Welcome to Memory Lane Monday!
This is a feature of unforgettable books I have read in times past which have not had the chance to be reviewed on this blog as I read them a long time ago. Lets’ call them my personal classics. I will be featuring several of my favorites and I hope you will be interested to read and enjoy some as I have.
This week’s pick is…
These books and the stories they carry are one of the most unforgettable reading experiences I have ever had especially as a teenager. ‘Flowers in the Attic’ the first book was hypnotic and it pulls you into the unspeakable lives of the Dollanganger children and after that you can never get enough of them. These books were also adapted to the big screen and even though I must confess they were well done, nothing beats reading these books. I am considering reading these stories again however, my ever growing TBR pile is a reminder that I am biting more than I can chew.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend.
Have you read this book?
Flowers in the Attic
It wasn’t that she didn’t love her children. She did. But there was a fortune at stake—a fortune that would assure their later happiness if she could keep the children a secret from her dying father.
So she and her mother hid her darlings away in an unused attic.
Just for a little while.
But the brutal days swelled into agonizing years. Now Cathy, Chris, and the twins wait in their cramped and helpless world, stirred by adult dreams, adult desires, served a meager sustenance by an angry, superstitious grandmother who knows that the Devil works in dark and devious ways. Sometimes he sends children to do his work—children who—one by one—must be destroyed….
‘Way upstairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent struggling to stay alive…
Petals in the Wind
For Carrie, Chris and Cathy, the attic was a dark horror that would not leave their minds, even while they built bright, promising new lives. Of course mother had to pretend they didn’t exist.
And Grandmother was convinced they had the devil in them.
But that wasn’t their fault. Was it? Cathy knew what to do.
She now had the powers she had learned from her beautiful mother. She knew it in the way her brother still yearned for her, in the way her guardian touched her, in the way all men looked at her.
She knew it was time to put what she knew to the test. To show her mother and grandmother that the pain and terror of the attic could not be forgotten… Show them.
Show them—once and for all.
If There Be Thorns
Christopher and Cathy have made a loving home for their handsome and talented teenager Jory, their imaginative nine-year-old Bart, and a sweet baby daughter. Then an elderly woman and her strange butler move in next door. The Old Woman in Black watches from her window, lures lonely Bart inside with cookies and ice cream, and asks him to call her “grandmother.” Slowly Bart transforms, each visit pushing him closer to the edge of madness and violence, while his anguished parents can only watch. For Cathy and Chris, the horrors of the past have come home…and everything they love may soon be torn from them.
Virginia Cleo Andrews (born Cleo Virginia Andrews) was born June 6, 1923 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The youngest child and the only daughter of William Henry Andrews, a career navy man who opened a tool-and-die business after retirement, and Lillian Lilnora Parker Andrews, a telephone operator. She spent her happy childhood years in Portsmouth, Virginia, living briefly in Rochester, New York. The Andrews family returned to Portsmouth while Virginia was in high school.
While a teenager, Virginia suffered a tragic accident, falling down the stairs at her school and incurred severe back injuries. Arthritis and a failed spinal surgical procedure forced her to spend most of her life on crutches or in a wheelchair.
Virginia excelled in school and, at fifteen, won a scholarship for writing a parody of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. She proudly earned her diploma from Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth. After graduation, she nurtured her artistic talent by completing a four-year correspondence art course while living at home with her family.
After William Andrews died in the late 1960s, Virginia helped to support herself and her mother through her extremely successful career as a commercial artist, portrait painter, and fashion illustrator.
Frustrated with the lack of creative satisfaction that her work provided, Virginia sought creative release through writing, which she did in secret. In 1972, she completed her first novel, The Gods of the Green Mountain [sic], a science-fantasy story. It was never published. Between 1972 and 1979, she wrote nine novels and twenty short stories, of which only one was published. “I Slept with My Uncle on My Wedding Night”, a short fiction piece, was published in a pulp confession magazine.
Promise gleamed over the horizon for Virginia when she submitted a 290,000-word novel, The Obsessed, to a publishing company. She was told that the story had potential, but needed to be trimmed and spiced up a bit. She drafted a new outline in a single night and added “unspeakable things my mother didn’t want me to write about.” The ninety-eight-page revision was re-titled Flowers in the Attic and she was paid a $7,500 advance. Her new-generation Gothic novel reached the bestseller lists a mere two weeks after its 1979 paperback publication by Pocket Books.
Petals on the Wind, her sequel to Flowers, was published the next year, earning Virginia a $35,000 advance. The second book remained on the New York Times bestseller list for an unbelievable nineteen weeks (Flowers also returned to the list). These first two novels alone sold over seven million copies in only two years. The third novel of the Dollanganger series, If There Be Thorns, was released in 1981, bringing Virginia a $75,000 advance. It reached No. 2 on many bestseller lists within its first two weeks.
Taking a break from the chronicles of Chris and Cathy Dollanganger, Virginia published her one, and only, stand-alone novel, My Sweet Audrina, in 1982. The book welcomed an immediate success, topping the sales figures of her previous novels. Two years later, a fourth Dollanganger novel was released, Seeds of Yesterday. According to the New York Times, Seeds was the best-selling fiction paperback novel of 1984. Also in 1984, V.C. Andrews was named “Professional Woman of the Year” by the city of Norfolk, Virginia.
Upon Andrews’s death in 1986, two final novels—Garden of Shadows and Fallen Hearts—were published. These two novels are considered the last to bear the “V.C. Andrews” name and to be almost completely written
Published: 1979, 1980,1981
Pages: 389, 439, 374
Genre: Fiction (Mystery/Thriller)
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