Episode 13: Flowers in the Attic, Part 1
Welcome to our next installment in what is now April Madness! We have been reading outside of our normal parameters and it has brought us to the episodes that will either be our greatest triumph or get us kicked off of all media players and possibly the country. Just a heads up that while recording this episode we out-talked the recorder’s STORAGE. This episode clocked in at just under 3 hours. So we have decided to cut this into two parts. We'll be releasing the second part in about a week just so people don't get confused and frustrated by starting in the wrong place; you'll see it clearly labeled and also linked here. (N.B.: Obvs Courtney did our writeup this time because there's a lot more Guiding Light and a lot fewer heirloom beans and hobbit britches.)
We'd like to thank all of you who wrote such thoughtful answers to our survey on this book - we discuss some of your answers in this part and some in the next.
Can you smell the teen angst and Exclamation perfume in the air? It’s time to talk about V.C. Andrews’ cult classic Flowers in the Attic. Get ready to open up those Caboodles because we have a lot to unpack.
Neither Sara nor I had read this book as teens even though ALL of our friends had. We were the “too cool” girls which really meant we were painfully uncool. Both of us recall this book being proudly displayed in the halls of our middle and high schools. V.C. Andrews was the most popular bitch at any school during the 80s and 90s. She could have been crowned queen at 114 different proms. In terms of who could generate a loyal army of teen girls it went Johnny Castle from “Dirty Dancing” and then V.C. Andrews’ for creating the “Dollanganger Series.”
That’s right, “Flowers in the Attic” is the first in a series of 5 books that get more and more insane with each installment. Which leads us to TRIGGER WARNINGS. This series has Game of Thrones level trigger warnings y’all. Like the list is loooong. For this first episode…here goes. Flowers in the Attic is not kind to beautiful blonde children. This book is filled with emotional and physical abuse. There is a mean ass grandmother, an emotionally damaged mom, pubescent children locked in a room together, incest, hard ravishing, children in peril, and murder. Also, a crazy ass swan bed.
Flowers in the Attic was published in 1979 and is the story of the Dollanganger family. The father is Christopher Sr. and his wife is Corrine. They have four children; oldest son Christopher Jr. and then Cathy followed by the twins Carrie and Cory. The entire family look like they were carved out of cream cheese. After Christopher Sr. is killed Corrine moves the family to her parent’s fancy ass house in Virginia…where they are told off and locked in an attic by an imposing grandmother who shouts Bible verses at everyone. A regular good time gal. She’s mad at Corrine for running away with Christopher Sr. who was DUN DUN DUN her half-brother. To ensure this doesn’t happen again she locks up 12-year-old Cathy and 14-year-old Christopher together. In a room. For three years. Great plan Mawmaw. The children are beaten, starved, traumatized, and poisoned for the next several years. Cathy and Christopher try to make the best of the situation for their younger twin siblings but you know…locked in an attic. Eventually Christopher catches feelings for Cathy because she is the only person he ever fucking sees with boobs and they bang (it’s consensual banging, but it sounds unpleasant). Cory the youngest twin gets sick and eventually dies. The children figure out they are being slowly poisoned with sugar donuts that have been laced with arsenic. Capers happen and they eventually get away. But their story is just beginning…
This book spawned a movie and a mini series. The 1987 movie stars Kristy Swanson pre Buffy and cuts out all the good parts. It was sick how much I was rooting for a Christopher/Cathy bang sesh but hey what happens in the attic stays in the attic. The movie also wildly changed the ending. It’s filmed in that hazy soft resolution way that all 1980s things were filmed. Here’s a clip!
Luckily for all us perverts, Lifetime got a hold of the books in 2014 and brought the heat! GET IT SIBS…don’t judge me, if Jon Snow and Daenerys can do it… check out this white hot scene
PART TWO of our episode will focus on the other books in the Dollanganger series and features a very special guest. Also, we almost kill Sara by talking about the Guiding Light. Here’s the scene that almost does my co-host in. (Editor's note: I believe it was actually something about clones. I don't really remember. I got a little low on oxygen.)
Our musical guests this episode are South Carolina locals Brother Oliver. Their song "Castles" has a fun, spooky, weird vibe that goes perfectly with this gothic nonsense book. Enjoy!
Brother Oliver is a Greenville, South Carolina-based musical project formed by two brothers, Andrew & Stephen Oliver. The brothers deliver high-energy performances through the lens of a folk-rock / psych-rock aesthetic—a genre they've officially coined as "psychedelic folk-rock." Their explorative approach to music strikes a chord with any audience and has gained recognition in the Southeast and abroad—landing them on bills alongside the Steve Miller Band, Father John Misty, Drake Bell, Old Sea Brigade, Matthew Logan Vasquez, SUSTO and more.