Flowers in the Attic

I am 100% into retail busy season right now. I don’t work in retail, but I work with retail clients–so when they get busy–so do I. I had been thinking about doing NaNoWriMo…but I’m starting to remember why I never do it. BECAUSE MY BRAIN DOES NOT FUNCTION BETWEEN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER.

It took me three days to read Flowers in the Attic, for no real reason other than my brain really has no room for anything at the moment. And this isn’t a book that you can just fly through without devoting serious mental energy to it. Wowza. I had no idea what I was picking up. I’d seen Lady Bookmad gush about it, so on the TBR it went. I was expecting more of a thriller. Not so much.

The four Dollanganger children are devastated when their father is killed in an accident. What are they going to do? Rather than going to work, their mother contacts her estranged, fantastically wealthy parents, who take her back under mysterious conditions. The children must hide away in an attic, locked away so their grandfather does not find out they exist. Momma insists it will be for a short while, but their internment turns into weeks, months, with no sign they will be let out.

Do you need your emotions today? Because they are about to be torn to shreds. Gaslighting? Check. Child abuse? Check. Religious Fanaticism? Check. Flowers is one of those books where every maternal cell in my body turns on and I just want to rip the pages out trying to get to these kids.

Of course, VC Andrews is a household name. I grew up seeing her books on my Nana’s shelf long before I was old enough to reach it. She had a whole collection, all in a line. Her writing is steady and captivating. I find no fault in it–this was just a devastating book to read. The header is “The Classic Novel of Forbidden Love” and yes, I suppose there is some current of incest between the two older children–but that’s not really the main point. I hate when publishers do this. This book is NOT a romance. It’s about 4 children living through a nightmare of child abuse. The incest is there but it is a side effect of two children going through puberty while living in a horrific, confusing situation.

OK…stopping this post before it makes me even more angry. How do I rate a book like this? It’s quality writing. Did I enjoy it? Enjoyment isn’t the word I used. It’s valuable literature that makes a person think about a lot of difficult situations and feel difficult emotions. For that, I’ll give it 3 Book Dragons.

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