Sunday, 12 January 2014

***REVIEW*** Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews

 Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews

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've been meaning to read this for some years now and just never got round to it. it was only after noticing someone on Goodreads reading it. This prompted me to read some of the reviews, and after many people talking about how it was banned, and a lot of school aged kids used to hide a copy in between text books etc, so I thought 'OK let's get this read and see what all the fuss is about'.
I'll start by saying this is a strange book, and not just the incest part (no spoilers there as I'm sure everyone knows about that bit).

I gave this a 4 star rating on Goodreads as it wasn't amazing, but it kinda got into my head, therefore deserves more than 3 stars. 

Ok, from the start. The Dollangangers father dies in a car accident, on his birthday, leaving behind his wife Corrine, and their 4 children Christopher, Cathy and the twins Cory and Carrie. After a while of writing letters to the mother who disowned her a long time ago, Corrine packs up and takes the children to her parents house. She tells the children her parents are rich and once she wins over her father again, they will all live amazing lives full of riches. Only what she doesn't tell them is that once they arrive, the kids have to stay locked away in a room at the far end of the gigantic house, as her father does not know she has children. But only for a day or two, she tells them. Well...

Days turn to weeks, which turn to months, then to years. Those poor children. locked in a room, can't go outside, can't make too much noise in case the Grandfather hears them make noise. The Grandmother brings them food each day in a picnic basket, but she isn't a nice lady at all. She gives the children a list of rules to follow, don't have lustful thoughts, boys and girls can never be in the bathroom at the same time, do not make noise etc etc. Bloody awful lady what she is!!

In their room, there is a door at the back of a wardrobe that leads to the attic. Up in the attic is where the kids find some happiness. They make swings which Chris ties tot he rafters, they make it into a garden by drawing pictures of flowers, animals etc to stick on the walls. Chris puts up a ballet bar for Cathy and she practises her dancing. Chris finds loads of books to keep him occupied.

But things start to change. Their mother seems to only visit them once in a while, fair enough she brings toys for them and gifts, but visits start becoming sparse. Their attitudes start to change too, after all, being locked up in a room together for 3 years (I know!!!) is bound to start making you a little 'house mad'.

This book totally got in my head, the emotions of the children were totally believable. The description of the children, their weight, height, structure, it pulled me in, rooting for them, I wanted them to survive!!! Will they survive? I will say no more.

Not an amazing book, but yes still a good read. I think it's a book everyone should at least try.

1 comment:

  1. It is a provocative book with very twisted characters. I felt the same way when I read it. I've read a few of VC Andrew's books and my favorite is Dark Angel.


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