In 7th grade while all my friends were into the Sweet Valley High books, I was devouring the world of V.C. Andrews. It’s something about the lonely, outcast, but talented orphan, finding her “real” family which happens to rich. Of course her real family treats her horribly because of the “secret scandal” which expunged her from the family in the first place. While said orphan, adapts to her “new” life she will have to battle the unwanted attention of a family member (usually her brother) who will inevitably fall in love with her (all books have some type of incest). Eventually her talent (either singing, playing an instrument, or ballet) will be her saving grace and she will find happiness, but not before inheriting the family fortune.
Yup, that is a pretty good description of ALL V.C. Andrews book but I loved them! Maybe it was my own secret wish that I was adopted and my real family was rich and famous, which caused me to basically read the same story plot over and over again. Or maybe it was the subtle sexuality in the books which made me feel rebellious because I’m pretty sure my mother wouldn’t want me to read about “near rapes” by someone’s brother when I was 12 years old. Either way, I started to circulate these books around my girlfriends and we became Mr. Levin’s 7th Grade English Class V.C. Andrews reading group.
We were so addicted to these stories that we decided to write our “V.C. Andrews” book. I purchased a black & white copy notebook and wrote the first chapter, then we would pass the book around and each “member” would write a chapter. Oh! those days were great fun. I’m pretty sure that book is stored in the dungeon of my parents’ basement and I will retrieve it one day to laugh at the bad writing and silly plot.
The most famous V.C. Andrews book is Flowers in the Attic, which was made into a feature film. And someone placed the film on youtube; watch parts of it below:
The oddest thing I find about her books is that they are always classified as “horror”. In book stores and the library you will find them near the Stephen King novels. I assure you, these books aren’t what I consider “horror books” generally speaking… they’re more like bad romance novels that you just can’t stop reading.
About the author:
V.C. Andrews was Cleo Virginia Andrews. As a teenager she suffered an accident which caused her to be wheelchair bound for much of her life. She started writing in her 50’s and after the suggestion she “spice up” her first novel, she resubmitted the manuscript, which became Flowers in the Attic. Until her death in 1986 of breast cancer, she published a new novel each year.
After her death, her family hired a ghost writer, Andrew Neiderman to continue the “V.C. Andrews formula” books. Garden of Shadows and Fallen Hearts were the last books written completely by Ms. Andrews.
If you are interested in reliving your youth or reading some “candy books” (I call quick reads which required little to no thinking, but page turners, candy books) here are my V.C. Andrews recommendations to get you started:
- The V.C. Andrews Wiki
- The V.C. Andrews Cover Art Gallery
- The Complete V.C. Andrews Library
- Simon & Schuster V.C. Andrews page