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Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger) Mass Market Paperback – January 7, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,191 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"At age 13, I survived almost entirely on green apple Jolly Ranchers and Flowers in the Attic, and to this day I can't look at the book without my mouth watering. My much loved copy must have come from a supermarket (it was impossible to go to a supermarket in the '80s to, say, secretly stock up on green apple Jolly Ranchers, without a V.C. Andrews book lurking by checkout)... I loved that book.
 
The narrator, Cathy, who ages from 12 to 15 over the course of the story, is part princess (she is locked in a tower; she is beset by cruel foes; she has long, perfect hair until the grandmother tars it one night), and part witch (she's tantrum-prone, pessimistic, cynical). Basically, I adored her because she is like all girls around the age of 13: at turns sulky, giving, selfish, charming, nasty and heroic.
 
Flowers in the Attic is most famous for the fact that Cathy and her brother fall in love. It's a weird, strangely old-fashioned love story (and is Chris ever the stuff of teenage dreams: handsome, brilliant, extravagantly chivalrous), but it's not what hooked me. What kept me circling around to the beginning was that hyper-Gothic female evil. The emotionally cold, physically abusive grandmother. The cloying, manipulative, mind-warping mother. It felt so new and stunning to me — these witches who seemed quite real. I devoured the sequels less to learn about Cathy's tragic love story than to see what kind of woman Cathy became — princess, witch, a bit of both? — and what she'd do with all those awful urges she inherited." (Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl, as related on NPR's All Things Considered)

From the Back Cover

THIS IS THE EXTRAORDINARY 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, terrifying tale of passion and peril in the lives of four innocent children, locked away from the world by a selfish mother.

FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC is the novel that began launched the extraordinary career of V.C. Andrews "RM", winning her an immediate and fiercely devoted worldwide following; today there are more than 85 million copies of her books in print. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dollanganger (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Media Tie-In edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476775869
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476775869
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,778,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of her spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began her renowned Dollanganger family saga, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than fifty novels in V.C. Andrews' bestselling series. The thrilling new series featuring the March family continues with Scattered Leaves, forthcoming from Pocket Books. V.C. Andrews' novels have sold more than one hundred million copies and have been translated into sixteen foreign languages.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay, I realize that this novel is nothing resembling great literature. But that just doesn't matter nor does it affect my pure enjoyment of this series, as it is a well-written, completely engrossing story.
Flowers in the Attic is a *fairy tale*. A dark, twisted fairy tale, but a fairy tale all the same. This means that the characters and situations within the story should NOT be expected to be realistic in any form. Anyone complaining about the lack of realism is not seeing it as it should be seen. It takes place in some strange, imagined land that almost mirrors our world but not quite. It starts out all shiny and happy, describing the perfect, blessed existence of this beautiful family, and then it descends into a nightmare. Many of the complaints about the shallow characters are accurate but in my opinion it fits with the theme. The characters here can be silly and melodramatic and stereotypical. Nobody in this book talks like a real person would. Some of the older male characters are never developed at all but just kept shadowy, sometimes sinister figures who want to prey on Cathy and other women. And Cathy...she is the ultimate fragile blond-haired fairy tale princess. Only the twisted, upside-down version. Others have pointed out that she is not a likeable character. This is true, especially if you have read the rest of the series. But I don't believe that she was meant to be likeable. The abuse she has suffered has made her too messed up to be likeable, and her increasingly selfish, cruel behavior makes it very hard to have any sypmathy for her. So how did the author manage to make me care so much about a character's story when I so dislike the character? It all lies in the telling of it, the subject matter, the horror that goes beyond evil villains and straight into the human psyche.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some people are taking this great read too literally. The thing is, I don't actually think that the details of the story are as important as what it evokes: the terror and uncertainty of being a teenager. The bizarre horror of maturing physically and yet being powerless before adult authority. It's all a metaphor for feeling trapped, which all teenagers feel. If you think about it, that's what all Andrews' books are actually about, and the ghostwriter carries on this tradition, if not as well as Andrews, than competently.

Yes, some of the details are hard for an adult reader to accept as credible, but why do you think we loved this books as teenagers? Because many teenage girls-and I stress girls, because I most of what Andrews' covers doesn't apply to boys-go through all the things Cathy goes through-testing sexual attractiveness for the first time, looking at our changing bodies in the mirror, first period, challenging parental authority,the trauma of first sexual experiences, etc. All those changes are scary and weird. Of course the added elements are demented and perverse but that just adds to the fun.

Andrews just takes common female adolescence, scary enough on its own, and projects it onto a melodramatic stage we can emotionally act it out on. Most of us don't have incredibly wealthy families, haunted by legacies of "sin", possess nearly supernatural physical perfecton or get locked up in the attic, but many a girl can project their uncontrollably blossoming self onto Cathy; many a pretty girl can remember what it's like to first have people comment on your beauty, many an abused child can remember the powerlessness of childhood, etc.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was first introduced to "Flowers in the Attic" through the 1987 film starring Kristy Swanson. Now, these many years later I have finally read the book. I started out of order, reading "Garden of Shadows" the last book in the series, but prequel to "Flowers in the Attic" first. I have to say that this book is very good! You will be glued to the book from start to finish.
The story revolves around the Dollanganger family. One evening Christopher Dollanganger dies in a car crash and his family, consisting of his wife and four children, must go back and live with their family in Foxworth Hall. Both Christopher and his wife, Corrine, grew up in this mansion. It is because of their incestuous marriage that they were both banished from their home and their family.
Wanting to recapture her father's adoration and love, Corrine comes home and hides her children, so that she may inherit his vast fortune. She asks her mother to watch over the children, who are confined to the North wing of the house. They are not allowed to leave this area and can only go up into the attic. Soon their mother pretty much abandons them and leaves them to rot in the attic while she lives her life without them. Their evil grandmother does everything in her power to make them feel as bad, horrible, and dirty as possible, wanting to punish them for what their parents had done nearly 20 years prior. Soon the children discover that they are slowly being poisoned and why they are trying to be killed.
This book is an excellent tale of deceit, love, hate, pain, and triumph. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone! You won't be disappointed!
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