Flowers In The Attic
Flowers In The Attic
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Flowers in the Attic
Flowers in the Attic is a 1979 Gothic novel by V. C. Andrews. It is the first book in the Dollanganger Series, and was followed by Petals on the Wind,

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For other uses, see Flowers in the Attic (disambiguation). This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Flowers in the Attic First edition cover of Flowers in the AtticAuthorV. C. AndrewsCountryUnited StatesLanguageEnglishSeriesDollanganger seriesGenreGothic horror
Family sagaPublisherSimon & SchusterPublication dateNovember 1979Media cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}0-671-82531-3OCLC21616361Followed byPetals on the Wind (1980)

Flowers in the Attic is a 1979 Gothic novel by V. C. Andrews. It is the first book in the Dollanganger Series, and was followed by Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, "Garden of Shadows", "Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth", "Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger" and "Christopher's Diary: Secret Brother". The novel is written in the first-person, from the point of view of Cathy Dollanganger. It was twice adapted into films in 1987 and 2014. The book was extremely popular, selling over forty million copies world-wide.

  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Characters
  • 3 Awards
  • 4 Adaptations
  • 5 Controversy
  • 6 References
Plot This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. Please help improve it by removing unnecessary details and making it more concise. (March 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

In 1957, the Dollanganger family lives an idyllic life in Gladstone, Pennsylvania until Mr. Dollangager dies in a car accident, leaving his wife Corrine deep in debt with four children and no professional skills. The family is forced to move in with Corrine's wealthy parents, with whom she is estranged. Upon arrival at Foxworth Hall, the family is greeted coldly by Corrine's mother Olivia, who sneaks them into a small bedroom connected to the attic. Only Corrine is allowed in the grand estate, as the children remain hidden from their grandfather Malcolm.

The older children, Cathy and Chris, attempt to make the best of the situation for their younger siblings, twins Carrie and Cory, by turning the attic into an imaginary garden. Yet the children learn the truth of their terrible new fate, as Olivia treats them with disdain and threatens to severely punish them for any disobedience. Corrine returns from meeting with her parents, having been savagely whipped by Olivia. She confesses that the children's dead father was her half-uncle, her father's half-brother, and the incest is the cause of her and her parents' estrangement. Corrine plans to win back her father's love, hoping to introduce the children to him soon.

At first, Corrine visits her children daily, sometimes bringing expensive gifts. Yet the grandmother emotionally and physically abuses the children, constantly threatening to whip them for any acts she considers "sinful". At Christmas time, Corrine allows Cathy and Chris to watch the ball at Foxworth Hall from a hiding spot, where they see their grandfather for the first time and also see their mother with Bart Winslow, Malcolm's attorney. Their mother's visits become less frequent as she grows detached, eventually slapping Chris and threatening to whip them. Despite her apologies and promises to make amends, Cathy worries their mother has changed and no longer cares for them.

A year later, Cathy and Chris have both entered puberty and adopted parental roles with Carrie and Cory, who no longer recognize Corrine. While Cathy and Chris are both entering adulthood, the twins' physical growth is stunted from a lack of adequate nutrition, sunlight and fresh air. Despite personal shame, Cathy and Chris develop physical attraction toward each other. Olivia catches Chris staring at a half-dressed Cathy and orders him to cut off Cathy's hair. Chris refuses, and Olivia abandons them for three weeks, driving them to near-starvation. When Cathy cuts her own hair, meals resume and now include sugared doughnuts as a surprise.

Corrine visits for the first time in six months, returning from her wedding and European honeymoon with Bart. Cathy and Chris react angrily, but relent when Corrine threatens to never visit again. The older children plan to escape, sneaking into the house to steal money and valuables from their mother's room. One night, Cathy discovers her sleeping stepfather and kisses him. When Chris learns of the act, he is enraged and rapes Cathy. He apologizes after, and Cathy forgives him by saying she wanted it too.

Cory becomes sick and Corrine agrees to take him to the hospital only after threats from Cathy. The next day, Corrine returns and tells them Cory died, allegedly from pneumonia. Without warning, their mother and Bart move out. Eavesdropping on the servants, Chris learns that Malcolm died and Olivia is now leaving out doughnuts sprinkled with rat poison in an attempt to clear the attic's "mouse" infestation. The three remaining children finally flee, catching a train to Florida.

At the train station, Chris reveals he discovered Corrine's inheritance is conditional on her having no descendants, and she was poisoning them to secure her father's wealth. Chris and Cathy decide against contacting the police as their main concern is to stay together and protect Carrie who is still a minor. Chris assures Cathy that they can make a new life without their mother, but Cathy swears to exact revenge one day.

  • Catherine Leigh "Cathy" Dollanganger: The protagonist and narrator of the novel. Cathy is the second child and older daughter of Christopher and Corrine. She becomes an accomplished ballerina and later a novelist. During their time in the attic, she falls in love with Chris, her brother.
  • Christopher Garland "Chris" Dollanganger, Jr.: Older son and oldest child of Christopher and Corrine. Chris is the older brother of Cathy, Cory, and Carrie. He is an over-achiever and later becomes a doctor. During their time in the attic, he falls in love with Cathy.
  • Cory Dollanganger: Twin brother of Carrie and younger brother of Cathy and Chris. The "quiet one" of the twins, Cory is introverted but musically talented. He becomes ill during their time in the attic and dies from arsenic poisoning at the hands of his mother.
  • Carrie Dollanganger: Twin sister to Cory and the younger sister of Cathy and Chris. Prior to Cory's death, she is an extraverted girly girl, but after Cory dies she refuses to speak for months.
  • Corrine Dollanganger (née Foxworth): Mother of Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie and widow of Christopher Dollanganger. Eventually becomes an antagonist in the story when she tries to kill her children in order to gain her father's inheritance. She marries her father's attorney, Bart Winslow, later on and loses interest in her children and late husband.
  • Bartholomew "Bart" Winslow: Second husband of Corrine. He is a trophy husband and marries her thinking that she doesn't have any children. Cathy is shocked to discover that he is eight years younger than Corrine.
  • Olivia Foxworth (née Winfield): Wife of Malcolm Foxworth. Grandmother of the Dollanganger children. Cousin of John Amos. Olivia and Malcolm are co-antagonists in this book.
  • Malcolm Foxworth: Father of Corrine and grandfather of the Dollanganger children. Husband of Olivia. He is described both as having a heart condition and as heartless, a symbolic paradox. He dies during the story, though Chris and Cathy do not learn this until the end. He was also the older half-brother of the children's father.
  • Christopher Dollanganger, Sr.: Corrine's first husband; father of the children. He was Malcolm's younger half-brother, making him Corrine's half-uncle. He is described as a wonderful father who couldn't bear to be separated from his children for longer than five days. He is killed in a car accident on his birthday at the beginning of the book.
  • John Amos: A butler to the Foxworth family. Chris overhears very horrible information from him during one of Chris' expeditions to steal from his mother.

In 1993, Flowers in the Attic was awarded the Secondary BILBY Award.[1] In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's 200 "best-loved novels."[2]


In 1987, the book was adapted into a film of the same name starring Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, and Jeb Stuart Adams and directed by Jeffrey Bloom.

A second adaptation was released on January 18, 2014, on the Lifetime network starring Heather Graham as Corrine and Ellen Burstyn as the Grandmother, with Kiernan Shipka as Cathy, Mason Dye as Christopher, and directed by Deborah Chow.[3] The film received mixed reviews, but critics praised Ellen Burstyn's performance.

The book was adapted into a stage play by V. C. Andrews's ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, in the form of an e-book and was published by Pocket Star. The stage play was released in October 2014 and is 80 pages in length. In August 2015 the stage play received its world premiere production in New Orleans, Louisiana. The play, which received positive reviews,[4] was produced by See 'Em On Stage: A Production Company and was directed by Christopher Bentivegna.


The book's success was not without controversy. The depiction of incest between an adolescent brother and sister in the novel has led to its being banned in certain areas at different times. Chariho High School in Rhode Island removed it because it contained "offensive passages concerning incest and sexual intercourse." In 1994, it was removed from the Oconee County, Georgia school libraries due to "the filthiness of the material."[5]

The claim that the novel was based on a true story was disputed. For many years, there was no evidence to support this claim, and the book was passed off as fiction. Nonetheless, the official V. C. Andrews website claims to have contacted one of Andrews' relatives. This unidentified relative claimed Flowers in the Attic was loosely based on a faintly similar account. While at the "University of Virginia hospital for treatment...she developed a crush on her young doctor. He and his siblings had been locked away in the attic for over 6 years to preserve the family wealth."[6]

  1. ^ "Previous Winners of the BILBY Awards: 1990 – 96" (PDF). The Children's Book Council of Australia Queensland Branch. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  2. ^ "BBC – The Big Read". BBC. April 2003, Retrieved August 23, 2017
  3. ^ "V.C. Andrews' 'Flowers in the Attic' to Premiere on Lifetime January 18 – Starring Heather Graham, Ellen Burstyn & Kiernan Shipka". 14 November 2013.
  4. ^ "The Complete VCA: Flowers in the Attic: A Stage Play".
  5. ^ Doyle, Robert (1998). Banned Books Resource Guide. The American Library Association.
  6. ^ F., Jennifer. "Biography: Based on a True Story". The Complete V.C. Andrews. Retrieved 2010-01-09. It has been widely speculated that Flowers in the Attic was based on a true story. But there has been no physical or historical evidence to support that claim. Virginia herself has admitted that a few incidents are autobiographical, and she has also stated that her stories have been influenced by experiences of friends and family, her own dreams and memories, and even popular and literary fiction.
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Works by V. C. AndrewsFrom 1987 ghost-written by Andrew NeidermanDollanganger series
  • Flowers in the Attic (1979)
  • Petals on the Wind (1980)
  • If There Be Thorns (1981)
  • Seeds of Yesterday (1984)
  • Garden of Shadows (1986)
  • Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth (2014)
  • Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger (2015)
  • Christopher's Diary: Secret Brother (2015)
Casteel series
  • Heaven (1985)
  • Dark Angel (1986)
  • Fallen Hearts (1988)
  • Gates of Paradise (1989)
  • Web of Dreams (1990)
Cutler series
  • Dawn (1990)
  • Secrets of the Morning (1991)
  • Twilight's Child (1992)
  • Midnight Whispers (1992)
  • Darkest Hour (1993)
Landry series
  • Ruby (1994)
  • Pearl in the Mist (1994)
  • All That Glitters (1995)
  • Hidden Jewel (1995)
  • Tarnished Gold (1996)
Other novels
  • My Sweet Audrina (1982)
  • The Wildflowers series
Film adaptations
  • Flowers in the Attic (1987)
  • Rain (2006)
  • Flowers in the Attic (2014)
  • Petals on the Wind (2014)
  • If There Be Thorns (2015)
  • Seeds of Yesterday (2015)
  • v
  • t
  • e
Books I Love Best Yearly: Older Readers Award
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ by Sue Townsend (1990)
  • The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton (1991)
  • Where's Wally? by Martin Handford (1992)
  • Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews (1993)
  • Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (1995)
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1996)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien (1997)
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden (1998)
  • Bumface by Morris Gleitzman (1999)
  • Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta (2000)
  • Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling (2001)
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (2002)
  • Two of a Kind series by various authors (2003)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (2004)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (2005)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling (2006)

The Flowers in the Attic Saga: Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind; If There Be Thorns/Seeds of Yesterday; Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger)
The Flowers in the Attic Saga: Flowers in the Attic/Petals on the Wind; If There Be Thorns/Seeds of Yesterday; Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger)
V.C. Andrews’s bestselling Flowers in the Attic saga has been enjoyed by millions of readers for more than thirty years. Now, all five books are available together in this new collection!In Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind, Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie had the perfect lives—until a tragic accident changed everything. Now they are trapped in their grandparents’ attic, waiting for their mother to figure out what to do next. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, the unspeakable horrors that plague them are rivaled only by the sinful jealousies that begin to rise. In If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday, Cathy and Chris have moved on from their days in the attic, but the sins and secrets of their past keep catching up to them. Now their children may be doomed to repeat their mistakes. In the Garden of Shadows prequel, young Olivia arrives at Foxworth Hall thinking her marriage to handsome Malcolm will bring the joy she has longed for. But in the gloomy mansion filled with festering desires and forbidden passions, a shocking secret lives. A secret that will taint the Foxworth family for generations to come.

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Flowers in the Attic
Flowers in the Attic
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. Now a major Lifetime movie event—the classic story of forbidden love that captured the world’s imagination and earned V.C. Andrews a fiercely devoted fanbase. Book One of the Dollanganger family saga.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, the sequels include Petals in the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Then experience the attic from Christopher’s point of view in Christopher’s Diary: Secrets of Foxworth and Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger.

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Flowers in the Attic / Petals on the Wind / If There Be Thorns / Seeds of Yesterday / Garden of Shadows
Flowers in the Attic /  Petals on the Wind / If There Be Thorns / Seeds of Yesterday / Garden of Shadows
Virginia Andrews 5 Books set dollanganger series tells about the story of a family and forbidden love. Gripping series that will possess you forever.

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Flowers in the Attic / Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger)
Flowers in the Attic / Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger)
A value-priced bindup of the first two books ever published by V. C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind.

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The Flowers in the Attic Series: The Dollangangers: Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and a New Excerpt!
The Flowers in the Attic Series: The Dollangangers: Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and a New Excerpt!
This eBook boxed set contains the previously published bestselling Dollanganger series by V.C. Andrews, including: Flowers in the Attic, Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday.

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