V.C. Andrews’ Heaven (2019)

The Casteel series started after VC Andrews wrote the Dollanganger books — which includes Flowers in the Attic — and My Sweet Audrina. Only the first two books appeared before her death and the series tells the story of a troubled West Virginia family, starting with Heaven, a gir whose mother died in childbirth, which leads to a hate-filled relationship with her father.

Lifetime made all five books in this series into films following their success with the Dollangager movies. Directed by Paul Shapiro (whose career is all over the place in the best of ways, working on plenty of TV movies and episodic TV) and written by Scarlett Lacey (who also was the scribe for the My Sweet Audrina TV movie and Wendy Williams: The Movie), this film places Annalise Basso into the role of Heaven Leigh Van Voreen Casteel.

Heaven is the oldest child in her family, driven to escape Winnerow, West Virginia with her academic abilities. It takes until late in her teens before she learns that she’s the daughter of the rich Leigh Cateel, who died in childbirth, causing her father to never love her. Yet when he father’s drinking grows out of control, she and her siblings are sold off to other family members, sending her to live with his ex-wife Kitty and her new husband, a writer named Cal who starts an affair with her.

Man, I’m behind in my VC Andrews TV movie watching. What is wrong with me? I have no priorities!

This is the kind of movie I love, one where a woman on her deathbed tells a teenager that it’s good with her if she keeps arrdvarking with her husband, a man who should be her father figure yet asks to be called daddy.

Now I have to stop writing this and get to watching like twenty more of these. My work is never done.

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