The Word: ‘Flowers in the Attic’ was based on a true story, editor claims

"Flowers in the Attic" cover
“Flowers in the Attic” cover (via Wikipedia)

I think I read “Flowers in the Attic” at some point, but it was the TV movie that really freaked me out. I saw it in grade school and it gave me nightmares for ages. Child imprisonment. Starvation. Incest. “Eat the cookie! Eat the cookie, mother!” Bleah.

But the good thing about ol’ “Flowers” is that once you get a little older, you can laugh about it. The whole story’s so outlandish that nothing like that could ever actually happen. Right? Right?

Not so fast. In an interview with The Toast, Ann Patty, who was V.C. Andrews’ editor, says the story behind “Flowers in the Attic” might actually have some truth to it. “Flowers in the Attic was based on a story [V.C. Andrews] heard when she was in the hospital for a spinal operation,” she said. “Well, someone told it to her, yes. Some doctor there. So I’d guess that some aspects of it were true—at least the aspect of kids being hidden away. Whether the twins were real, the sex, the time frame, probably not. I think it was just the concept of kids hidden in the attic so the mother could inherit a fortune.”

Oh, OK. Just the torturous imprisonment part is true. Cool. Well, my dreams tonight are going to be just great.


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