Petals on the Wind by V.C. Andrews
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
After re-reading Flowers in the Attic, I was so excited to continue this series. How did the Dollanganger children continue their lives since escaping from a sadistic grandmother and mother? It starts out promising enough- they are "adopted" by a kind doctor named Paul who provides them with love and security. Chris (the elder brother) will get to go to medical school and Cathy (the elder sister) joins a ballet troupe. Carrie, the surviving twin, regains her health after being poisoned by arsenic.
Everything that happens after that is just unbelievable. Chris and Carrie remain sympathetic characters while Cathy's desire for revenge and warped sense of sexual power leads her on a path of destruction. She seduces the doctor then breaks his heart by marrying a fellow dancer she despises. She is pregnant with this man's child when he dies in a car accident. More sleeping with the doctor, followed by tracking down her mother's husband (Bart)and falling in love with him. Pregnant once again, she watches in horror as Bart dies, then runs back to Paul and marries him shortly before he dies...seriously!
Meanwhile, her brother Chris has sufferred through all these men, knowing he can never be with his sister in the way he wants...or can he? After everyone stops dying (for the time being), Chris and Cathy set off with her two sons to begin a new life (and a new novel).
It's not high art, but V.C. Andrews is a bestseller for a reason. Her characters are like trainwrecks that you can't help but stare at, and the reading is quick and easy. I realize what unbelievable fluff it all is, but I'll be going back for the next book in the series, just to find out what happens next.
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