Book Revisited: Petals On The Wind & If There Be Thorns by V. C. Andrews

Petals On The Wind
Dollanganger #2
Author: V. C. Andrews
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Gothic | Family Saga | Classic
Released: May 20th 2014 (Gallery Books Media Tie-In)
Review Source: Gallery Books

On the heels of the successful Lifetime TV version of Flowers in the Attic comes the TV movie tie-in edition of Petals On the Wind, the second book in the captivating Dollanganger saga.

Forbidden love comes into full bloom. For three years they were kept hidden in the eaves of Foxworth Hall, their existence all but denied by a mother who schemed to inherit a fortune. For three years their fate was in the hands of their righteous, merciless grandmother. They had to stay strong…but in their hopeless world, Cathy and her brother Christopher discovered blossoming desires that tumbled into a powerful obsession. Now, with their frail sister, Carrie, they have broken free and scraped enough together for three bus tickets and a chance at a new life. The horrors of the attic are behind them…but they will carry its legacy of dark secrets forever.

Cathy, Carrie and Chris have escaped their insanely inhuman grandmother, and they are living with some emotional scars. After finding a nice man to take them in as children the story flashes to a couple years later, showing their success but that doesn't mean that Cathy has forgotten what their mother and grandmother has done to them. Cathy wants to get revenge on them both while Chris is dealing with the feelings that came to him while trapped in the attic and Carrie is dealing with learning to be a real child.

This book is just as good as Flowers In The Attic was, if not a little better. I find this story so interesting-I know it's morbid that I love these books so much but the story and the characters are both appealing, in odd ways. The story dynamic is different now because they have escaped from the attic and now can actually start living their life, but they are held back by the three or more years that they were trapped-unable to be real children living the lives they would've had. The confrontations that happen within this book are so much more morbid and sad than what happened in Flowers In The Attic, which is why I love Petals On The Wind so much.

It's so shocking that this series was first published in the 80's because it is such a versatile story, there isn't anything that really dates the story making it able to be a modern tale unless you'd like to imagine it happening in the 80's. I think that if you haven't read this book you really should-you will feel guilty about your feelings on who Chris and Cathy should end up with but that's what makes this writing so good. V. C. Andrews knows how to play with her audience and make them feel guilty while making them know that they shouldn't feel guilty for something that will inevitably happen. And this is why I give the book 5 trees and hope that you will too!

If There Be Thorns
Dollanganger #3
Author: V. C. Andrews
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Gothic | Family Saga | Classic
Released: November 28th 1981
Review Source: Pocket

Out of the ashes of evil Chris and Cathy made such a loving home for their splendid children...

Fourteen-year-old Jory was so handsome, so gentle. And Bart had such a dazzling imagination for a nine year old.

Then the lights came on in the abandoned house next door. Soon the Old Lady in Black was there, watching their home with prying eyes, guarded by her strange old butler. Soon the shrouded woman had Bart over for cookies and ice cream and asked him to call her "Grandmother."

And soon Bart's transformation began...

A transformation that sprang from "the book of secrets" the gaunt old butler had given him... a transformation fed by the hint of terrible things about his mother and father... a transformation that led him into shocking acts of violence, self-destruction and perversity.

And now while this little boy trembles on the edge of madness, his anguished parents, his helpless brother, an obsessed old woman and the vengeful, powerful butler await the climax to a horror that flowered in an attic long ago, a horror whose thorns are still wet with blood, still tipped with fire...

Chris and Cathy are all grown up now and have children of their own. This story follows the children: Jory and Bart, and their story to find the truths and trying to live their life knowing that something within their family isn't right. While growing up Bart becomes more and more sadistic, which reminds Chris and Cathy a little too much like an unloving grandfather that they had when they were trapped in their attic.

This book falls short from the previous books, and I think this is because Chris and Cathy have finally given into their love for one another and the story changes perspectives-from Cathy to the children. It's understandable that we need to have their perspective on things while they're happening, especially Bart's perspective, but I would've rather had Cathy tell me this story. This could also be a fault of my own, I got so use to Cathy telling this story that I just didn't want to have anyone else tell the story. The story was still well written, and when knowing what Jory was up to you still get a sense of Cathy because Jory is so much like Cathy when she was a child, he just isn't haunted by being locked away in an attack for most of his childhood. But Bart was so brash and different from any of the other characters that while his story was interesting it wasn't what I was prepared to read.

If you've read Flowers In The Attic and Petals On The Wind it only makes sense to read If There Be Thorns, but if you are just picking this one up just to read for fun you may want to pass it up.

Stay tuned to OUaT, as we will feature more reviews and news about the classic Dollanganger series and its famous characters. You can read Yara's review of Flowers In The Attic (book 1 in the Dollanganger series) HERE. Next review to come, will be of Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth from Pocket Books.

“No doubt that there are very few readers out there who do not remember where this all began. TheDollanganger books by the incomparable V.C. Andrews are held in the memory of millions of readers. She presented, by far, some of the very best in YA fiction: dark, creepy, that had you on the edge of your seat just waiting for the next one to come out…Taking place in the here and now, teenager Kristin Masterwood has lost her mother, who just so happened to have been a distant relative of Malcolm Foxworth…Kristin finds a leather-bound book left behind by Christopher Dollanganger…she brings ‘Flowers in the Attic’ back to life. With one more still to come in this ‘journey back to Foxworth,’ this tale is a true escape with moments that bring the past alive and combine it with a frightening present that would make V.C. Andrews extremely proud.” —Suspense Magazine

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews® has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of Flowers in the Attic, first in the renowned Dollanganger family saga. 


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