Series: Dollanganger #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on 1979
Genres: Fiction, Gothic, Sagas, Suspense
Source: Owned Audible Book
A major Lifetime movie event—the novel that captured the world's imagination and earned V.C. Andrews a fiercely devoted fanbase. Book One of the Dollanganger Family series.At the top of the stairs there are four secrets hidden. Blond, beautiful, innocent, and struggling to stay alive…They were a perfect family, golden and carefree—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. Kept on the top floor of their grandmother’s vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother…and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know. Book One of the Dollanganger series, followed by Petals in the Wind, If There be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
V.C. Andrews is one of the authors (along with King, Pike, Koontz, Saul and Rice) that made me into the Midnight Book Girl. I loved her twisted gothic tales, and this series and the Heaven series are among the books I read over and over again, and then once more. It’s been a couple of years since I last read an Andrews novel (the ones that have been coming out since 1986 or so have been the work of a ghost writer and aren’t nearly as good.) The first 2 books of this series are my favorite (although I adore Heaven and Dark Angel as well), and even though it’s been several years, I can recall the plots with complete accuracy. When my book club gals started planning to get together to watch the Lifetime revamp of the movie version, I knew I needed to re-read the book before seeing the new movie.
Honestly, Andrews writing was better than I remembered it being. I was afraid that since I had read her mostly in my tweens and teens, and because I just loved the books so, that the book blogger me of today would find the writing lacking. If anything, time has made me aware that Andrews did deserve to be a best seller, and I’m so glad to newly discover so many people who enjoy her early books- despite (or because) of the incest and abuse and evil parents. It’s hard not to empathize with Cathy, the only member of her family to question and fight against her new reality. To go from being Daddy’s Little Princess to have to play mother to her younger siblings and stay shut away in an attic for over 3 years is mind boggling. The bond that forms between Chris and Cathy (always stronger in Chris, who can’t let go, ever) is impossible to deny even though it’s a situation that in real life I would find abhorrent. But somehow Andrews sells it, because my favorite book in the series in book 3, where Chris gets his HEA.
If you haven’t read this one but have always wanted to, then now is the time! Just keep in mind that it takes place in the 1950’s and 60’s when kids were much more obedient and probably a lot more innocent that the teens of today are, and ignore all the Golly Gees! 😉
I picked this up on Audible simply because I was in the middle of several physical/kindle books and it was the only way I could fit it in. The Audible version is narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan. whom I thought I hadn’t heard before, but when I looked up her name to write this review I saw that she had narrated Charlaine Harris’ Harper Connelly books. I really enjoyed her performance on the Connelly books, and here as well (although she pronounces the name Corrine all wrong, saying Cor-reen instead of Cor-rin like it’s pronounced in both the movie versions). She reads slowly, which is a good thing since it allowed me to listen at 2x and 3x speed with no difficulty, and brought to life a novel I had only ever read (or read out loud to myself) in print form. I don’t know that I’ll buy the next book in the series on audible since I do have a copy of my beloved Petals on the Wind in paperback, but I would definitely listen to books read by Bresnahan in the future!