Book Talk: Flowers in the Attic

By: Imaara Zuhaire

First book: Flowers in the Attic By: V.C Andrews

Flowers in the Attic is the first novel in the Dollanganger series by V.C. Andrews. In this novel, four siblings are locked in a secluded second story room in the childhood home of their mother after the death of their father. The children are told they will only have to remain here until their grandfather has died and left his entire estate to their mother. However, as the years pass and the children have been locked away for more than three years, they begin to doubt their mother's devotion to their safety and begin searching for a way to escape. Flowers in the Attic is a dark, Gothic tale of greed and incest that will keep readers spellbound until the final paragraph.

Petals in the Wind by: V.C Andrews

Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews is the second in the Dollanganger series. This novel picks up where the first, Flowers in the Attic, leaves off. The surviving Dollanganger children are on a bus bound for Florida, where they hope to become acrobats in the circus. However, Carrie becomes very ill on the bus and they are forced to get off the bus. A fellow passenger on the bus decides to take them to the home of her employer, Dr. Paul Sheffield, a small town country doctor. The children find warmth and acceptance in the home of Dr. Paul. However, Christopher cannot let go of his undying affection for Catherine, Carrie still does not grow as she should, and Catherine cannot let go of a need for revenge against the woman responsible for all their pain. Petals on the Wind is a novel of growing up in an all too real world and of the revenge that can only poison what is good and precious.

Third book: If There Be Thorns

The book is narrated by two half-brothers, Jory and Bart Sheffield. Jory is a handsome, talented fourteen-year-old boy who wants to follow his mother Cathy in her career in the ballet, while nine-year old Bart, who is plain and clumsy, feels inferior to his brother. By now, siblings Cathy and Chris live together as husband and wife. To hide their history, they tell the boys and other people they know that Chris was Paul's younger brother. Cathy and Chris have a passionate and very loving relationship, described by Jory who has accidentally witnessed encounters between them. The more they fight, the more they make up with affection. Cathy is a loving mother to her sons, but shows some favoritism towards Jory. Unable to have more children, Cathy secretly adopts Cindy, the two-year-old daughter of one her former dance students, who was killed in an accident, because she longs to have a girl, as well as a child that is hers and Christopher's. Initially against it, Chris comes to accept the child, and Jory does as well, but Bart is very upset and resentful of Cindy. Lonely from all the attention Jory and Cindy are receiving, Bart befriends an elderly neighbor that moved in next door, who invites him over for cookies and ice cream and tells him to call her "Grandmother." Jory eventually goes next door as well to see who Bart keeps visiting, and the old lady tried to tell him that she is actually his grandmother. Jory doesn't believe her, and avoids her at all costs. The old woman and Bart, on the other hand, soon develop an affectionate friendship, and the woman does her best to give Bart whatever he wants, provided that Bart promises to keep her gifts and their relationship—a secret from his mother.

Fourth book: Seeds of Yesterdays

The story begins fifteen years after the events in If there Thorns. Cathy and Chris arrive at the home of their son, Bart, which is oddly an exact replica of Foxworth Hall (which burned down in Pedals on the wind) to celebrate Bart's twenty-fifth birthday. Joel, Corrine's brother who was thought to be dead in the fire. He contacted Bart after learning of Corrine's death and now works as the head butler at Bart's request. Joel gives Bart bad information about God and punishment. Bart looks at Joel as a father figure; a fact that troubles Cathy greatly. Bart is still bitter towards his mother and uncle for their incestuous relationship, so their stay is not pleasant. He has grown into a handsome young man, but is extremely jealous, power hungry and bitter that Chris is the guardian of his money until his twenty-fifth birthday.

Bart's brother Jory visits and eventually moves in with his wife. Jory, who is almost thirty, has been married to Melodie, his childhood sweetheart and ballet partner, for nine years. Soon after their arrival, they announce that Melodie is pregnant. Bart is jealous of Jory and shows an unhealthy interest in Melodie. Bart and Jory's sister Cindy, who is now sixteen, arrives and it becomes clear that Bart does not like her either. Cathy tries to make the best out of the situation, but any happiness ends when Jory is in an accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and unable to dance. Melodie does not deal well with Jory's disability and withdraws from him. Cathy tries to help Melodie reconnect with Jory, but discovers later that Melodie has turned to Bart for comfort and passion – the two have been having an affair. Cathy is enraged, but when she confronts Bart he says he loves Melodie, and Cathy is unsure what to do. Bart believes Melodie loves him too, but soon realizes it is an empty relationship and he is just a replacement for Jory. Jory finds out about the affair, and although hurt, tries to reconcile with Melodie, but she rejects him. Melodie goes into labor on Christmas Day, and gives birth to twins, Darren and Deirdre, whom Cathy says resemble her deceased twin brother and sister. Melodie has little interest in the babies, and Cathy cares for them, hoping Melodie has postpartum "blues" and will come around. But Melodie, not wanting to deal with two children and a disabled husband, abandons Jory and the children and moves to New York.

Cathy tries to console both her sons and to keep a firm hand on the pretty and free-spirited Cindy. Bart, under Joel's influence, bans Cindy from premarital sexual acts under his roof. He physically assaults two boys he catches Cindy with. When confronted about his hypocrisy a number of times throughout the story, Bart never attempts to justify his actions but instead responds with anger and resentment towards Cathy and Chris, always blaming them for his problems. After a long period of torment from Bart, and Joel, Cindy leaves to go to a school in New York. As the family falls apart Cathy and Chris don't know what to do.

100% Sure that you'll be just as Amazed at this Book as I was.

If There Be Thorns: Cathy Confronts Her Mother | Lifetime
Seeds of Yesterday: Jory's Onstage Accident | Lifetime
Lifetime Flowers in the Attic Trailer movie