Follow Us @burtonreview

Dec 12, 2014

Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger prequel) by V.C. Andrews

If you haven't read the prequel then you're totally missing the point!

Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger prequel) by V.C. Andrews
Pocket Books, first published 1987
Personal copy/read for pleasure

Read my other V.C. Andrews reviews

Dollanganger Series:
Flowers in The Attic
Petals on the Wind
If There Be Thorns
Seeds of Yesterday
Garden of Shadows (prequel)

Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth (October 2014; ghostwritten)
Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger (January 2015; ghostwritten)

Before terror flowered in the attic there was a young girl. An innocent, hopeful girl... When young Olivia arrives at Foxworth Hall, she thinks her marriage to handsome Malcolm will bring the joy she has longed for. But in the gloomy mansion filled with festering desires and forbidden passions, a stain of jealous obsession begins to spread—an evil that will threaten her children, two charming boys and one very special, beautiful girl. For within the halls of this cursed house a shocking secret lives. A secret that will taint the Foxworth family for generations to come...

Recent posts have comprised of my V.C. Andrews reviews of both new and old releases, and this one is an old release that I never had the pleasure of reading. I cannot imagine why I didn't read it - perhaps I was turned off by the "prequel" part since I was in my teens and I had a high opinion of myself and what I felt was worthwhile. I have a feeling that I had a misconception that I knew everything there was to know about those kids who looked like Dresden doll angels as they were locked up at the Foxworth Mansion. I probably thought I didn't like that crazy old coot of a Grandma that Olivia was, and didn't want to know anything about her.

Garden of Shadows is all about Olivia Foxworth and her sad life as a wife to Malcolm Foxworth. More crazy weirdo shenanigans await readers with Olivia's story - and there is indeed a very intriguing secret that I had no idea about which pretty much floored me! It all really comes together now and puts everything into perspective as we see what brought Olivia to the point of locking grandchildren up in her attic. And we get to see Corrine as she grows up, and her brothers too. Olivia's character is a lot of matter-of-fact and definitely not a lot of sympathy can be derived, but in some ways the reader at least gets to see why Olivia does what she does.

Remember Joel from Seeds of Yesterday? Only now was I able to connect the dots. Melodramatic twists that even I didn't expect as we learn more about Garland Foxworth and his first wife who was Malcolm's runaway mother, and then we learn more Malcolm's beautiful stepmother Alicia. The Swan Room and the Attic are all key rooms in the story, and Olivia doesn't disappoint with her stern observance over every minor detail and her love for her children. Her cousin John Amos appears as Olivia's butler when she needs him most and later we see where the religious fervor all began, but most importantly: why.

When we find out why, we actually can sorta understand the reason behind the melodramatics that led to locking children in an attic for three years. Sorta. But all that stuff that turns people off from V.C. Andrews books like incest, abuse, making the bible look bad, peeking in on people having sex; this insanity is only for a certain few of us looking for that perfect escape from accounting.

Yes indeed, this is the perfect book for when you're ignoring the kids, the dogs, the husband, but not the cat. You mustn't ignore the cat.