This week it's Petals on the Wind (Book 2 of the Dollanganger Series) by V.C. Andrews. I wanted to read this before I forgot Flowers in the Attic (Book 1) - reviewed here - but it's also hard for me to believe I could forget it. I'm not usually a series-reader as you may have noticed because the sequels never live up to the first (see Outlander series, for instance), and in many cases each installment seems to get worse and worse until you feel you're drawn into a downward spiral of wasting time that could be spent on fantastic stand-alones that were actually inspired. But I digress. Petals on the Wind is no such installment but is totally entertaining, as we are swept from these poor children's lives in their nasty grandmother's attic, pining for their greedy, neglectful mother's attention - to their freedom, as they find a sweet guy who takes them in and watches them fill out their destinies. Of course this is not all as fancy-free as that implies, since our heroine Cathy is a vengeful spirit, bent on giving her mother the cold dish of revenge she's asked for since locking her 4 kids (now 3) up in her mother's attic, and all for the love of money! Terrible!
So this is where we find out the real backstory, all illusions are dispelled as Cathy (the oldest girl) goes hot on the trail of her mother, following her and her money and "lapdog" husband. She has dreams and aspirations but only as they serve to make her mother jealous or miserable. She yearns for success only to throw it in her mother's face over and over again, until it all comes to a head at the end and Cathy finally gets her revenge... don't you wanna know how she does? Flowers in the Attic (Book 1) is a classic by V.C. Andrews, but you don't get the full story without at least Petals on the Wind (Book 2). The struggle is harder, the characters develop in an aftermath of a tragedy that only grows as the saga continues.
These books surprised me at first, and I'm glad I 'discovered' them. Mystery? Chick-lit, romance, horror? Who knows? I'll be sure to pick up the next few in the series at some point (definitely before I forget the last two!) once I call off the moratorium on book-buying... gah is it painful! And with the Park Avenue Borders closing!! And my Strand gift card! :sigh: