Petals on the Wind Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Petals on the Wind

Cathy, Chris and Carrie have escaped the evil at Foxworth Manor and left their flowers in the attic behind them. On their way to a new life in sunny Florida, Carrie gets violently ill and a kind stranger leads them to the home of her employer, a bachelor doctor in a small South Carolina town.
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Dr.Paul cares for Carrie, and then the older children; and opens his home to them. He cares for them as a kind uncle, but soon Cathy finds herself falling for the first man whose cared for her since her father's death, all the while avoiding her brother's continued advances.
Cathy follows her dreams to NYC as a prima ballerina, and rushes into marriage with her dance partner. The marriage is not a good one, and her husband Julian breaks her toes, ending her professional career. The same day he is involved in a serious car accident, which leads to his suicide. Cathy finds herself a pregnant widow at a young age and returns to South Carolina where she has her baby, begins teaching ballet and becomes engaged to much older Dr. Paul.
Eventually, she realizes she should not marry him yet and takes Carrie with her back to Virginia in the town where their mother still resides, with revenge on her mind. Carrie runs into their mother, who denies their relationship, prompting Carrie's own suicide.
Now demanding revenge, Cathy seduces her mother's husband and in doing so falls in love with him. She becomes pregnant again, and takes her revenge by facing her mother at a large Christmas party. Her mother, driven crazy by facing her truth in front of all her acquaintences, rushes to the attic to set fire to a small hidden room, which we find holds Corey's remains. The fire destroys the mansion and takes the Grandmother and the mother's husband with it.
Cathy again finds herself with a fatherless child soon to be born and again runs back to Dr. Paul. The doctor suffered a heart attack the same day as the fateful fire and is no longer healthy. This time she marries him and lives with him for his last 3 years of life as his wife.
The tale ends with Chris and Cathy, and Cathy's 2 sons; leaving for California to once again start a new life.
The review of this Book prepared by ladyfriend

Cathy, Carrie, and Chris, the Doll's of the first book of this series, titled "Flowers In The Attic", have just escaped their tortured attic. They leave behind all that they had of their memories about their little brother, Cory, and find themselves thrust upon a man who takes them in. They quickly come to love this man, Cathy in a forbidden way. Chris goes on to study in college for his M.D., Carrie can not grow, and Cathy studies the wonderful art of ballet. There benefactor quickly becomes one of Cathy's lifelong loves.
That was only to set up for a more sinister plot. Cathy, still struggling with her abusive past, seeks out revenge against the grandmother, and Momma. She works for years coming up with a plan, to which her brother/lover Chris tells her she needs to learn to forget. After her husband Julian dies in a similar way to her father, and her sister dies from severe depression, Cathy goes back to Foxworth Hall to get her revenge on her Momma, and her grandmother.
The review of this Book prepared by Richard A. Paul

This moving volume continues the story of Catherine, Christopher, and Carrie Dollanganger, and their struggle to create lives for themselves after the attic. They are taken in by a kind and warm-hearted country doctor, Paul Sheffield, and are given everything they need to achieve their dreams of medicine, dancing, and just finding a reason to live. Through Paul, the Dolls are given an education, a place to live, anything they most desire, and most importantly, love and affection.

While Chris goes off to attend college and Carrie is sent to a private school where her family feels she will flourish, the relationship between Paul and Cathy takes a deeper turn. She begins to care see him as more than her benefactor, more than a man more than twice her age. As their romance grows, the dark shadow of envy consumes Chris, who wants nothing more than to have Cathy for himself, regardless of their relation. Fate tosses these lovers yet another obstacle as Julian Marquet makes his entrance. A phenomenal dancer, he is the perfect counterpart to Cathy's superb style and form on stage, from his dark looks contrasting her fair, to his intense, almost obsessive devotion to the art of ballet. He is determined to make Cathy his, whether or not she is willing.

Tragedy is not yet through with Catherine Doll, however, and even as her hatred for her mother makes her angry, she finds there is room for more than anger, though she learns too late. A series of genius plot twists and unexpected occurrences lead Catherine back to Virginia, back to Foxworth Hall, where her nightmares began.
The review of this Book prepared by Rayven

In the second book of V.C. Andrews' Dollanganger Series the three surviving Dollanganger children escape from the attic and try to make a life for themselves in the outside world. However, it soon becomes apparent that the emotional scars of their years in the attic will not fade easily. Carrie must be persuaded to want a life for herself now that Cory, her twin, is dead. Christopher and Catherine, having spent their pubscent years seeing only each other, must fight their love. As the struggles mount, and the effects of the time in the attic becomes apparent, Catherine begins to question who is ultimately to blame for their troubles: The grandmother who tortured them, or the mother who tried to kill them? Catherine embarks on a quest for revenge, climaxing in a dramatic confrontation with her mother and her grandmother.
The review of this Book prepared by fran laniado

Chapter Analysis of Petals on the Wind

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother (or standin)    -   Grandma Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   revenge! Kind of sex:    -   incest    -   molestation Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Taboo sex story?    -   Yes Unmarried Love Triangle?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   actor/actress/producer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   Boob talk! 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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