My sister and our friends and I all devoured these books when they were first published, which has been eons ago. Despite the many years that have passed, the story was still pretty fresh in my mind when I picked it up to reread, and I kept anticipating scenes coming up.
Our narrator is Cathy, age twelve when the story begins. Her brother Christopher is fourteen, and the twins, Carrie and Corrie, are five. They live a happy, idyllic life with their beloved parents. Then one day their lives are shattered when their father is killed in a car accident.
Corinne, their mother, takes them to her childhood home, where she has told them they are going to live with her parents. However, when she was young, she angered her father, and he disowned her. Now she must ingratiate herself to him to earn his forgiveness and get him to love her again, and put her back in his will. He is very ill and will die any day now. She tells her children this is their only hope for the future, as she has no skills and cannot possibly support them on her own.
When they arrive in the dead of night, their grandmother meets them and ushers them quickly through the house to a room on the top floor, where the children find themselves locked in and left alone. Thus begins their lives as the Flowers in the Attic. The grandmother brings them food every morning. Their mother visits often, bringing gifts and telling them stories about her exploits in secretarial school, and her attempts to get her grandfather to love her again. Then she comes less often. The children, especially Cathy and Chris, grow older, begin to mature into young adults. Sexually aware young adults.
The book is a compelling and quick read, and was much better written than I expected or remembered. Twisted, incestuous, and yet highly enjoyable.
(I received this book through BookCrossing).