In the wake of a terrible loss, Rain is left alone to bear the Hudson family secreets -- as dark and forbidding as storm clouds on the horizon...
After the death of her beloved Grandmother Hudson, Rain found herself caught in a battle for the vast Hudson family wealth. Marked to inherit millions, Rain faced the fury of her unaccepting mother, her manipulative stepfather, and her cold, vicious Aunt Victoria. But no amount of money can keep Rain's world from crashing down when sudden tragedy strikes.
Left helpless after a devastating blow, Rain sinks into despair as her precious dreams are washed away...dreams that cannot be bought with the Hudson fortune. Her only hope for rebuilding her life rests in trusting a stranger who has come into her world -- a man whose generosity and kindness does not appear to come with strings attached, much to Rain's amazement. But just as she opens her heart to a promising new future, her past comes back to haunt her -- and Rain is pulled into a furious whirlpool of bitterness and heartache.
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October 31, 2000
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Excerpt from Eye of the Storm by V.C. Andrews
Chapter One: Jake's Secret
Very often during the first few days I was alone in Grandmother Hudson's grand house, I would stop at one of the many antique mirrors and ask my image just who I was at the moment. The expression I caught on my face was so strange and new to me, I hardly recognized myself. It was almost as if some spirit in the house had possessed me for a while or as if the ghosts moved in and out of me at will, each changing my moods, my look, even the sound of my voice.
Back in Endfield Place in London, my great-uncle Richard and great-aunt Leonora's home, a ghost was supposedly trapped, the ghost of the original owner's mistress, poisoned by his wife. I didn't really believe in ghosts, but Grandmother Hudson used to tell me that a house such as this one, a house that had been home for so long to a family, was far more than just wood, stone, glass and metal thrown together to form a structure. It took on the character of the people who resided within it. Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of reverberating with their voices, their laughter and their sobs filled it with memories.
"Think of it as if it were a gigantic sponge around us, absorbing our thoughts and actions, filling itself with our very natures until it became a part of us and we became forever a part of it. A new family can come in here and have the walls repainted, the floors covered with new carpet, different curtains and shutters hung on the windows, new furniture brought into every room, but we will linger in the heart of the house.
"The new owner might awaken one night and hear strange voices as the house replays some moment from our past like a sponge that has been squeezed and drips its contents, revealing what's really deep inside."
She smiled at my look of skepticism. Long ago I had stopped believing in tooth fairies and magic. Harsh reality was in my face too much.
"What I really mean, Rain, is when you look at something, whether it be a home or a tree or even the lake and see only what anyone else can see, you are partially blind. Take your time. Let things settle around you, in you. That takes some trust, I know, but after a while, it will become easier and easier and you will grow stronger and fuller because of it. You will become a part of all you see and all you touch," she told me.
These were rare moments, moments when she permitted herself to let down her own fortress walls and give me the opportunity to look in on whom she really was, a great and powerful lady on the outside, but no more than a little girl on the inside longing for love, for softness, for smiles and laughter and rainbow promises. Even at her age, she could blow out birthday candles and wish, too.
Much of her, of that, remained in the house. Her body rested in the graveyard a few miles away from it, but her spirit joined the spirits of the others who passed from room to room in a chain of memories lighter than smoke, looking for a way to resurrect some of the glory.
They were testing me, visiting me, challenging me by tinkering with my thoughts and feelings. They filled the shadows in the corners and whispered on the stairs, but I wasn't afraid even though I quickly began to have strange dreams, strange because they were about people I had never seen or met. Yet, despite that, there was something familiar about them, some laugh or wisp of a smile that filled me with even greater curiosity. I saw a little girl sitting all crunched up on a sofa, her eyes wide with surprise. I heard sobs through the walls. My eyes traveled down until they found two teenage girls listening, their mouths open with astonishment. Well-dressed people paraded through the hallways to rooms filled with displays of food and wine. There was the sound of violins and then a beautiful voice could be heard singing the famous aria from Madama Butterfly.