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.
26 thoughts on “Flowers In The Attic by V C Andrews”
I’ve never read this book before and am going to sit down with it for a little while before the football game starts. I looked it up and it said it’s gothic romance. I didn’t realize it’s considered YA.
Looking forward to your review of this Kathy as a first time reader!
What a great review. This is a book I remember reading. It was published much earlier than I thought as I read it in 1990. I loved it then and when I saw that you were re-reading I wondered how your perceptions would have changed. Very tempted to re-read it myself now 🙂
I dont recall when I read it as opposed t when it was published. It had to be in the 80’s. It was fun to read again after all this time.
I remember reading this in high school. My friends and I were obsessed with those V.C. Andrews books! haha… Hope you enjoy the sequel just as much!
I read this in my teens, too. I had the sequels, but I don’t think I ever read them. I was actually talking about this book last night. I don’t have my copy any more or I might consider a reread.
I believe I only read the first three – the main books I think. I believe innicially there are 5 or more.
Flowers in the attic is one of my favorite movies. I think a week ago I was writing in Google+ about this movie. It was a discussion about which movies should be remake. I haven’t read the book but I will this year, your review has inspired me to.
Oh good! I am curious about how the movie will be – the book does have its creepy moments.
Wow! I am relatively new to the blogging world and have just spent 45 minutes reading through yours when I should have been marking my grade 4’s imaginary maps and accompanying travel guides that I should have marked over the holidays but didn’t! Needless to say I have been thoroughly enjoying your blog! Oh, you have brought back memories for me! I LOVED Flowers in the Attic when I read it WAY back in the 80’s. It scared me and but captivated me at the same time!. I remember my best friend and I read it at the same time and discussed it over the rotary dial telephone! Little did I know I was actually participating in my first book club! I can still visualize the cover! Thanks for this trip down memory lane. I will watch for the movie and will be visiting your blog again soon! (maybe tomorrow!)
Hi Adrienne! Thanks for the nice comment. I enjoy talking books 😉 You made me laugh at the mention of the roatry phone, I have visionsof me as a teenager hauling the phone with the LONG cord into my room so I could talk to my friends 😉
I was obsessed with this series when I was a teenager. The themes of child abuse, incest, family dysfunctionality and cruelty, love and the plot captivated me. Now I want to go and pick up this series and re-read it again.
I hope you do – its funny that a lot of this may be the norm in books we read today.. well, at least the family dysfunction…. 😀
I haven’t read the book, but saw the original movie (from the 80s) with Louise Fletcher. I am going to watch the upcoming Lifetime movie. I like Ellen Burstyn.
I dont think I seen the 80’s movie bit have heard it was pretty bad and rated poorly. Looking forward tot he new one!
a movie, they should have picked V C andrews over 50 shades of grey I think! Love the works, but a bit scary at times
LOL… agreed! It is a bit crazy at times. 🙂
I really, really, really need to read this book. I somehow missed it when I was actually the right age for the book’s targeted demographic and have just never gotten around to reading it. I need to make this happen in 2014. Thanks for your great review!
Oh good, I see I’m not the only one that hasn’t read this book.
I too missed this book the first time around. Will definitely add it to my to read list. Thank you!
I am glad, its worth the read… even to see how an older read compares to todays YA. I think the book can still hold its own. 🙂
also not read this one, might wait for the movie first, or do you think book first?
I just about always say book first 😀 I think the books are usually better than the movies is to get the full effect – I am all for reading the book first in this case. : D
Oh my God, I had no idea Lifetime was doing a remake! I’m so excited! I remember reading it years ago and being fascinated by the story and the relationship dynamics between the siblings. The author didn’t shy away from controversial issues, and it made the whole novel feel very genuine and raw.
She sure did not shy away from the hard topics – I am not surprised at all that this one was banned 😀