Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Beneath the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Forbidden passions have shaped and haunted the Dollanganger family since their first novel—Flowers in the Attic—debuted forty years ago. Now discover how twisted the family roots truly are, and witness the clan’s origins as a result of one wild and complicated relationship. In this evocative and thrilling tale from New York Times bestselling author V.C. Andrews, see Corrine Dixon as a young girl and discover the fascinating family history of the Dollanganger clan.

Two generations before Corinne Foxworth locked her children in an attic, her grandmother, a gorgeous young girl named Corrine Dixon, is swept away by the charms of rich, sophisticated, and handsome Garland Foxworth. After discovering that she’s pregnant, Garland does what appears to be the honorable thing and marries her in a huge ceremony on the luxurious Foxworth Hall grounds. Both families fervently overlook the pregnancy, happy for a suitable resolution.

Now the mistress of a labyrinthine estate, Corrine discovers that nothing is what is seems. Garland is not the man once captivated by her charms, and she’s increasingly troubled by his infatuation with memories of his departed mother.

Can Corrine survive this strange new life? Or is her fate already sealed?

Explore the origins of the legendary Dollanganger family in this page-turning, gripping gothic thriller.

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Simon & Schuster – Paperback

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

To be honest, those in my age group and older, we're all reading these novels from a nostalgic standpoint, where all will be biased, either upset because the books aren't the same/can't be the same, or those like me, who are just happy that the legacy lives on.

While there is no doubt controversy over how these novels are listed as written by VC Andrews yet written by a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman, I tend to see VC Andrews more as an entity than the writer herself. Many of today's bestsellers are written by ghost writers for well-known authors, with not many readers in the know of this practice. There is no bait and switch in the case of these novels, as it is common knowledge there has been the same ghost writer since I began reading as an adolescent, as our beloved VC Andrews is no longer with us.

With all that being said, I decided to rate this novel by whether or not the Gothic, dark and twisted vibe felt of similar vein of Ms. Andrews. Obviously, no two writers’ voices can ever be the same, but I do feel Andrew Neiderman is doing an admirable job with the legacy passed on. Ms. Andrews' shoes were impossible to fill, so I appreciate novels of a similar vibe, instead of allowing the legacy to stop with her passing.

The Flowers in the Attic series was the first adult series I read when I was only 10 years old. It wasn't my favorite, as that will forever belong to My Sweet Audrina, with Heaven as a runner-up. Dawn is definitely holding strong in the #3 spot.

In Flowers in the Attic, we saw Corrine's actions through her daughter, Cathy. Corrine was most certainly the antagonist of the Flowers in the Attic series – flighty, careless, and cruel. Materialistic. Self-serving. I'd always wondered what made a woman become the mother who essentially locked her children in an attic and pretended they ceased to exist, all to gain access to her inheritance. But was Corrine the first to go to such lengths?

Beneath the Attic features the original Corrine – Corrine's grandmother and namesake, the children's great-grandmother. A torturous look at how a confident, sixteen-year-old is reduced and broken down due to the circumstances of her life. Showcasing how the darkness at Foxworth hall didn't begin with the children in the attic.

Foxworth Hall came to life in its Gothic, sinister splendor, closets filled with skeletons and twisted secrets hidden in every corner. While the writing may not be the same voice as originally written by VC Andrews herself, the vibe felt the same.

Reading Beneath the Attic would give a new perspective to rereading the Flowers in the Attic series. While I try to not give spoilers away, by avoiding the plot itself, I will say there were a few passages that were difficult to read, on the darker side. Added in with the historical time period in the late 1800s, women's rights weren't even on the horizon, which made it difficult to swallow some of the events that occurred, while most likely an accurate depiction.

With an easy to breeze through plot, the emotions weren't as deep as I wished they would have been, especially with the darker content, needing more emotional exploration for character development, but it did lend to a faster pace.

As I said, I'm in the biased camp, because I was thrilled simply to revisit a series from my childhood, seeking that sense of nostalgia, where I would have been happy with anything, no matter what I received. In this case, I will admit that I was pleased with the insight into Corrine's character, adding another layer to events that happened during the next generations.

One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of the spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began the renowned Dollanganger family saga, which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday, and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than sixty novels in nearly twenty bestselling series. V.C. Andrews’s novels have sold more than 106 million copies and have been translated into twenty-two foreign languages.

Sadly, V.C. passed away in 1986. She left several unfinished manuscripts and outlines that were completed by Andrew Neiderman.

Connect with V.C.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Beneath the Attic (Dollanganger) by V.C. Andrews to read and review.

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