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Flowers In The Attic (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) (Dollanger Saga) School & Library Binding – November 1, 1990
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"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) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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.
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Top customer reviews
Though I read quickly, I forced myself to take my time with this novel. There are so many questionable moments that required deep thinking on my part--which I loved--and I wanted to absorb them all slowly to truly appreciate the deeper meaning of each major incident within.
There are four beautiful, blonde-haired and doll-like children born to Corrine and her husband, Christopher. The book is told from their oldest daughter's point of view, who is the age of 12 when the story begins. Their beloved father dies, So Corrine takes her children to live with her mother and father, whom the children have never heard of before, in a mansion where money is never an issue.
The problem is, Corrine upset her father greatly when she married Christopher, who was her half-uncle. Believing she was living in sin and would only create monstrous children, her father wrote her out of his will and banished her from his house. She was only able to come home because of Christopher's death and because her father believed she'd borne no children. In order to win back his affection and come home, Corrine and her mother hide the four children in the attic on an unused wing of the house behind a locked door. They are to stay there until their grandfather's death.
Already, just from that little information, there are so many layers to dissolve! Why would Corrine ever marry a blood (even by half) relative? How long until the grandfather dies and the children are free once more? How will four young children stay quiet enough for an entire household, full of maids and servants, not hear them? Would Corrine ever win her father's affection enough to admit her children's existence?
Many of these questions I still think over, not because I didn't get the answers but because I want to think of alternatives, ways Corrine could have handled her situation differently. After this beginning gets underway, so many other questions come forward and new alternatives are debated (mentally, if not in the book). Andrews does a phenomenal job of showing the changes in all of the characters through the eyes of Corrine's daughter, Cathy.
It's a modern-day fairytale, even set in the 1970s, still relevant today and will be relevant for years to come. You have the princes and princesses of a large fortune locked away in a "tower" of an evil grandmother's making; there's poison and animal friends and hopelessness; there's bravery and curiosity and questionable feelings and actions on every character's part.
I finished the book and was overwhelmed with emotions. I debated even reading the second novel, believing it can't be as good as the first and also kind of wanting the not-knowing of what happens afterwards. But, of course, I do want to know. I've already ordered the next book.
This is a modern-day, Gothic fairy-tale and you are not supposed to love the dialogue. You can even hate the dialogue if you like, but I feel that it doesn't take away from the entertainment value of this little gem. Instead, it should be appreciated for it's fearlessness in taking beautiful and pure things and dumping big buckets of pain and darkness over them like a giant pale of pigs blood.
What you get is innocent sexual awakenings, the cruelty of shattered dreams, and growing pangs never explored in such a context as this. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it and grew to have an exceedingly huge appreciation for the boundaries that this author pushed and crossed with easy grace. However, I really cannot tell you whether or not you will love or hate this book... That part is honestly up to you and your sensibilities.
I hope you enjoy...