By V. C. Andrews
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Flowers in the Attic is a 1979 novel by Virginia Andrews. Flowers in the Attic is the first book in the Dollanganger Series, and was followed by Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. The novel Flowers in the Attic is written in the first person from the point of view of Cathy Dollanganger. Flowers in the Attic was adapted into a film of the same name in 1987.
Narrator Cathy Dollanganger is twelve years old and the second of four children (following older brother Chris, who is fourteen years old, and preceding twins Cory and Carrie, who are both five years old). Cathy and her siblings live in Gladstone, Pennsylvania, with their father, Christopher and their mother, Corinne. Their idyllic life ends when the father dies in a highway accident on his 36th birthday.
Facing financial destitution, Corrine decides to take her children to Foxworth Hall, her family home in Charlottesville, Virginia. She writes to her mother, Olivia, persuading her to let her and the children stay in the giant mansion. Olivia agrees as long as the children are hidden; she does not want their grandfather, Malcolm, to know about them. Corinne tells the children that her parents are very rich, but were upset with her as they were strong Christians and disowned her when she married her half uncle and so she has not seen them in years. She also relates that their grandfather is dying and if Corinne can earn back his love before his death, she will be the sole heir to a vast fortune. Corinne and her children take a train to a station in the middle of nowhere and walk the remaining distance to Foxworth Hall under cover of darkness. (Summary by Wikipedia)
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Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews: When the children are settled into a small room below the attic, Corinne leaves with her mother and promises to return the next day. When she returns, she has been savagely horse-whipped by Olivia, who explains to the children that their parents were half-uncle and niece; their father had been Malcolm’s half-brother. If Corinne has any hope of gaining her father’s approval, the existence of the children must be kept secret. They are told that they must remain in seclusion until Malcolm’s death. Initially, Corinne attends secretarial school so that she can acquire the skills necessary to support her children and get them out of there; however, no references to secretarial school are made after the first year.
At first, Corinne visits them every day and lavishes the children with expensive gifts and promises of a bright future. However, as time goes by, she slowly loses interest in her children, coming less and less often. They are both verbally and emotionally abused by their grandmother, who tells them that they are “the devil’s spawn” and “an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.” She often threatens them with horrible physical punishment if they disobey her rules. After months of imprisonment Corinne abruptly stops visiting her children, leaving Cathy and Chris to believe that something has happened to her while they have been trapped in the attic…
Characters, Flowers in the Attic:
* Catherine Leigh “Cathy” Dollanganger: The protagonist and narrator of the novel. Cathy is the second-born of Chris Sr. and Corrine’s children. She wants to become a ballerina. In Petals on the Wind, she becomes the mother of Jory and Bart(II)and in If There Be Thorns she also adopts a daughter Cynthia whom they all call Cindy. She is a mother figure to Carrie and Cory.
* Chris Dollanganger, Jr.: Eldest offspring of Christopher and Corrine, Chris is the older brother of Cathy, Cory, and Carrie. During their time in the attic, he falls in love with Cathy. His life long dream was to become a doctor, like his late father. He is described as being very intelligent.
* Cory Dollanganger: Twin brother of Carrie and younger brother of Cathy and Chris. He becomes ill during their time in the attic and dies.
* Carrie Dollanganger: Twin sister to Cory and the younger sister of Cathy and Chris.
* Corrine Dollanganger (née Foxworth): Mother of Chris, Cathy, Cory, and Carrie and widowed wife of Christopher Dollanganger. Eventually becomes an antagonist in the story. She marries her father’s attorney Bart Winslow later on.
* Olivia Foxworth: The antagonist in the novel, grandmother of the Dollanganger children.
* Malcom Foxworth: Father of Corrine and grandfather of the Dollanganger children. He dies during the book, though Chris and Cathy don’t find out until somewhere near the end.
* Christopher Dollanganger: Corrine’s first husband; father of the children. He is killed in a car accident at the beginning of the book. He was Corrine’s half-uncle.
* John Amos: A butler to the Foxworth family.
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