She was supposed to be hidden away. But when the truth is exposed, she can't stay silent....
After tragedy tears her family apart, Jordan March is shipped off by her domineering Grandmother Emma to live with Emma's long-forgotten sister. Shuttered in a rundown farmhouse, Aunt Frances is the strangest person Jordan has ever met. Why has Grandmother hidden away this fragile, harmless woman -- did Frances grow up much too fast, like Jordan did? In the shadows of the farmhouse, Jordan is about to unearth the shattering truth -- and the March family will never be the same....
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 27, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Scattered Leaves by V.C. Andrews
With my hands clasped and resting on my lap, I sat at the foot of my bed in my room, waiting for Grandmother Emma March's chauffeur, Felix, to come up for my two suitcases and me. This morning it was so quiet that I imagined I wore invisible earmuffs. I could hear only my memories: the muffled sounds of my mother and father having another argument behind their closed bedroom door across the hallway, the clip-clop footsteps of Nancy, the maid, coming down the hallway to clean either my brother Ian's or my room, Ian imitating the sound of some insect he was studying, Grandmother Emma's voice echoing from the other side of the mansion as she barked out an order to one of the other servants.
As I sat there, it suddenly occurred to me why I wasn't terribly unhappy about leaving my grandmother's magnificent mansion. It had never felt like a home to me. It was more like borrowed space. Mother used to say we were even borrowing the air we breathed here. My brother, Ian, and I had to be so careful about everything we touched, even in our own rooms. So-called unnecessary noise was prohibited. Often, we found ourselves whispering, even when Grandmother Emma wasn't at home. We behaved as if we believed that whenever she went somewhere, she always left her shadow behind to spy on us and make reports. There were tattletales listening in every corner, under every chair, behind closed closet doors.
The rules swirled about us like angry bees ready to swarm down and sting us at the slightest sign of any violation. Just before I fell asleep every night, I could hear the house itself chanting and reminding me, "Beware of smudging furniture or windows. Don't leave anything out of place. Never track in anything from outdoors. Walk on air. Shut off lights. Respect me. Think of me as you would a very famous holy cathedral and treat me with similar reverence."
From the first day after we sold our own home and moved in with Grandmother Emma because of Daddy's economic troubles, my mother dreamed of moving out. The moment she stepped through the tall mahogany double doors, with the gold-painted, hand-carved March crest at the centers, and followed our things in funeral fashion up the stairway to our side of the large mansion, she was draped in dark shadows and weighed down like someone forced to wear layers and layers of heavy overcoats. Each day the brightness seeped more and more out of her eyes, and later I often caught her gazing out the window like someone behind prison bars envisioning an escape. Even in this opulent, rich world, she looked poor, misplaced, homeless and forgotten, or as Ian said, "A prisoner of circumstances beyond her control."
In the end we all were prisoners of these circumstances, even Grandmother Emma.
No one would have suspected that days of happiness and joy were rare for us. After all, we were the rich March family. Those happy days, however, were our private holidays, occurring just often enough to keep us, especially my mother, from drowning in a sea of depression. She would come up from the dark depth of despair, take a breath in the sunshine and then sink again to wait for the next occasion for smiles and laughter.
Too bad we didn't have more good and happy times to deposit in some sort of bank, I thought, and draw from them when we were in need of cheering ourselves. We'd always have something for a rainy day. Whoever could do that, whoever had a vault full of wonderful memories, was rich, even richer than Grandmother Emma, whose husband had been a top executive at Bethlehem Steel during the so-called golden age.
My grandparents had been like royalty then, and in the high society of today's Bethlehem they were still treated like old monarchs.