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Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger Family 1) (edition 1979)

by Virginia Andrews

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4,0731261,247 (3.53)137
Member:Petulisa
Title:Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger Family 1)
Authors:Virginia Andrews
Info:Harpercollins Publishers (1979), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Novels
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Flowers In The Attic by V. C. Andrews

  1. 11
    The Girl In The Lighthouse by Roxane Tepfer Sanford (LauraT81)
    LauraT81: If you enjoy V.C. Andrews then you'll love The Girl In The Lighthouse.
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Showing 1-5 of 122 (next | show all)
Interesting. Scary. Weird. I'm not sure how I felt about the book in the end, though it was well written. ( )
  LaPhenix | Jul 22, 2016 |
mom influenced me as a child by leaving books around that i should not have read at the age i read them! this story still haunts me. thanks mom!

it's terrifying ... ( )
  Joseph_W_Naus | Jul 20, 2016 |

“Children are very wise intuitively; they know who loves them most, and who only pretends.”

It would be an understatement to say that I was a fan of V.C. Andrews growing up. I was an "uber-fan." My sister had these books on her bed when I was in the fourth grade, and I was fascinated by the covers, the way they opened to reveal these morbid looking family photos inside the cover, and of course I loved the movie made in 80s. Now I know the movie is horrid, although the score from Christopher Young still remains one of my top favorites to this day. Soon I had my old grubby little hands on this series, which fascinated me back then.

There was something sinister but exciting about V.C. Andrews original stories. I had no idea then what Gothic style was, I just knew I was hooked by the shocking developments, the taboo subjects, the weird twists and betrayals, and of course the innocent main characters sucked into the morbid world.

I was dreading this fourth re-read a little because it's been so long since I've read this one - I was sadly let down a few years back with another re-read of [b:My Sweet Audrina|805023|My Sweet Audrina (Audrina, #1)|V.C. Andrews|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1178550284s/805023.jpg|2702382], just as I was when I re-read [b:Garden of Shadows|659622|Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger, #5)|V.C. Andrews|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1440342025s/659622.jpg|3311863]. The overly melodramatic writing went down like cough syrup. I'm happy to say that wasn't the case here - it wasn't a perfect read with the writing style, but it really was her shining moment. Not weighted down yet by overly done prose, it crossed the flowery writing line sometimes but reeled itself back in before it was obnoxious.

You'd think that a book where kids sit in one room and an attic for years would become lethargic with pacing, but somehow Andrews keeps it entertaining. If you didn't know the story at all, I imagine it would have kept you even more glued, but for me I still found it hard to put down. There were little tidbits I'd forgotten.

The grandmother is a kind of horror that hides in the background - she's not really shown much considering the length of the book - but her scenes impress themselves in the brain so deeply it seems she's always there somewhere, looming about. The mother fascinated me in book form - in both movie versions, she's rather one-dimensional - but in the novel, the transition she goes through sort of intrigued me. She didn't come off as a straight villain all the time, although ultimately she did the unforgivable things. It was a morbid character study on a person who lost their pillar of strength and becomes consumed by greed.

Would anyone else have found the twin Carrie annoying? Cory was much more adorable. I can't stand screaming, tantrum throwing little girls - but the group was well done anyway. They were similar but there was also that contrast of personality strengths that played off each other. Not only that, but Andrews shows the depth of betrayal and hope the characters hold, unique to them, with the people in their lives that they love. How they come to realizations and acceptances at different times, how they handle it, played off the psychology of convincing characters.

With this re-read, I think I was more impressed with the creativity of the children than I had been before. The paper garden in the attic that changed seasons as seasons outside changed - Andrews really concentrated on this to show the depth of their coping, a way they tried to keep connected to an actual world outside that seemed more unreal the longer they were locked up.

There's tragedy, there's taboo (that incest thing ya'll), there's betrayal - all kinds of twists that kept me going through this re-read. Inching toward five star, but the writing style has flaws. This was always Andrews best book, and now it's time to start re-reading the rest of the series for review. I pretty much forgot everything in Petals on the Wind, If there be thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday. Hope they hold up as well.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Flowers In The Attic kicks off the five Dollanganger books. It starts off with the seemingly perfect Dollanganger family, mom Corrine, dad and their four children, Christopher, Cathy and twins Cory and Carrie. They are all flaxen haired and beautiful and their nickname is the Dresden Dolls.

The story is narrated by Cathy, the second eldest child. At the start of the book you realize you are reading her memoir.

When the father suddenly dies in a car accident, Corrine who is unable to support her family financially, decides to go back to her childhood home in Virginia. Foxworth Hall is a mansion complete with a staff and caretakers for Corrine's ailing, rich father. Corrine was disowned when she was just 18 years old.

Flowers In The Attic is one of those books that is so bad, its good. It is this twisted, Gothic story about a greedy mother who locks her children in an attic for more than two years while they suffer abuse. Corrine tells the children they have to live in the attic until she regains her father's love and her inheritance.

Alot of the writing was flowery and the storytelling exaggerated, even hard to believe at times, but I didn't mind it much at all. It might be a sign of the times as this was published in 1979?

"I floundered in the desire to understand, and struggled not to drown in the understanding."
p.28, Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

I felt like V.C. Andrews touches on the psychological aspects of the imprisonment pretty well. The kids all cope in different ways. They would spend hours reading or during the darkest of times, sleeping their misery away. Cory keeps a pet mouse. The twins begin to call Cathy "mother". Cathy and Christopher who are forced to grow up now, set a sort of schedule to live by, trying to create some sense of normalcy in the midst of all the craziness.

Much of the story takes place in this dark, dreary attic and there is a heaviness to that as you are reading. There is also the theme of incest in the plot, which makes the book even more disturbing.
I wondered how it would be if the author removed the incest from the storyline all together, would it still work? For some reason I don't think it would.

I found the ending anti-climactic after so much build up, but it did leave it wide open for the next installment, Petals on the Wind. I'm on the fence about reading it, if I find a copy at the library then I might pick it up. I would like to see the most recent film adaptation.

Overall, I enjoyed my re-read of Flowers In The Attic (Dollanganger Book 1). I recommend it if you enjoy Gothic fiction with a flair for the dramatic and don't mind taboo topics.
https://bookwormnai.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/flowers-in-the-attic-by-v-c-andrews/

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews. ( )
  bookworm_naida | Jun 13, 2016 |
Fantastic book- really makes you rethink a few things... Hoping to read the sequel soon! ( )
  sippju01 | Jun 9, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
V. C. Andrewsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
van Loon, ParmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
(Part One) Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?

Isaiah 45:9
Dedication
This book is dedicated to my mother.
First words
It is so appropriate to color hope yellow, like that sun we seldom saw. (Prologue)
Truly, when I was very young, way back in the Fifties, I believed all of life would be like one long and perfect summer day. (Chapter 1)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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DO NOT COMBINE WITH BOXED SETS OR MULTIPLE-NOVELS
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Book description
Way upstairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent little secrets, struggling to stay alive. Flowers In the Attic The four Dollanganger children had such perfect lives -- a beautiful mother, a doting father, a lovely home. Then Daddy was killed in a car accident, and Momma could no longer support the family. So she began writing letters to her parents, her millionaire parents, whom the children had never heard of before. Momma tells the children all about their rich grandparents, and how Chris and Cathy and the twins will live like princes and princesses in their grandparents' fancy mansion. The children are only too delighted by the prospect. But there are a few things that Momma hasn't told them. She hasn't told them that their grandmother considers them "devil's spawn" who should never have been born. She hasn't told them that she has to hide them from their grandfather if she wants to inherit his fortune. She hasn't told them that they are to be locked away in an abandoned wing of the house with only the dark, airless attic to play in. But, Momma promises, it's only for a few days.... Then the days stretch into months, and the months into years. Desperately isolated, terrified of their grandmother, and increasingly convinced that their mother no longer cares about them, Chris and Cathy become all things to the twins and to each other. They cling to their love as their only hope, their only strength -- a love that is almost stronger than death.
Haiku summary
"My lover is hot!"
Now hold on. You mean he is
her brother? Oh, ick.

(Carnophile)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671729411, Mass Market Paperback)

This is the Extroardinary Novel That Has Captured Millions in Its Spell!

All across America and around the world, millions of readers have been captivated by this strange, dark, terriifying tale of passion and peril in the lives of four innoocent children, locked away from the world by a selfish mother.

Flowers in the Attic is the novel that launched the extraordinary career of V.C. Andrews®, winning her an immediate and fiercely devoted worldwide following; today there are more than 85 million copies of her books in print.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:54 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Horror. 1st in trilogy.

(summary from another edition)

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