Flowers in the Attic Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Flowers in the Attic

12 year old Cathy loses her father in a tragic car accident on his birthday leading to a move from her middle class home to her wealthy, as of yet unknown, grandparents' mansion in the hills of Virginia. She and her 3 siblings are brought by their mother to her parents' home to find that not only are the mysterious grandparents wealthy, the fatally ill grandfather does not know of the kids existence and they must be hidden until his death.
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One night turns into many months and the four children continue to live in a tiny hidden bedroom and entertain themselves in a large, dirty attic. The grandmother shows hate towards the children, making their lives increasingly miserable, as their mother spends less and less time with them and becomes increasingly distant.

With only each other for company, and without the sun and the freedom of being outdoors, the children grow weak and the youngest become emotionally and physically stunted. Cathy and her older brother begin to have feelings for each other that should be felt for classmates they won't ever have. Eventually, the youngest brother gets sick that prompts Cathy's medically inclined brother to discover that the Mother and Grandmother have been slowly poisoning the children and the remaining three siblings escape the mansion and their murderous family.
The review of this Book prepared by ladyfriend

When their father dies, Cathy, Chris, Carrie, and Cory are whisked away, by their mother, to Foxworth Hall in Virginia. In order to survive, the children's mother must try to regain the love of her father so that he will put her back into his will...but there is a catch...he can never know about Corrine's four children, for they were born by an incestuous relationship. So Cathy and her brothers are mistreated and tortured by their evil grandmother. Day by day, week by week, month by month, Cathy, Chris, Carrie, and Cory become weaker and weaker, but there is never anyone from the outside world to notice. Their only hideaway is the attic, the one place that they can go to relive the happiness that they used to know, and only there can they begin to plan their escape, to return to the lives they used to know.
The review of this Book prepared by Domenic

Catherine, Cory, Carrie and Christopher Dollanganger all live in a small town where they are so attractive they are referred to as "the dolls". Their life is peaceful until one night, on their father's birthday, a policeman comes to the door and tells their mother that he has died in a car accident. Without their knowledge, he has left them in debt and they are forced to go to their mother's old house, Foxworth Hall. There is a twist, however: Corrine, their mother, will not be allowed to inherit her father's money if her parents know she has children. Because she doesn't want them to find out, she locks them in the attic and tells them they have to stay up there until her father dies. Their evil grandmother tortures them and their mother greedily keeps them locked in the small space. Christopher and Catherine lovingly take care of their two younger brothers, but bad things happen in their disturbing confinement.
The review of this Book prepared by Samantha Brett

After the death of her husband, Corinne Dollanganger takes her four children Christopher, Catherine, Cory, and Carrie, and goes to live with her wealthy parents who she hasn't seen in years. Once they arrive at the forbidding mansion, Foxworth Hall, the Dollanganger children learn a terrible family secret,the reason that their mother was disowned and disinherited years earlier. In order to inherit her ailing father's wealth, Corinne and her mother must hide the existence of her children. Shut up in a hidden room a the top of Foxworth hall, with only an attic for their playground, the Dolanganger children must struggle to raise themselves, and they must confront the terrible truth about their family, and who they really are.
The review of this Book prepared by fran laniado

Flowers in the Attic tells the story of four middle class children who are trying to cope with the death of their father, only to learn that they must leave their past behind to live with their rich grandparents in Virginia. Upon arrival they are forced to live in one room, with only an attic to play in, for 3 years, 4 months, and 16 days. The book describes, in detail, the struggles they face with their forgetful, uncaring mother and their religious fanatic grandmother. They also face internal struggles as they mature into adults but have no one but each other.
The review of this Book prepared by Sarah Walczak

After their father dies, Christopher, Cathy, Carrie, and Cory Dollanganger go with their mother, Corrine, to Boston, where Corrine's parents live. Corrine was disowned by them for marrying her half-uncle. Her fathers will stated that if it was proven that Corrine ever had children, she would not inherit anything. So Corrine locks Chris, Cathy, Carrie, and Cory in the attic with the promise that when their grandfather died, they would be able to come out. She didn't keep her promise. Later on, the grandmother, Olivia, starts sending them powdered doughnuts. The children ate them, not knowing that they were coated with arsenic. Soon, Carrie and Cory became deathly ill and Cory died. Then, Chris, Cathy, and Carrie escaped. Cathy then vowed to get revenge on this mother who so knowingly killed her own son...
The review of this Book prepared by Terri Jones

Chapter Analysis of Flowers in the Attic

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother (or standin)    -   Grandma Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   grade school Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   parental abuse

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast    -   Northeast Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   rape/molest Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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V.C. Andrews Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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