Garden of Shadows by V.C. Andrews is the prequel to the Flowers in the Attic series. I had read this book before but for some reason I couldn’t remember anything about it so reading it again was like reading it for the first time. I’ll give you the synopsis and then my thoughts. This review will have major spoilers.
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…
As you can tell from the synopsis, this book is about the early life of Olivia Foxworth, aka the miserable cow of a grandmother in the Flowers in the Attic series. Honestly, after reading this book I still don’t like her anymore than I did. The book explains why she ends up being an evil monster and basically it’s because her marriage was a disappointment, she was grieving for her two lost sons and Corrine, her daughter, betrayed her by falling in love with Chris. Her cousin, John Amos, steps in during the most difficult time in her life and “leads her to God” which turns her into a religious fanatic. This is why she can’t bear to even look at Corrine and Chris’ children that were born from incest and why she’s fine with them dying in the attic. This book also reveals the huge secret that Corrine and Chris weren’t just niece and uncle, they were also half-siblings. Malcolm, Corrine’s father, had raped Chris’ mother which made Corrine. Then in typical V.C. Andrews’ fashion there was a secret pregnancy and baby Corrine was given to Olivia and everything was covered up. All of this turns Olivia into the cold hearted woman she becomes, however, I still think it’s inexcusable.
If you’ve read the Flowers in the Attic series but haven’t read this book I highly recommend it. It does add to the overall story. Next up is going to be the three books in the spin off series! I’ve only read one of them so hopefully they’ll be good and not just a cash grab. If you’ve read this book let me know what you thought! Were you able to empathize with Olivia? Let me know! Thanks for reading and have a great day!