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Literature / Hudson Series

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Rain already knows how hard life can be. But she is about to discover a shattering secret from the past that will change her future forever.... (US Hardcover edition, by Tony Greco and Lisa Falkenstern)

The Hudson series is a series of novels published under the name of V. C. Andrews, but written entirely by the ghostwriter who had previously written sequels to several of Andrews's novels.

Rain lives in an urban project in Washington, D.C., with her long-suffering mother, her unreliable and abusive father, and her two siblings: wild-child sister Beni and handsome, supportive older brother Roy. Witnessing how the rough life of their neighborhood has drawn in Beni, Rain becomes determined to avoid the pitfalls and focus on her dreams of a life in the performing arts. All that changes when her mother finally admits the truth: Rain is actually the biracial child of a wealthy, rebellious white socialite forced by her family to give up her infant daughter. But when tragedy strikes and Rain finds her life in danger, she must take refuge with her white grandmother.

Rain finds herself in a new and unfamiliar world of privilege and luxury, a place where she is not entirely welcome. With her new advantages, including access to an expensive, exclusive school for the performing arts, her dreams seem finally within her grasp. Rain's innate talent transcends both her impoverished background and her insular, suffocating new circumstances, but the journey is not easy, and both her own past and her true mother's legacy constantly reach out to hold her back. Rain soon learns that what she truly wants is a place to call home.

The first three novels feature Rain Hudson. The fourth features her daughter, Summer, and the fifth is a prequel featuring her mother.

Novels in the series:

This series contains examples of:

  • Bedlam House: Megan goes to one temporarily after Brody dies but is released at the end.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Summer and Harley are trapped in the basement of his grandfather's house by Suze, Roy is the one who ends up saving them both.
  • But Not Too Black: Rain is considerably lighter-skinned than her siblings, which turns out to be because she's adopted — she is actually biracial with a white mother. This is a plot point, as Rain's lighter skin tone gets seen as a sign of favoritism by Beni and other girls at Rain's school.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandmother Hudson, who blissfully averts the Evil Matriarch tropes that are the usual fate of grandmothers in V. C. Andrews novels. She hides her Broken Bird past by becoming a Deadpan Snarker and ends up befriending Rain with Snark-to-Snark Combat that evolves into playful banter. They both end up becoming the closest people to each other until Grandmother Hudson dies at the end of Lightning Strikes and leaves Rain the majority of her fortune over her daughters Megan and Victoria.
  • Cool Uncle: Roy is this to Summer, especially after his Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Implied with Beni's death. Just as the girls start to make amends, they get jumped by a gang. Rain escapes, Beni does not.
  • Death of a Child: In this series alone, Beni, Brody, and Latisha the younger all die very young with different causes of death. There's also Roy becoming a widower after Glenda drowns and Harley and Summer running away to try and find his biological father only to be held captive in the basement of his grandfather's house. If Roy hadn't shown up when he did, both Summer and Harley would be dead.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Latisha Arnold is practically a saint for how much she truly loves her children, both adopted and biological. Naturally for a V.C. Andrews series, she's dead before the end of the first book of cancer.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Roy never gets to be with Rain.
  • Doting Grandparent: Summer gets not only her mother's parents but her mother's stepfather who all adore her dearly in their own ways (Megan gives Summer unorthodox but cathartic advice after her rape, Lawrence offers Summer to stay with him several times which she does for college, and Grant provides stability and legal advice after Summer is raped). Grandmother Hudson was also this to Rain in her own way since they end up bonding quite well in their time together before her death at the end of Lightning Strikes where she leaves the majority of her fortune to Rain over her daughters Megan and Victoria.
  • Driven to Suicide: Roy's wife Glenda drowns herself on the anniversary of their daughter's death.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Both Eye of the Storm and The End of the Rainbow have Rain and Summer respectively going through hell to finally get their happy endings from paraplegia and being a prisoner in her own home (Rain) to being raped and held hostage by a mentally unstable couple (Summer).
  • The Film of the Book: Rain.
  • Gene Hunting: Rain does a bit of this in Lightning Strikes to try and meet her biological father but the stronger example is Roy's stepson, Harley, who decides to try and find his father after the death of his mother in The End of the Rainbow. While Rain does find her father and gets along well enough with him, Harley finds out that his father died in a robbery and his grandfather is trapped in the past to the point where he lets his partner trap Summer and Harley in the basement to "drive the evil spirit of his father out of him" and poisons them with mushrooms.
  • Good Stepfather: Roy becomes this to Harley though they end up going through a tumultuous time during his teen years.
    • Grant isn't quite a father figure to Rain but he's quite courteous to her for the most part and even acts as another grandfather to her daughter. At the very least, he's leagues better than her sleazy adopted father.
  • Handicapped Badass: Rain has her moments of this in End of the Rainbow.
  • Happily Adopted: Rain's adoptive mother gave her more love and attention than her actual mother did, although her home and school life wasn't exactly rosy.
    • Harley was adopted by Roy after he married his mother Glenda.
  • Happily Married: Rain and Austin are very much this with the latter very much dedicated to the former.
  • Inspirationally Disabled: Rain becomes this after being paralyzed in an accident.
  • Kids Are Cruel: When the truth about Rain being biracial comes out after Beni reveals it out of jealousy and spite, a group of girls starts harassing Rain and at one point sets Rain's dress on fire.
  • Kissing Cousins: Summer and Harley are cousins only in name since Rain and Roy are Not Blood Siblings and Harley is Roy's stepson. They get engaged at The End of the Rainbow with approval from both their parents.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Roy's daughter Latisha dies at the age of three to an aggressive cancer just like her grandmother and namesake.
  • Mask of Sanity: Victoria Hudson seems to be a competent albeit stern businesswoman on the outside but she's really a spiteful woman angry that her father (who wasn't really her father) favored her sister and seeks revenge against her sister and mother by terrorizing her paraplegic niece (who her mother favored over her daughters) and having an affair with her brother-in-law when her sister is grieving over her son's death in a mental hospital.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Rain and Roy. Possibly a subversion, since Rain marries Austin later on.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Rain goes for many years without knowing that she's actually biracial and her real mother sold her to a poor black family to keep her existence secret.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Beni, Brody, and Latisha the younger all die very young by murder, a car accident, and cancer respectively.
  • Papa Wolf: The normally soft-spoken Austin shows this side when the administration of Summer's music program tries to bribe them not to sue or press charges on his daughter's rapist or the school by delivering a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech and pulling her immediately out of the school.
    • Roy is this to Harley when it's revealed that his grandfather and Suze have kept Harley and Summer trapped in the home and even poisoned them with mushrooms.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Beni gets killed by a gang on the streets, which spurs her mother to reveal the truth about Rain's biological family and send her to them. Meanwhile Roy joins the army so both of Mama Latisha's surviving children have gotten out of the ghetto.
    • The deaths of Grandmother Hudson at the end of Lightning Strikes and Brody near the beginning of Eye of the Storm also cause a nearly catastrophic spiral for the family which includes Megan going into a mental hospital, Victoria showing her sociopathic side, and Rain becoming a paraplegic.
  • Second Love: Austin for Rain.
  • Shipper on Deck: Roy becomes one for Summer and Harley.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Rain and Beni (and later Allison).
    • Megan and Victoria also had this case with the spoiled yet kind Megan clashing with the intelligent but cruel Victoria.
  • Spoiled Brat: Allison Randolph isn't as favored as Brody but she's still a rather minor example with how much she looks down on her half-sister. She's not as antagonistic to Rain as most other examples are and she eventually mellows out after almost drowning at Summer's birthday and marrying a proper businessman.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Megan Hudson is this, especially when her Hidden Depths are revealed in Gathering Clouds.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Austin delivers a scathing one toward the administration that tries to not only let Summer's rapist get off scot-free but tries to give them "compensation" as a bribe.
  • Theme Naming: Weather—"Rain", "Lightening", "Storm", etc.
  • The Unfavorite: Victoria is less favored than Megan in the eyes of their father despite her success to be in his business. Very likely, the reason is because she isn't his daughter but rather the daughter of her mother's confidant Jake who she constantly looked down on.
    • This may be the source of Beni's antagonism towards Rain, though the favoritism is less intentional on her family's part.
    • Allison is also less favored than Brody which becomes much more apparent after he dies.
    • Harley, Roy's stepson, is the unfavorite to his half-sister Latisha who died of cancer ten years ago at the age of three.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Poor Roy goes through the wringer probably more than Rain herself. His father is an abusive criminal in the making, he finds out his beloved younger sister Rain isn't really his sister, his youngest sister Beni is killed by a gang which tears his family apart, his mother Latisha dies of cancer, he goes to the army like he wanted but is dishonorably discharged when he goes AWOL to help Rain, he Did Not Get the Girl and Rain marries Austin instead, his daughter Latisha dies young of cancer at only three years old, his wife Glenda commits suicide on the tenth anniversary of Latisha's death, and his adopted stepson Harley runs away with his niece Summer and both of them nearly get killed.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: Even getting married to another woman and having another child (who sadly dies young) doesn't quell the love that Roy has for Rain.