Heaven – Virginia Andrews
A good book doesn’t need to teach social responsibilities always. Any book that induces some kind of awareness in mind is a good book. ‘Heaven’ by Virginia Andrews is one such book. Though the book has been published in the year 1985. Its relevance to 21st century is its merit. The characterisation of fanny is found convincing since there are coquettish women like her in all centuries. But her character at last revealed as a good loving sister makes the readers to acknowledge fanny not as a negative character.
The novel is eponymous since it is named after the name of the central character heaven. In most of the places, she resembles the attitude of an elder daughter in the family. Throughout the novel she is found carrying responsibilities, duties and emotions of any eldest daughter even in today’s life. Though she is the daughter of Luke’s first wife Angel. Her love for her stepmother and of half brothers and half sister makes her portray as a virtuous girl.
Logan was more emotional and spiritual more than being physical. There may be a doubt that how can a girl be so virtuous when she had intimate relationship with a man Cal who should be considered as her father. Heaven was a girl who has been yearning for love throughout her life. Surprisingly she got it from her so called stepfather Cal to whom her Owen father Luke has sold her.
Since she was in adolescent she doesn’t know to carry the relationship with Cal. To make it more worse Cal’s wife, Kitty was rude to her which again made her to move close towards Cal who was her only solace and comfort during that time. As we say “To err is human to forgive is divine”, Heaven knows that she has committed a sin and is seen always feeling guilty about it whenever she meets Logan. Who loves and believes her for no reason.
Heaven’s family depicts the cross-section of the society during twentieth century. Tom is a kind of adorable character in the novel. I really yearn to have such a nice and handsome brother like Tom. In order to substantiate that ‘appearances are always deceptive’ the author would have created the character ‘Thomas Luke, Heaven’s father, who looks handsome but is not smart morally. His transformation during the eve of the novel makes him not look as a villain but still it is suspecting.
There are some characters like and ‘Keith’, whose characters were not present throughout the novel and their ‘Our Jane’ state of life, were also not given a clear description. Heaven’s reunion with Logan would have been made so that the readers can find that true love never fails. Absence of Logan makes it somewhat weird.
There is also a kind of depiction of the society in which the people living near the hills were seen disgusting and uncivilized. When Heaven explains to the readers about the students’ perception of herself and Tom. When the children were sold to different families by Luke, it also portrays that poverty is one of the reasons for the breakage of family and for selling children. They children’s suffering after Sarah, has left the house show that women were always the backbone of the family. It’s like emphasizing the importance of women in a family and the vagueness that will be prevailing in the family in the absence of a woman.
On the whole ‘Heaven’ makes readers question to themselves about how outrageous there are if they couldn’t find anyone for them to love and live with. It also displays the happiness of a family that everyone is not blessed to get as the proverb says ‘Blood is thicker than water’ the relationship between siblings were shown in an authentic way. It is the journey of a girl Heaven from innocence to maturity observing many inevitable experiences.
Divya Saraswathi. P