|Birth Name: Leigh Diane VanVoreen (1937-1951)|
|Relatives: Jillian Tatterton (mother, deceased), Chester Goodwin (father), Cleave VanVoreen (Adoptive father, deceased), Tony Tatterton (step-father, deceased), Heaven Casteel (daughter, deceased), Luke Casteel (husband, deceased), Logan Stonewall (son-in-law, deceased), Annie Stonewall (granddaughter), Annie's children (Great-grandchildren)|
|Appearances: Heaven (mentioned only). Dark Angel (mentioned only), Fallen Hearts (Mentioned only), Gates of Paradise (mentioned only), Web of Dreams.|
|Portrayed By: N/A|
Leigh Diane VanVoreen Casteel, was the daughter of Chester Goodwin and Jillian Tatterton and the adopted daughter of Cleave VanVoreen, who did not know that Leigh was not his biological daughter. She was the wife of Luke Casteel and mother of Heaven Casteel with Tony Tatterton.
Leigh was born in Boston and was raised by her mother Jillian Tatterton and adoptive father. Her adoptive father, Cleave VanVoreen, was in the boat business, and would take Leigh down to see the engine rooms, much to her mother's dismay. When she was twelve, Cleave gave her a diary, which he referred to as a log book. Leigh wrote down a false story Jillian told her in it.
Web of DreamsEdit
Leigh lived out a happy existence until her mother left her father for the much younger man, Tony Tatterton, the handsome and wealthy owner of Tatterton Toys. Shortly after Jillian married Tony, Leigh and her mother moved into Tony's estate, Farthinggale Manor. Leigh's only friend on the estate was Troy Tatterton, the four-year-old brother of Tony, and they spent a lot of time together. Eventually, Leigh was placed in an exclusive Private School for girls.During her summer vacation, Leigh served as the model for what would be a new line of toys for Tatterton Toys: A portrait doll. During the portrait doll modeling sessions, Tony started making advances towards Leigh, much to her confusion, as Jillian had stopped sleeping with him. After the doll was complete, it was presented to Leigh on her birthday. Tony raped Leigh one night while Jillian was away.
After a few weeks, Leigh discovered she was pregnant by Tony, and when she confronted her mother about this fact, Jillian believed that Leigh seduced Tony on purpose and accused her of being a slut. Shocked and infuriated that her own mother did not believe her, Leigh told Jillian that she knew Cleave was not really her father, that Jillian also had premarital sex and that she knew Jillian had, in effect, pimped her out to Tony in order to avoid having sex with him. After the fight, Leigh stole some of Tony's money that he kept in a strongbox and fled Farthinggale Manor with a few meager possessions and her portrait doll.
Leigh had decided to go live with her grandmother Jana in Texas. After leaving Boston, she purchased a train ticket in Atlanta, but missed her connection and was stranded. A stranger named Luke Casteel cheered her up. After he inquired about Leigh's portrait doll, she admitted that it was indeed modeled after her, and that she had named it Angel. Luke told her that 'Angel' was a better name for her than Leigh. He then proceeds to refer to Leigh as Angel after that. Leigh confided in him about the circumstances of her pregnancy and he drove her to a motel so she could rest. He then returned with some food for her and watched with concern, as though he were the expectant father. Leigh asked him to stay as she didn't want to be on her own and he agreed. When she woke up in the middle of the night, Luke was instantly at her side, reassuring her that he'd always protect her. He then told her that he has fallen in love with her and wanted to be the father of her baby. Assuming she dreamt this, Leigh went back to sleep. After waking up in Luke's arms, she asked him about it. He passionately talked about his plans for the future if the two of them were together and Leigh fell more and more in love with him.
Although they had only known each other for one day, they got married and returned to Luke's West Virginia mountain home, where her young age was not so unusual. After meeting Luke's mother, Annie, and Luke's father, Toby, Leigh worked hard around the shack and ignored the stares of the local townsfolk. For his part, Luke was madly in love with her and had plans to build a house in town just for her and the baby. Whenever Luke would drink, Leigh would fear for his health and tell him off, which he liked because she put him straight. He promised to make her happy because she was the love of his life.
Leigh's diary ends when she starts experiencing labor pains while out for a walk with Luke. She writes about how they went up to the hills and how Luke talked about their plans for the future. He told her that she was his one and only and that no man could ever love any woman more than he loved her. She responded by kissing him and asking him to go back to the cabin with her so he could hold her. As they walk back, Leigh records that she stopped and stared at the stars, telling Luke that when she goes to sleep tonight she wanted to feel like she's going to sleep in heaven. These are the last words in the journal, sadly ironic because the reader knows that Leigh does go to sleep 'in heaven', due to her death in childbirth, and that it is this death which turns Luke into the heartless man he is in Heaven.
Leigh had a fairly good relationship with her mother before she found out her mother was going to marry Tony. After that, their relationship was strained because Jillian cared more about herself, and intended to have Leigh spend most of her weekends with Tony. Although Leigh usually enjoyed her weekends with Tony, she was angry with her mother's selfishness. When Tony had the idea of the portrait doll, he suggested Leigh model for the first one and Jillian agreed with him, much to Leigh's dismay.Leigh hated the idea of modeling in the nude, especially modeling in front of Tony. Leigh was also concerned about Tony touching her. She went to her mother, yet Jillian didn't think much of it, saying an artist needs to do those kinds of things. After the doll was complete, it was presented to Leigh on her birthday. Tony raped Leigh one night while Jillian was away.
After a few weeks, Leigh discovered she was pregnant by Tony, and when she confronted her mother about this fact, Jillian believed that Leigh seduced Tony on purpose and accused her of being a slut. Shocked and infuriated that her own mother did not believe her, Leigh told Jillian that she knew Cleave was not really her father, that Jillian also had premarital sex and that she knew Jillian had, in effect, pimped her out to Tony in order to avoid having sex with him. After the fight, Leigh stole some of Tony's money that he kept in a strongbox and fled Farthinggale Manor with a few meager possessions and her portrait doll, leaving Farthinggale Manor as well as Tony and Jillian for good.
Initially, Leigh hated Tony when she found out he was going to marry her mother. After awhile, Leigh stops hating him and starts to warm up to him a bit, but starts hating him again after he rapes her while Jillian is away.
Leigh died a few moments after the birth of her daughter, Heaven. But she was the one who named her Heaven Leigh Casteel. Despite the fact that she didn't know her mother, Heaven would defend her when she could, like when she and Tony were arguing. The only possession she owned that belonged to her mother was the portrait doll Leigh cherished. She also got given a suitcase full of Leigh's other belonging such as clothes: a nightgown.
According to Web of Dreams, Leigh has read Lolita.
Annie Casteel told Heaven in the prologue of Heaven that Leigh was fourteen when she gave birth to Heaven, according to the other books she is thirteen.
Gabrielle Landry, like Leigh, has died in childbirth due to too much blood loss.
Although Troy is constantly referred to as her younger brother, he is actually Leigh's step-uncle.