Flowers in the Attic
Author: V.C. Andrews
We should have cared. We should have been careful.
After the death of their father, the Dollanganger kids move to Foxworth manor with their mother. There, the kids: Chris, Cathy, Carrie and Corrie are moved into a guest room where they’re hidden away with only an attic of fake flowers and fake dreams to run away to. Mother loved her kids, but her family’s fortune was at stake and if she had any hopes of getting it from her dying father, she can’t have children. So, for a little while, she didn’t. Days passed and then weeks and then months and even long, agonizing years.
The kids, in their cramped world of hopeless and depressing dreams; Cathy and Chris are growing, adult desires and needs stir within while the twins scarily remain the same while under the watchful eye of their evil, abusive grandmother, and of course God, because the Devil works in devious ways. The secrets of Foxworth deepen as the kids become one of them with no hope of ever being free, but of becoming one of their fake flowers they sprouted in their fake garden in the attic, always blooming and wilting with hopelessness.
Love…I put so much faith in it.
Truth…I kept believing it falls always from the lips of the one you love and trust the most.
Faith…it’s all bound up to love and trust.
Where does one end and the other start, and how do you tell when love is the blindest of all?
I’m still reeling from how messed up this book was. Pretty good, but hella messed up. On one hand, there was a lot that happened that I didn’t know about before reading this book. I didn’t realize just how abusive the grandmother was toward the Dolls and how much their mother neglected to the point that they didn’t exist to her. I also found that the book, in my opinion, was over-hyped because of one of the main points of the book involving incest. I was given the impression, before reading the book, that it was a lot Still, I was surprised and completely disturbed by the events that took place.
The style of the book felt like a Jane Austen novel. Very detailed and longing and the language was beautiful, but this book would be like a dark and twisted and screwed up version of Jane Austen LOL. From Cathy’s cynic POV, the experience of being locked up in a small room by her heartless and God- fearing grandmother became claustrophobic and paranoia inducing.
I really loved how Andrews kept up the story just within the small guest room and wide, dusty attic that was decorated to be like a garden. That’s not very big for a setting. In fact, it’s one of the smallest I’ve seen in a book, but I wasn’t driven to boredom at all! The story kept moving and emotion escalated higher and higher. I could envision what Cathy envisioned because being in this small place for a very long forever, she had to envision the other places she’s rather be instead of an attic. Her imagination was a powerful place. It is for any character. You can be anyone and anywhere in there. So creative and also anxiety-inducing. The place, even her imagination, felt like a prison.
The theme of flowers was heavy. There was so much meaning to the title and the idea of flowers. The Dolls as flowers, their fake garden in the attic, the way they were referenced through the seasons spent locked up. It was chilling, yet incredible. I was mesmerized. All the many different metaphors and comparisons were intriguing. Not going to lie, I was making an inside joke with myself in reference to The Walking Dead—Just look at the flowers, Dolls. I know, I’m not right in the head. Sometimes it happens. This book series isn’t right in the head either LOL.
Each of the Dolls struggle and their fears and troubles increase the longer their locked away. Cathy grows vengeful and psychologically ill, believing they could be sinners. Chris, a young teen, begins questioning his feelings and desires and what they mean, especially with these feelings being directed toward Cathy. Corrie and Carrie, twins, are becoming more restless and malnourished, stunting their growth greatly. Each Doll is effected and I kept getting so worried and nervous. More than anything, I just wanted to set them free. Discomfort is the goal with this book, I believe, and it’s successful.
I think this is a great read. I can also see the difference between Andrews and her ghost writer. I read The Mirror Sisters last summer and was deflated because it was nothing like what people said it was. But, this was great! The language was intelligent and sharp compared to that trilogy. The story was haunting and more effed up than I imagined and The Mirror Sisters can’t hold a candle to it…well, except for the second book in the trilogy. I do have reviews up if you was to check them out.
Currently I’m getting ready to begin Seeds of Yesterday and the horror and discomfort the book make me feel has been constant. Definitely give this series a shot. It’s disturbing down to the core and could shock the pudding out of you.
“There are some mothers you can’t love, for they don’t want you to love them.” (Corrine to Cathy, p. 23)
“Cathy, don’t just stand there and cry. A room is just a room. You’ll live in many rooms before you die…” (Corrine to Cathy, p. 35)
“And remember children, God sees everything! God will see what evil you do behind my back! And God will be the one to punish when I don’t!” (Grandma to the Dollanganger kids, p. 55)
“Love doesn’t always come when you want it to. Sometimes it just happens, despite your will.” (Corrine, p. 104)
“Love, it came unbidden. You couldn’t help who you fell in love with—cupid’s arrows were ill aimed.” (Cathy, p. 197)
“Hell was right here, where I was, shadowing me persistently, trying to do me in, and make me into what grandmother thought I was—the Devil’s issue.” (Cathy, p. 304)
more to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Free by Plumb
Thoughts? Tell me in the comment section below.
I read this book as a child (age 11) – and I remember all the most disturbing and messed up parts. Crazy. I’m intrigued by your discussion of Andrews’ use of language and wonder what I’d think as an adult… but I can’t bring myself to reread such a messed up story. And I am to keep such books away from my kids while they’re still kids!
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I agree! It’s a powerful novel. Definitely not something to impress on tiny humans. It leaves a lasting effect like an aftertaste.