Review: Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Title: Flowers in the Attic
Author: V.C. Andrews
Obtained: borrowed from library
Publisher: Rebound by Sagebrush
Format: hardback (library binding)
Rating: 2/5
Read for: Gothic Reading Challenge 2011

Blurb (from

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 launched the extraordinary career of V.C. Andrews, winning her an immediate and fiercely devoted worldwide following; today there are more than 85 million copies of her books in print.

My Thoughts

I went into this book hoping for something much more than it was. I know it was written in the seventies, but there were too many “gosh”es and “golly”s for me to really enjoy reading the novel. I felt like I was reading something written by one of the Brady Bunch.

My thought process during this book was all over the place. The novel starts slowly, and keeps going slowly until roughly 2/3 of the way through it, and by then I’m far too invested to quit the novel, no matter how much I wanted to say “forget about it” and toss it in the “return to library” stack without finishing.

I know the grandmother (and how weird is it that she’s always referred to as “the grandmother” instead of just “Grandmother”) is supposed to come off as a monster, but there’s something slightly sympathetic about her, especially knowing what I know about her, her husband, and Corrine (the mother). Okay, so I cheated and read the summaries of all the books in the series on wikipedia one day. I was curious.

I found that I couldn’t like any of the characters. Cathy, the narrator, comes across as a bit of a Mary Sue; she always knows about things (such as her mother’s dishonesty), and no one believes her. She’s so pretty, and blah, blah, blah. I got really tired of hearing about how perfect they all are.

Christopher was a know-it-all, and while I could certainly understand his love of reading, all he wanted to read for was knowledge and I had a severe dislike of his opinion of reading for pleasure.

Really, though, the worst was the mother, who hid her children away, attempted to poison them (succeeded in killing one), and guilt-trips her own children into feeling sorry for her, when all along she just wants them gone so she can not only inherit the money her father has been refusing to give her, but also so she can lead a new life free from baggage with her new husband.

Overall, I was just disgusted with this book. I gave it two stars because I managed to finish it.


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