Wednesday, September 7, 2011

V.C. Andrews--Author Review

Is it too early to do another author review? I hope not because yesterday I went home and watched Flowers in the Attic which prompted me to do a bio on an awesome older and deceased writer V.C. Andrews, also known as Cleo Virginia Andrews.

SPOILER: When I was in high school, my mother let me watch a terrifying movie of a family who lost their father. Their mother, Corrine, was financially burdened after his death and felt she had no choice but to take her four children to Foxworth Hall--the home she grew up in, the home she had ran away from seventeen years before. Upon arrival to Foxworth Hall, her children: Christopher, Catherine, Cory and twin sister Carrie are locked away in an attic in an attempt to hide any trace of their existence.

Corrine sways her children to stay locked away in the attic by telling them that all she has to do is win back the approval of her father in order to be written into his will and upon his death she would gain Foxworth Hall and its contents. What she fails to tell them is that Olivia Foxworth, her mother, is a religious selfrighteous condemning bit** who taunts them and poisons them with quotes from the bible. Olivia tells them that they are abominations and unholy because of the marriage between their parents was incestuous and unwholesome.

During this time, Corrine stops seeing her children and Olivia goes days without feeding them all together. No sunlight, poor dieting, and a mixture of other components lead one of the children to their death.

After years of promises and Corrine’s lack of commitment to her children, Christopher and Catherine turn to each other for love and support because they are all each other have. They plan an attempt to escape the attic and find out that their grandfather has been deceased for months and that their mother is to be remarried. The will specifically states that if any children are found from Corrine’s previous marriage that she will lose everything. And they realize that their mother never had planned to let them escape from that attic.

Catherine, Chris and Carrie escape Foxworth Hall and find a doctor who willingly takes them in, nursing them all back to health.

I might have gone completely overboard with the description of the book, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC but it is one of my favorite books in the whole Dollanganger series and after reading them all, I can tell you that V.C. Andrews never disappoints and Foxworth Hall holds more secrets that Monica Lewinsky’s closet.

Now about V.C. Andrews, she was born and raised in Virginia. After a tragic teenage accident she was forced to spend the rest of her life on crutches or in a wheelchair. In 1972, she completed her first manuscript and gothic romance and published them under a pen name. As for the Dollanganger series: “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 pitched the new novel to Anita Diamant, a literary agent with The Writer's Workshop, on January 13, 1978. Just three days later, Anita requested the entire manuscript. Virginia sold the novel and 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.”

V.C. Andrews is and was an amazing author and upon her death in December 1986, she was amongst one of the best gothic romance novels of her time. I would suggest any of her series to read and hope that this enticing review will send you hopping on your ereader and downloading her series.

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