Saturday, 13 September 2014

Flowers in the Attic
by Virginia Andrews
Rating:  5/5


Pages: 346
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2005 (first published in 1979)
ISBN: 9780006159292

Summary (via Goodreads)

The four Dollanganger children had such perfect lives -- a beautiful mother, a doting father, a lovely home. Then Daddy was killed in a car accident, and Momma could no longer support the family. So she began writing letters to her parents, her millionaire parents, whom the children had never heard of before.

Momma tells the children all about their rich grandparents, and how Chris and Cathy and the twins will live like princes and princesses in their grandparents' fancy mansion. The children are only too delighted by the prospect. But there are a few things that Momma hasn't told them.

She hasn't told them that their grandmother considers them "devil's spawn" who should never have been born. She hasn't told them that she has to hide them from their grandfather if she wants to inherit his fortune. She hasn't told them that they are to be locked away in an abandoned wing of the house with only the dark, airless attic to play in. But, Momma promises, it's only for a few days....

Then the days stretch into months, and the months into years. Desperately isolated, terrified of their grandmother, and increasingly convinced that their mother no longer cares about them, Chris and Cathy become all things to the twins and to each other. They cling to their love as their only hope, their only strength -- a love that is almost stronger than death.


I have read this series over and over and still get as much enjoyment from it as I did the first time.

Originally published in 1979,  Flowers in the Attic tells the tragic story of the Dollanganger siblings from being in a happy family to the betrayal and hurt experienced at the hand of the one person they trusted the most. The book covers almost every topic imaginable from betrayal and murder to forbidden, tragic love.

Okay so its not exactly a happy-go-lucky book but I enjoyed it because it reveals a great deal about human endurance through difficult situations and how confined space and terrifying circumstances can cause people to react in a way that is against all someone believes in. For the older two siblings, Cathy and Chris, the attic poses a harsh reality about human greed and ambition to a horrifying end.

I should probably make it clear for anyone who hasn't read any of Virginia Andrews books previously that when I say she writes about dark stuff I do really mean dark. This might sound a bit obvious but, particularly in the case of Flowers in the Attic some of the topics covered can be very disturbing. I would not recommend this book to young readers.

However, if like me you enjoy a bit of the disturbing then this series will be great for you! 

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