Review: Flowers in the Attic: 40th Anniversary Edition by V.C. Andrews

The original #LadiesOfHorrorFiction novel that started it all for me!

Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews

Originally Published November 1979!

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Purchased
Celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the enduring gothic masterpiece Flowers in the Attic—the unforgettable forbidden love story that earned V.C. Andrews a fiercely devoted fan base and became an international cult classic.

At the top of the stairs there are four secrets hidden—blond, innocent, and fighting for their lives…

They were a perfect and beautiful family—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. They are kept in the attic of their grandmother’s labyrinthine mansion, isolated and alone. As the visits from their seemingly unconcerned mother slowly dwindle, the four children grow ever closer and depend upon one another to survive both this cramped world and their cruel grandmother. A suspenseful and thrilling tale of family, greed, murder, and forbidden love, Flowers in the Attic is the unputdownable first novel of the epic Dollanganger family saga.

The Dollanganger series includes: Flowers in the Attic, Petals in the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, Garden of Shadows, Beneath the Attic, and Out of the Attic. 

My 2 Cents For Free!

I haven’t read this book since I was a teen. When I was a kid my friends and I would buy these books and pass them amongst each other until the pages nearly fell out. I think one of us might’ve even used her church collection fund to buy a few after skipping out on church and going roller skating instead, oops. I have to say it was money well spent. I still have my original (now moldy) copy that has writing inside from those friends and I will likely keep it forever for that reason alone. It’s one of the few items that survived my tumultuous childhood and only because I hid it and wouldn’t let it go. This revisit brought back a lot of memories and I credit this book for creating my thirst for dysfunctional stories about beautiful people keeping secrets and doing horrible and atrocious things to each other. To this day I cannot get enough of that sort of thing! So thank you, VC Andrews. I sure wish you had been able to live a long and healthy life.

My ancient copy!

So yeah, let’s get this out of the way. The writing is fantastically over-dramatic and if I heard “golly lolly” or “lolly day” or even plain old “golly” one more time I thought my eyeballs were going to get stuck somewhere up in my brain. Whoever on this planet ever said that?! No one in my circle of sometimes naughty friends but I don’t remember that sticking out to me as a kid. What I do remember (and who on earth could ever forget?) was the love between the kids, the abuse, the loss and, oh loard, the incest! I don’t care how cute brother Chris was, you do NOT kiss your brother but then again I wasn’t trapped in an attic with my siblings so who am I to judge? Anyhow, it’s all here and the rollout is slow so hold on to your heart. It is as awful and chilling and horrifying and painful to read now in 2020 as it was back in the ’80s when this book was everywhere.

The adults in this story are human monsters. Or they’re dead and perfect angels. There really isn’t any middle ground. I think this is what attracted me so much to this story. My home life was a nightmarish stew of anger and grief and unpredictability until I got out and this book made things look pretty damn normal. These kids were living with fear and anxiety and out of control emotions too and so much worse. Their emotions were raw and real even if the dialogue was ridiculous at times (most times!) At least I wasn’t stuck in an attic with my three siblings while my greedy and weak monster of a mother bought jewels and plotted . . . well, I won’t spoil that!

Anyhow, if you haven’t ever read this book and you like horror (and this is indeed horror - this is a hill I will die on) do yourself a favor and give this one a read. It lingers around for a reason. I’d take off half a star for that awful dialogue but I can’t bring myself to do it because I have such undying love for this book for helping a messed up girl through some very rough times.

Content Warning: Oh there are so many but child abuse and dubious con sex might be the two biggest if you don’t count the incest!

This quote. Oh, how I love this quote:

“My anguish was always like a mountain of rage.”

5 out of 5


  1. I remember my friends surreptitiously passing this one around when I was in middle school. One of the first dark and creepy books I ever read.

  2. I devoured these in Junior High as well and they were so taboo back then. Guess I've always rebelled huh? I though I was cool because my Mom gave a note to the library saying I could check out adult books as a YA. These and Stephen King were my go-to back then. Golly, maybe I should do a reread - sorry I couldn't resist ;)

    1. lol, those golly's about drove me nuts on audio!

  3. I remember reading that one and a few others back in high school.

    1. Those who didn't were most definitely deprived, lol!

  4. I never did get round to reading this book when I was younger though I was always curious about it. Maybe I should finally give it a try.

  5. i read this a long time ago and remember being horrified. glad it seems as good today as it was back then.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. I still have my original copy too. It was a great read and you make me want to pull it off the shelf and give it another go. I wonder if I'll still love it now.

  7. That's so awesome you still have your copy. I haven't read this, either, since I was like 10 or 11 or so. I used to read my Grandma's copy when we went to her house. I even made a "Flowers of the Attic" tribute room on YoVille (but don't eat the donuts there!).

  8. I love your revisit of this one so much. I really should read it again, too.

    1. We should do a group buddy read someday. I'd love to read the reactions!

  9. All I know of this book is that it's crazy pants..."if you don't include the incest" lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth


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