Flowers in the Attic

Flowers in the Attic

Book - 1979
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A major Lifetime movie event--the novel that captured the world's imagination and earned V.C. Andrews a fiercely devoted fanbase. Book One of the Dollanganger Family series.

At the top of the stairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent, and struggling to stay alive...

They were a perfect family, golden and carefree--until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. Kept on the top floor of their grandmother's vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother...and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know.

Book One of the Dollanganger series, followed by Petals in the Wind , If There be Thorns , Seeds of Yesterday , and Garden of Shadows .
Publisher: New York : Pocket Books, c1979.
ISBN: 9780671729417
Branch Call Number: FICTION Andrews V.C. 1979
Characteristics: 412 p. ;,18 cm.


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Jul 27, 2019

I wasn't blown away by this book, and I was incredibly disappointed by the ending.
You're locked away for years, poisoned, your brother murdered - and you discard your evidence and decide to not go to the police? What about justice for Cory?
So unsatisfying.

Sep 14, 2018

I read this book because I heard a lot about it from teachers, parents and librarians- but I personally didn't like it at all. I barely got through this book because I found it to be confusing and weird- and really disturbing. I couldn't stand reading the parts about the brother and sister because the book is mainly about incest and I found it disgusting. I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody because the theme of romance between the siblings is too disturbing and the whole book is basically just about incest. The only good thing about this book is that it was well written, so I don't think it deserves just one star but I will definitely not be reading any of the other books in this series. 2/5 stars
@Bookworm123 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

The events which took place in this novel were horrific and heart-wrenching. When four young children are locked up in an attic, they quickly learn they may not leave as soon as what their mother says, because staying in the attic for one night turned to years. Chris and Cathy are the oldest siblings and had to grow up very quickly and become the Momma and Daddy to both Cory and Carrie, the young twins. When Cory and Carrie’s real mother visits, it is devastating at how they begin to show less and less affection towards her after growing accustomed to being taken care of by their older siblings. Many broken promises in the novel lead to betrayal and the loss of trust, as the children begin to realize it may be them against everyone else. The poor treatment they receive from their grandmother is aggravating and had me in tears. As Chris and Cathy were forced to mature in the attic, away from the rest of the world as though they never existed, the events which happen are heartbreaking. This novel was very upsetting and I would only recommend it if you enjoy gothic and horrifying content. 3/5
@booklover327 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jul 13, 2018

Took me a while to get into this book but stick with it cause it does get better after the slow starting ...

Mar 01, 2018

** spoiler alert ** VC Andrews dropped the mic with this book. I just re-read it for the kabrillionth time since I was a kid and it’s still as creepy as anything Shirley Jackson has written. Reading this as an adult is an incredible thing, as I now read the mother as a monster, one that lives in the American consciousness as a “bad mother” and as a woman who is a slave to greed. That is VERY Shirley Jacksonesque! As for the scandalous elements in this novel? They are most definitely not YA-appropriate and I’m shocked to see this labeled as such on Goodreads. Isn’t it adult fiction according to libraries and retailers?

Call me crazy but VC wrote the most engrossing novels ever! Whenever I need a re-read that I can read new meaning into, I’m happy. When I was 11 years old, this book was passed around my class like a dirty secret, from one girl to the next. After my turn passed, I made my mom take me to the mall so I could buy my own copy.

Some of my favourite scenes:

- Christopher senior gives Cathy the music box
- the kids meet the grandmother
- Corinne brings the doll house to the room
-Corinne brings Cathy a gift of pointe shoes and a tutu
- the kids decorate the attic
- Chris and Cathy watch the party
- the soap/wooden key thing
- Chris and Cathy sneak into Corinne’s suite of rooms when she’s out one night
- Cory gets sick and is taken away
- Cathy slaps the lying Corinne

This is actually a very dark and sad novel. Damn.

Windowgirl Oct 20, 2017

Flowers in the Attic is a dark and twisted tale that nonetheless has moments of beauty. At its heart, it is a story of four children trying to maintain survive in the face of horrendous abuse and the hands of the people who should care the most for them. It is also a coming-of-age story, as the narrator Cathy enters adolescence and discovers her sexuality.

The writing sometimes gets bogged down in melodrama and over-descriptions of everything. But the book is suspenseful. I couldn't put it down! Andrews does a good job of making the reader feel as claustrophobic and Cathy and her siblings.

ArapahoeKati Jun 28, 2017

Twisted. Disturbing. Heart-wrenching. And then even more twisted. If you like psychological drama with a high uncomfortable factor, dig in. You're going to want to read them all.

SaraLovesBooks Oct 03, 2016

This book is psychologically disturbing on many levels. I read it when I was in middle school, and I think the middle school/high school age group is the best one for this book, and for the rest under the V.C. Andrews name.

The writing can get a bit overwrought and overly dramatic in several places, but reflects the maturity level of the narrator, Cathy, who is a teenager. This book is hard to read, though. There is a lot of child abuse in it, and several disturbing levels of sexuality going on in it. However, I would still recommend it.

Feb 24, 2015

This book is very dark. It's very different from anything I've ever read before. I just finished reading the Christopher's Diaries series and those 2 books seem to follow more along the lines of the movie that was released recently then the original series of Flowers in the Attic.

Dec 21, 2014

The book was pretty intriguing...except for the writing style. Ugh, the writing style. V.C. Andrews goes on and on with her details of unimportant things, and even the most mundane events are written in a highly dramatized manner for no apparent reason whatsoever. A few of the characters are also problematic for me, and we only have like 7 or 8 to actually deal with. For example, the way the brother, Chris, kept defending his obviously selfish mom was a little agitating, and it was annoying that he was also somewhat of a know-it-all. I never connected to little sister Carrie and felt she was just a brat (I gained sympathy for her towards the end of the novel). And the mom was just so evil! It sickened me to even read the pages where she'd waltz in like everything was ok. I didn't really like her from chapter 1 (I felt like she was always trying to manipulate the dad with sex appeal, and I realized she was spoiled when she said she was one of "those" women who thought all they needed was a man in their life and no skills for themselves), so I found her character annoying to deal with much early on. And that's another thing: these kids have like serious Oedipus/Electra complexes! Chris is hinted to be like sexually attracted to his mom (maybe he was attracted to his sister because she looked so much like the mother?), and Cathy was always praising her dad's looks, so idk, I felt some Freudian hints to this whole family drama, but maybe I'm just over-analyzing. Regardless, this novel is filled with deeply dark and unsettling stuff (and from what I've heard, it gets even more dramatic as the series continues). I'm somewhat satisfied with the ending in this book, so I'll just leave the series and not continue on. But if you're ever bored, you can use this to pass some time.

Jul 17, 2014

The book was good but nothing like the movie really. Can't wait to read book 2 of it now.

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Add Age Suitability
Windowgirl Oct 20, 2017

Windowgirl thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Dec 21, 2014

Nakkid thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

burgundy_finch_4 Jun 04, 2012

burgundy_finch_4 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 99

Mar 21, 2012

madi4321 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add Notices
Windowgirl Oct 20, 2017

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Children are abused physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. The main character has intense nightmares. A young boy is poisoned and dies.

Windowgirl Oct 20, 2017

Sexual Content: References to pornography, rape, and incest.


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Jul 10, 2020

This dark and twisted story follows four siblings (Christopher, Cathy, Carrie, and Cory), who after the unexpected death of their father are sent to live in their grandmother’s attic while their mother tries to get the family fortune. At first their mother visits them often, but negotiations begin to go poorly and she comes less and less.

They encounter various issues and setbacks leading to severe problems in their childhood and adult lives. This novel may be dark, but it is a fantastic read!


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