Thursday, February 6, 2020

Out of the Attic by V.C. Andrews

The twisted, beloved Dollanganger legend began two generations before Corrine Foxworth locked away her children in Flowers in the Attic. The second book in a new prequel story arc, Out of the Attic explores the Dollanganger family saga by traveling back decades to when the clan’s wicked destiny first took root.

Married to the handsome, wealthy Garland Foxworth following a wildfire romance, and an unexpected pregnancy, young Corrine Dixon finds her life very different from how she imagined it. Often alone in the mansion of Foxworth Hall, she can practically feel the ancestors’ judgment of her as insufficient—as not a Foxworth. Stern portraits glare at her from the walls, and the servants treat her strangely. Nothing in the vast place is truly hers.

Even her son, Malcolm Foxworth, born in the luxe Swan Room and instantly whisked away to a wet nurse, feels alien to her. With a husband alternately absent and possessively close, Corrine doesn’t yet realize that she’s barely scratched the surface of what lies beneath Foxworth Hall’s dark facade and the family that guards its legacies.

With the fortieth anniversary celebration of Flowers in the Attic, and ten new Lifetime movies in the past five years, there has never been a better time to experience the forbidden world of V.C. Andrews.

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Simon & Schuster – Paperback

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 Stars

Spoiler-Free Review

Out of the Attic is the tenth installment in the Dollanganger series, aka Flowers in the Attic. While the latest installment in the long-standing series, Out of the Attic is the second in a series of prequels, events taking place long before those in the original debut with Flowers in the Attic.

Q/A to help V.C. Andrews' readers:

Can a reader pick up this novel up as a standalone without confusion? No.

Does the reader have to read all nine previous books before diving into Out of the Attic? No.

Suggestion/recommendation for those who don't want to read such a long-standing series, or wish to read the prequels before diving into the 'current' storyline, start with Beneath the Attic.

Did V.C. Andrews herself write this novel? No. Andrew Neiderman is the writer who authored the novel, as well as most novels published under the V.C. Andrews' brand over the past 30+ years. If you enjoyed novels written within that time frame, then it was Neiderman's voice you enjoyed.

As a fan of the historical genre, I don't qualify myself as an expert. However, I should stress that if historical accuracy in word-usage/household items/setting is a major pet peeve of yours, steer clear.

The original Corrine is the narrator of the novel, piecing events in history together to complete the puzzle that is the Dollanganger series. Showcasing her life at the hands of her husband, Garland, while featuring Malcolm's childhood. As a woman in the late 1800s, Corrine had little option on how to live her life, which led to dark consequences.

In classic dark horror gothic, to the backdrop of the oppressive Foxworth Hall, expect taboo subject matter, episodes of violence, sexual assault, and being held hostage by choices you've made because you have little choice in the matter.

My biggest complaint is simply how Corrine's voice shifted throughout the novel, not truly authentically hers. As a sheltered young woman in an era where her worldview would have been narrow, sometimes her voice was that of a twenty-year-old, but other times it was that of someone closer to fifty or sixty.

While I believe Out of the Attic to be a worthy addition to the Dollanganger series, that doesn't necessarily mean I was totally engrossed. A mix of reader's block, the historical accuracy errors, and the narrative age shifting, I did struggle to finish the novel.

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.

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

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