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Literature / Logan Series

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Melody Logan knew her beautiful mother, Haille, was unhappy in their hardscrabble mining town.... note 

The Logan series is a series of novels published under the name of V. C. Andrews, but written entirely by the ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman.

The first three novels feature Melody Logan. The fourth is a prequel featuring her cousin Laura, a Posthumous Character in the first book. The fifth book is another prequel featuring Melody's great-aunt Olivia.

Novels in the series:

  • Melody (1996)
  • Heart Song (1997)
  • Unfinished Symphony (1997)
  • Music in the Night (1998)
  • Olivia (1999)

This series contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Olivia Logan is emotionally abusive and neglectful of anyone who defies her, including her son Chester and her adopted daughter Haille.
    • Jacob seems to take after her in this regard and treats his son Cary quite coldly, even beating him at times. His treatment of his youngest daughter May can be considered neglectful since he doesn't really communicate with her and orders Sara to do most of the work in regard to her.
    • Sara also has moments where she seems neglectful of May as well, trapped in her grief of Laura more often than not to pay attention to the fact that she still has a living daughter who needs a lot of love and attention.
    • Haille is emotionally distant and downright neglectful of Melody to the point where she simply shoves Melody to her estranged relatives without any thought to what could happen to her. When she and Melody reunite, she proves to not care about what her daughter does and even chews her out when Melody refuses to do a pornographic scene to earn money.
  • Bedlam House: Belinda ends up in one along with Laura.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Holly acts as a genderflipped one to Melody and becomes her Cool Aunt in Unfinished Symphony when she marries Kenneth.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the end of Unfinished Symphony, Jacob, Olivia, Belinda, and Ulysses (Kenneth's aging dog) have died, Samuel is in a nursing home for the rest of his days, and Cary and Melody have found out that Laura died in the asylum that Olivia put her in. However, Melody now knows who her father is (even if she wants nothing to do with him), Melody openly acknowledges Judge Childs as her grandfather (which he happily accepts), Kenneth marries Holly and they have two new puppies, Olivia made Melody the main benefactor in her will, Sara and May are able to have another start at life, and Melody and Cary are prepared to have their long overdue Happily Ever After.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Haille and Kenneth briefly engage in it before the truth of their relationship is revealed. And it might have happened with Adam and Melody if he wasn't such a Jerkass obsessed with sleeping with her.
  • Byronic Hero: Lawrence in Music in the Night: a handsome, melancholic young man with severe anxiety who falls in love with an amnesiac Laura and is the one who helps her escape so that she can be Together in Death with Robert despite his own heartbreak. He ends up regressing hard because of this.
  • Cool Uncle: Kenneth Childs, a semi-reclusive artist and half-brother of Haille, is this to Melody even before she learns the truth of their relationship.
  • Death by Despair: It's very likely that this is why Laura chose to intentionally drown due to being unable to go on without Robert.
  • Doting Grandparent: On the opposite side of Olivia, Samuel Logan is a good-natured grandfather who genuinely adores his grandchildren and Melody. And Judge Childs is one to Melody even before she knows the truth about him being her maternal grandfather.
  • Driven to Suicide: Poor Laura...
  • Evil Matriarch: Olivia.
  • Faking the Dead: When Laura loses her memory in the boating accident, Olivia has her committed to an asylum and tells everyone, including Laura's own parents and siblings, that Laura drowned alongside Robert. Later, Cary and Melody find out about this and want to rescue Laura, but by this time she has died for real.
    • Haille ends up doing this when everyone believes she died in a car accident, and she takes on the name Gina Simon as her new identity.
  • Freudian Excuse: Olivia Logan is given one in the prequel Olivia to explain why she was so cruel and domineering towards Melody. It's also shown in Music in the Night that Laura's death had a profound effect on Olivia that probably made her worse toward Melody.
    • When he thought he was about to die, Jacob revealed to Melody how he felt he was responsible for the person Haille became as it's implied he raped Haille when she was thirteen. Many of Haille's destructive tendencies however arguably surfaced after she found out that she was the illegitimate child of Judge Childs, making her the half-sister of her beloved boyfriend, Kenneth Childs.
  • The Fundamentalist: Jacob Logan.
  • Granola Girl: Kenneth's girlfriend Holly.
  • Half-Identical Twins: In Music in the Night, Cary and Laura were once this way until Laura began trying to develop her own identity.
  • Jerk: Adam Jackson is an outright Jerkass. He and Melody thankfully don't stay together for many reasons, the most important being they're half-siblings with the same father.
  • Kissing Cousins: Melody and Cary are cousins, but they fall in love anyway. Then they find out they're second cousins with their grandmothers as sisters.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: May Logan is a variation of this (deaf, rather than a cancer sufferer). She's treated quite poorly by her father and grandmother as well as occasionally neglected by her mother.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: It's not until Unfinished Symphony that Melody finds out who her real father is after ruling out Chester Logan (her beloved stepfather/second cousin) and Kenneth Childs (her supportive uncle): it's Theodore "Teddy" Jackson, the father of Adam Jackson who tried to make her one of his conquests.
    • Olivia finds out when her mother is dying that she's actually not her father's daughter but rather the daughter of a sailor her mother had a brief affair with.
  • Marriage Before Romance: Averted in Olivia. Olivia doesn't love Samuel Logan when she marries him, but believes they will develop deeper feelings and a solid marriage is the best foundation for a later romance. This doesn't happen, and later backfires on her; when she falls in love with Nelson Childs, she is already married.
  • Meaningful Name: Melody can play the fiddle extremely well.
  • Musical Theme Naming: "Melody", "Song", "Symphony", "Music"
  • Mum Looks Like a Sister: Haille attempts to launch a movie career in her late 30s yet looks young enough to get away with pretending she's at least ten years younger than her age and that teenage Melody is her younger sister.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Chester Logan's death kickstarts the events of the series.
  • Odd Name Out: The book collections have names with a noticeable theme—"Flowers", "Petals", "Garden" (floral), "Heaven", "Angel", "Paradise" (religious), "Dawn", "Morning", "Midnight" (day), "Ruby", "Jewel", "Pearl" (gemstones). This series clearly has a musical motif—"Melody", "Song"—so a simple name like "Olivia" as opposed to the others really stands out.
  • Old Maid: Olivia Gordon marries Samuel Logan mainly to show that she can land a wealthy man like her sister, but also because she is almost too old for marriage. (She mentions that it had been commented on and that all her old school friends are now married.)

  • Pillow Pregnancy: Takes place in Olivia.
  • Posthumous Narration: Music in the Night concludes with Laura narrating as she dies.
  • Prodigal Family: Haille sends her daughter away to live with relatives she barely has contact with because she'd rather pursue an acting career. When Melody finally tracks her mother down, Haille pales and rapidly schemes so their reunion doesn't become an inconvenience for her; Haille is lying about her age and pretends Melody is her younger sister instead of her teenage daughter.
  • Rape as Drama: Implied that this might have happened with Jacob and Haille.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Aunt Sarah at first tries to turn Melody into a replacement for Laura, giving her Laura's clothes to wear and saying things like "That's just what Laura would have done," "Laura didn't wear her hair like this." May also be the case with Melody's love interest Cary, who is heavily implied to have been in love with Laura (his own twin sister).
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Melody's stepfather (actually second cousin once removed), Chester Logan, sacrificed everything for Haille. He was the only one who stood by Haille when the latter's out of wedlock pregnancy was exposed, and as a result was not only disowned by the Logan family but became an Unperson as well. His love and devotion to Haille took him from a wealthy lifestyle in Massachusetts to working in a coal mine and living in a trailer park in West Virginia. But Chester worked hard for his family without complaint, and also raised Melody as his own daughter and loved her unconditionally. Unfortunately, Haille was far from grateful for the sacrifices he made for her and did little to hide just how miserable she was with how their lives were. Tragically he would die in a coal mining accident, and while many people mourned his death (most especially Melody), the rest of the Logan family did not attend his funeral. Nor did Olivia remove Chester's status as an Unperson. Furthermore Haille, the one person who turned his whole life upside down, reacted to his death as though she were finally free from a burden, leading her to hook up with an "agent" named Archie with whom she carries on a sexual relationship within just a few short months of Chester's death, and dumping Melody with their estranged family.
  • Spoiled Brat: Haille is all but implied to have been heavily spoiled by Samuel, Chester, and even Olivia which very well explains her selfish and self-serving nature.
  • Stage Mom: When Melody tracks down Haille, who is now trying to make her name as a model/actress, Haille pushes Melody to go to auditions so they can make more money. Played with in that Haille is lying about her age to further her career and pretends that she's actually Melody's older sister.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Laura and Robert.
  • Surprise Incest: Adam Jackson, the Jerkass who tried to make Melody one of his conquests, is Melody's half-brother thanks to Haille having a one-night stand with his father: teen rebel turned lawyer Theodore "Teddy" Jackson.
  • Tangled Family Tree: All right, buckle up kids because this is quite a doozy: Olivia and Belinda Gordon are half-sisters who share the same mother but have different fathers. Both of them are quite fond of Nelson Childs but he winds up marrying another woman who he has a few children with including youngest child Kenneth. Olivia marries Samuel Logan and has two sons: Jacob and Chester. Belinda and Nelson have an affair which is what brings about the conception of Haille who is adopted by Olivia and Samuel with Belinda carted off to an asylum not long after the birth. Jacob marries Sara and has Cary, Laura, and May. Haille gets pregnant while still in her teens with Melody after an affair with Theodore "Teddy" Jackson not long after finding out that her boyfriend Kenneth was her half-brother but staunchly keeps the identity of her child's father a secret until Melody finds out when she's about seventeen. After a fight with Jacob, Chester moves with Haille to West Virginia so that her child can have a normal family life but his death in a mining accident kickstarts the whole plot.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Haille is still in her teens when she gets pregnant with Melody.
  • Theme Naming: Musical—"Melody", "Song", "Symphony", etc.
  • Together in Death: Laura and Robert.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth:
    • Laura Logan.
    • Robert Royce.
  • Twincest: Cary Logan is all but explicitly stated to have been in love with his twin sister Laura.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: You'd think that Haille would have shown a little more gratitude toward Chester for sacrificing his relationship with his family and raising Melody like his own daughter but all Haille sees is that she's wasting her good looks away as a beautician in a coal mining town rather than a Hollywood actress. Once Chester dies, she acts as though all the years she spent with him were a prison when he treated her like a princess and is quick to move on from him.
  • Uptown Girl: Laura for Robert, causing Olivia to try to separate them.
    • Cary for Melody
  • Wicked Stepfather: Averted with Chester Logan who adored Melody as though she were his own daughter (he's actually her second cousin by blood) but played straight with Archie who tries to not only make Melody do pornographic scenes for money but even tries to force himself on her when she refuses.

Alternative Title(s): Music In The Night