Nicknamed the Dresden Dolls for their fair complexion, blond hair, and blue eyes; Chris (14(, Cathy (12), and the twins Cory and Carrie (3), are adored by all who see them. When it comes to their parents, also tall, and gorgeous with that same blond hair and blue eyes they look like something out on a movie set.
Then one day a horrible accident rips through the family shattering their happiness. Their mother, who had no work skills outside of taking care of her children and home, is forced to do the unthinkable and ask her extremely wealthy parents for help. The older children soon learn that their mother had committed an unthinkable sin in the eyes of her father and he had disowned her years ago. While she works hard to restore her relationship with her father and be put back in his will, he must not know about the children. The children are placed in an upstairs bedroom that adjoins the attic out of the eyes of the servants and her father and asked to remain there for a few days while things are settled. The only one who knows they are there besides their mother is the grandmother who brings them food once every morning to last for the day.
But days tend to turn into weeks and weeks to months as the four children wait for the day they will be released from the room and given all the riches their mother has promised would come if only they were patient. Yet as the months turn in to years, and their mothers visits are less and less, the children, who in some cases are no longer children, realize they have only themselves to rely on for survival.
I read Flowers In The Attic back in probably my early teens. Originally released in 1979 I recall this book as being exciting and V C Andrews probably one of the few authors at the time that you could consider YA reading and that to a reader of my age at the time was something awesome.
When I agreed to review this book for the upcoming release of the Lifetime movie on January 18th, I was excited to revisit this story line. It is amazing what a difference a read can make from the eyes of a teenager, to reading it again as an adult.
In recent discussions with friends about the book, we laughed about how we loved the book as teens and how we thought it was some of todays YA that gets carried away with subjects that are a little heavy on the partying or the drug use considering the age of the reader the book is meant for…. however a little recap of Flowers In The Attic woke us up. In the early 80’s we were reading V C Andrews take on children being locked in an attic during a peek time of adolescence and definitely – although I dont think I thought too hard on it in my teens, a brother and sister that become way too close due to the circumstances they are held in.
The book, caught me again. At first I wasn’t sure in those first pages if I could bring back the feelings I had the first time I read through this one. Yet as I was caught up in the story line of bad parenting 101 coming down the generation pipeline I found myself reading late into the night wanting to know once again, how would they survive, what would happen to the twins, how did they stay sane confined to a room…. it was like reading it again for the first time.
I think perhaps this time, as a parent, my blood boiled a little more at the treatment of the children then it did all those years ago. Although I started out planning to read this book and leaving it at that, after finishing this one last night I know I will be searching out Petals In The Wind. Who knew that V C Andrews was the master of cliff hangers that make you have to read the next book in the series, just as well as many of our popular authors of today. Truly V C Andrews could still stand among the best of them.
Save the date! Mark your calendars for January 18th and the Lifetime premiere of Flowers In The Attic starring Heather Graham.
Did you know….
Flowers In The Attic (not surprisingly) hit the banned books list many times due to topics of incest?
There once were rumors that the book is part non fiction base on a situation of a relative to V C Andrews where a boy and his siblings were locked in an attic in order to ensure an inheritance.