Throwback Thursdays (March 7, 2013)

Cassette Tape 2

Throwback Thursdays: The rules are simple, pick a favorite book of your past, and post about it. You can pick a quote from the series, post the blurb, maybe write what was your favorite thing about the book. Pick a book that you haven’t read for a long time, and spread the word about it’s awesomeness, in something less or shorter than a review. Once you have your Throwback posted, come here and post a link in the comment section.

Flowers in the Attic

Such wonderful children. Such a beautiful mother. Such a lovely house. Such endless terror!

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…

My thoughts

I coveted the Flowers in the Attic series when I was a teen. I felt deliciously bad reading about murder, incest and drama that riddled the pages of this book. For those not familiar with the series and want something fun to read, I would definitely pick up this up.

Let me give you a quick run down. The Dollanganger clan consists of siblings Cathy, Chris, Corey and Carrie. Their father dies unexpectantly. With no one else to turn to, their mother Corinne decides to pack the kids up and return home to her wealthy parents.

Corinne’s mother is not happy to see her. I can’t tell you why. You’ll have to read to find out. With her father on his death bed, Corinne tells the kids they will live upstairs in the mansion’s attic until she can win his love back. When she does, the kids will be allowed to come down and live happily ever after. Yeah right.

This is one of my favorite books. Its one of those quick reads you can do on a Sunday afternoon.

What I find intriguing about V.C. Andrews is that we both were born on June 6 in Portsmouth,Va., my hometown. She’s buried right up the street. Andrews died on December 19, 1986. She was sort of a recluse and there’s not much known about her.

After her death, Andrews family members and publishers continued to churn out books using a ghost writer.

The series includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday and Gardens of Shadows.

V._C._Andrews

About the Author

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 1960’s, 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 best-seller 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 best-seller 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 best-seller 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 by Andrews herself.

Her novels were so successful that after her death her estate hired a ghost writer Andrew Neiderman, to write more stories to be published under her name.

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2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursdays (March 7, 2013)

  1. One of my all-time favorite books is Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. Not a year goes by that I do not read this book. There is so much taking place all at the same time. The imagery is something to behold. The lyrical quality is something to enjoy. The linguistic rhythm makes for beauty. Such a special book. I love other Shakespeare works as well, Hamlet, Othello… Wow, Othello blows me away too, but I won’t get into that. So much treachery and deceit…okay, I said I wasn’t going to get into that. Haha. Anyway, I like these Throwback Thursdays. They make us think!

    • I’m glad you like Throwback Thursdays. I thought it was a fun theme to play with. I’ve never read any of Shakespeare’s work. I have a feeling it would go over my head. I did see the Romeo and Juliet movie with Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. I think I got the gist of the movie. Maybe one day I will attempt the great literary writer’s work.

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