My Sweet Audrina
||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (July 2011)|
|My Sweet Audrina|
First edition cover
|Author||V. C. Andrews|
|Series||only book written as a solo|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
Audrina Adare lives with her father Damian, who has a strange past, mother Lucietta, aunt Ellsbeth and cousin Vera. Nine years before Audrina was born, her elder sister—who was also named Audrina—was raped and murdered in the woods. Damian convinces the younger Audrina that, by a process of self-hypnosis, she can gain all of the First Audrina's memories and become just as beloved and special as her dead sister, which is what Audrina wants more than anything else in the world. Audrina is haunted by dreams of her dead sister's rape and is terrified of sex and men. When she is eight, she meets Arden Lowe and his mother Billie, an amputee. Meanwhile, Lucietta is pregnant yet again. On Audrina's ninth birthday, Lucietta goes into early labor and dies in childbirth; the baby, a girl, is named Sylvia.
More than three years after her birth, Sylvia finally comes home from the hospital and turns out to be intellectually disabled. A few years later, Audrina discovers the affair between Lamar and Vera and that Vera is pregnant. In the ensuing confrontation, Vera has a miscarriage. The next day, she leaves town with Lamar. She leaves a note stating that she is Audrina's paternal half-sister, due to an affair that Ellsbeth had with Damian before he met Lucietta. Shortly after she turns eighteen, Audrina discovers that Damian and Ellsbeth are lovers again; however, tragedy strikes again when Ellsbeth threatens to leave Damian because he will not let her help Vera, who is alone after Lamar committed suicide. The next morning, she is found dead from a mysterious fall down the stairs.
Audrina elopes with Arden, hoping to escape her controlling father, and takes Sylvia with her. However, she is still not prepared for sexual intimacy, and her wedding night goes terribly wrong. When the newlyweds return from their disastrous honeymoon, they find that Damian has won over Arden's mother. He also offers Arden a job at his company. Audrina is upset but goes along with it for the sake of peace. Vera returns suddenly one day and, against Damian's wishes, stays for a while. It is not long before Vera attempts to seduce Arden. Tragedy strikes again when Billie "falls" down the same steps and dies. Depressed, Audrina pulls away from Arden and Sylvia—Vera and Arden begin an affair. But when Audrina's love and sexuality finally awakens, she tells Arden that she doesn't want to lose him and they spend the first happy night of their marriage together. One night, she is pushed down the stairs and falls into a coma. With Sylvia's help, she awakens and escapes, realizing that she cannot die without learning the secret of First Audrina.
Audrina confronts her father and he confesses that the First and Best Audrina never existed. It was Audrina herself who was gang-raped in the woods. The rape left her so traumatized that she attempted suicide. In an attempt to save Audrina from herself, Damian subjected her to electro-convulsive therapy, trying to erase the memory of the rape. Following Damian's lead, the family conspired to convince Audrina that the rape didn't happen to her but to an older sister who died before she was born. Eventually the repetition of this story worked. Since the family deliberately changed the clocks in the house and also ripped off calendar days, her sense of time was also altered. Audrina realizes that Arden had been present and witnessed the rape but ran away in fear. She also realizes that Vera was the only other person who knew she would be coming home through the woods that day. However, Vera denies being involved, though her reaction suggests she is in fact guilty. When Vera turns to run, she falls down the stairs, later dying of her numerous injuries. Heartbroken, Audrina decides to take herself and Sylvia away but Sylvia refuses to leave. Audrina realizes that where there is love, there can be forgiveness and the promise of a fresh start. She decides to stay, finally feeling like the loving "First" Audrina she has always strived to be.