“Great golly lolly!” My Review of VC Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic

Throughout middle school, VC Andrews’ gothic horror books were all the rage, along with body glitter, white eyeliner and girl power!  Everyone was sneaking VC Andrews’ books whenever they got a chance!

Recently I found out that VC Andrews never revealed her real name because it was believed that most readers wanted to read books written by men, not women.  Only when she died in 1986 was it revealed that her real name was Cleo Virginia Andrews. After her death, a ghostwriter (Andrew Neiderman) was approved by her family to continue to write novels in her name. Over the years, the book covers have undergone a dramatic change as well.

When I first read Flowers in the Attic, the cover looked like this:

When I read it for the second time, it appeared the cover underwent a modern change to appeal to new readers. I know readers aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I found the new book cover more visually appealing and was immediately drawn to it.

                                                                 

Once in your hands, VC Andrews’ first book ‘Flowers in the Attic’ (1980) is hard to stop reading. Since her books are horrible yet so fascinating, you almost feel guilty for being so absorbed in such a ludicrous plot (brother/sister incest, lies, kids forced to live in attic, evil grandmother, murderous mother) The storyline of ‘Flowers in the Attic’ continues into two more works, dubbed ‘the Dollanganger series’. Although I have not continued reading the series, I have been told that ‘Flowers in the Attic’ can definitely stand-alone.

Description according to the publisher:

The four children had perfect lives. They lived in a golden family filled with happiness. But their father dies suddenly, their mother throws themselves on the mercy of her parents – who had disowned her long ago.

Their mother promised they would stay only long enough to inherit the fortune. But gradually she forgot how much she adored her family. Kept hidden in the airless attic, the children now lived alone except for fleeting visits from their mother. Visits that became increasing infrequent… and increasily deadly…

Flowers in the Attic: the compelling story of a family’s betrayal and heartbreak, love and revenge.

While the bizarre incest angle of this story held undeniable appeal for me, I have to say that it was really the premise that captured my attention. The whole notion of a mother who hides her children away in an attic was fascinating. What kind of mother would do this? Although it’s hard to believe that mothers like this really exist, they do. I recently heard a news story about a Dutch woman who was arrested for allegedly killing four of her babies and hiding their remains in suitcases in the attic. I immediately thought of the connection to Flowers in the Attic.

 Terrible. Sad. Shocking.

Did you read VC Andrews as a pre-teen/teen? What appealed to you? Thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 18:11:45

    I only read the book after seeing the movie, and yes, I couldn’t put it down either. The movie is one of my all time favourites in the horror genre. Louise Fletcher is particularly chilling as the grandmother. If you haven’t seen it, do.

    Reply

  2. booksintransit
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 21:28:20

    Lisa, thanks for letting me know!

    I had no idea there was a movie adaptation. I just checked my local library and movie store and both don’t have it! 😦 I’m going to check surrounding libraries… I really want to see it now!

    Reply

  3. Deanna
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 02:56:21

    I loved the books as a child/teen. I actually used to re-read them when I was young and it was comforting. I still love dark movies, songs, and books. My favorite is the Casteel series, though Flowers in the Attic gave me my start.

    http://deeannadanger.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/dark-angel-my-reflection-on-v-c-andrews-music-and-literature/

    Reply

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