He also wants Christie’s money.

Dawn Sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

At Grandma Cutler’s birthday, Dawn thinks it will be a brilliant gift to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Maybe I just don’t like Dawn, but it always seemed like an embarrassing way to garner attention.

Dawn Hates Ugly People

When Philip eventually marries a woman named Betty, Dawn describes her as plain until she gives birth to twins and it “improves” her figure. Dawn also believes the only reason Philip would marry an ugly girl like Betty is so he can pretend she is Dawn.

Oh yeah, Dawn also makes it a point that the reader understands just how much prettier she is compared to Clara Sue. In fact, Clara Sue suffers a lot throughout this book. Not only does she have to live with Dawn and loses her inheritance, but she also dies in a truck accident.

Lillian Gives Birth to Charlotte

We learn in Darkest Hour that Lillian is Charlotte’s mother. Charlotte was raised as Lillian’s sister, but she actually resulted from a sexual assault by Lillian’s adopted father.

Clara Sue Beats Dawn

Clara Sue beats Dawn so badly that she has a miscarriage. As a result, Dawn has difficulty becoming pregnant again later. This attack was pretty brutal, even for a V. C. Andrews book, honestly.

Randolph Dies at Lilian’s Grave

When he dies in Twilight’s Child, Randolph is found clinging to Lilian’s grave. He seemingly died of a broken heart.

Niles Dies

In Darkest Hour, a boy named Niles falls while climbing down from Lillian’s window, breaking his neck. It’s really the way this entire scene is written that is shocking.

Fern Is Terrible

Fern is a cute little baby in Dawn, but Dawn and Jimmy do not retrieve her from her adopted family until Twilight’s Child. Fern sexually abuses Christie and Gavin while also accusing her adopted father of abusing her. Oh yeah, Jimmy doesn’t do anything about it.

I Kinda Liked Lilian By the End

The most shocking thing to me is that by the end of reading Darkest Hour, I don’t dislike Lilian all that much. Yeah, she’s pretty terrible, but I don’t think Dawn is much of a heroine either.


What do you think? Did I miss anything?