Flowers in the Attic is a series of novels that most people will have heard of.
This series of novels about children who are hidden in the attic of their home for inheritance reasons took the world by storm.
It only became more popular once the series was adapted for the big screen.
For the best reading experience, I would recommend reading this series in the order I’ve outlined in this guide.
About Flowers In The Attic
The Flowers in the Attic series of novels has become a very popular series of books, and it is easy to see why.
However, one of the things that have made this series of novels so noteworthy is the length of time between the publication of the different novels.
Five of the novels were published between 1979 and 1986, but then publications stopped until 2014 when a further six novels were published between 2014 and 2020.
This happened because the first five novels wrapped up the series nicely, and then the further six novels were added to expand the series.
Essentially, the Flowers in the Attic series tells the tale of the Dollanganger siblings who are locked in the attic of their Grandmother’s home for three years following the death of their father.
The story expands throughout the series, and then the rebooted novels (published between 2014 and 2020) give a different perspective on the time spent in the attic.
If you are interested in reading the books, the following order allows you to get the best reading experience. So make sure you read the Dollanganger series in the following order.
Flowers In The Attic Books In Order
The first novel in this series introduces the reader to the Dollanganger family. A perfect family whose perfect life is torn apart by a tragedy that takes the life of the family’s patriarch.
For the sake of an inheritance that will secure their future, the children are hidden out of sight in the attic of their grandmother’s mansion.
But as visits from their mother become more scarce, the children must turn to one another if they hope to survive.
This novel sets the scene for the books that follow, with a tale of greed, murder, family, and forbidden love.
- Sets the scene.
- Slow starting.
The second novel picks up right where the first one left off.
Damaged by the years of neglect in the attic, and the years ruled by their merciless grandmother, the Dollanganger siblings have finally broken free.
With three bus tickets and the chance at a new life, these siblings have a new chance at life. But while they may be free of the attic, that doesn’t mean that they are free of the effect it had on them.
In this novel, forbidden love is one of the central themes, as the Dollanganger siblings navigate life in the real world after being kept in the attic for so long.
- A hauntingly beautiful love story.
- A longer novel.
If There Be Thorns picks up six years after the end of Petals on the Wind, and it focuses on Cathy, Chris, and their sons – Jory and Bart.
Bart feels lonely as his parents clearly favor his older brother, Jory, and that is why he takes up the old lady next door on her offer to come around often.
But relationships with the outside world could unravel Cathy and Chris’s darkest secrets, and that is why Bart’s association with the lady next door sends Cathy into a tailspin.
As Cathy starts to exhibit behaviors like their mother, Chris grows more concerned for her, and this novel shows how far they will go to keep their secrets secret.
- Explores the universe created in the first two novels.
- The focus shifts away from the Dollanganger siblings.
After a time jump, Seeds of Yesterday picks up after Chris and Cathy’s kids have grown up.
With three grown kids and a new surname, they think that they have left their horrific past behind them and that their secret is as safe as can be.
However, all that is threatened on Bart’s 25th birthday when a spiteful man comes to claim his inheritance.
This novel takes the reader on another emotional rollercoaster, as Chris and Cathy’s life together is threatened once more.
- Allows the reader to continue on Chris and Cathy’s journey.
- Longer than 400 pages.
Garden of Shadows is the final book in the original series, and it is a prequel to the original novel.
This novel gives a lot of backstory to this series and really helps the reader to understand why everything that occurred in this series happened.
While some prequels can be read before the rest of the series, I would recommend saving this one until after you have read the first four books.
- A prequel to the other novels.
- Shorter than the previous series.
Secrets of Foxworth is the first in the “new” series of Flowers in the Attic, and it was published in 2014 (If you want to read more by V.C. Andrews, check out her Ruby series here).
The first novel in this series recounts the events of Flowers in the Attic from Chris’s perspective, read from a diary that his daughter, Kristin found.
For the first time, readers get to hear about the events of this novel from the older brother’s perspective, and it really allows you to see the story in a different light.
You don’t have to read this series after reading the first five novels, but I would definitely recommend it.
- Gives new perspective to the novels.
- Some crossover between this novel and the first novel.
In Echoes of Dollanganger, the events of the original Flowers in the Attic novel repeat themselves.
After finding her father’s diary, Kristin is fascinated by the events and tales told in the diary.
So she and her boyfriend up the ante, and head to the attic to reconstruct the events from the diary.
In a twisted tale, history repeats itself in this novel, as Kristin finds out more about her parents’ past.
- Expands on the previous novel.
- A longer book.
After focusing on Chris’s perspective for a couple of novels, the focus twists entirely in this book.
The Secret Brother focuses on a young boy with amnesia caused by trauma in what is essentially a past life.
When he’s adopted into a wealthy family, will he be able to move past this trauma and live a happy life?
As the series expands, this novel truly is a fascinating read.
- Shift in focus.
- Quite a lengthy read.
Beneath the Attic looks even further into the past than any of the novels before it.
This novel focuses on two generations before the generation that locked their kids in the attic.
This novel expands the history of the Dollanganger family and their claim to Foxworth house.
For anyone who just can’t get enough of the Dollanganger family, Beneath the Attic is a must-read.
- Filled with new information.
- Not directly linked to the Flowers in the Attic series.
Out of the Attic follows on from Beneath the Attic, and it is perfect for any fans who enjoyed the previous novel.
In Flowers in the Attic, V.C. Andrews created an entire universe, and this is further explored in Out of the Attic.
Through this novel, the reader can explore more of what led to the children being locked in the attic.
With deeper themes and a historical setting, this novel is one you have to read to appreciate.
- Expands on Corrine’s story.
- Adult themes.
The final novel that you should read in this series is Shadows of Foxworth.
This novel wraps up the previous novels in the series as the reader finds out about the curse that was cast on the Dollanganger family.
Bringing context to the events that occurred throughout the previous ten novels, this is a must-read for fans of this series.
The entire Flowers in the Attic series takes the reader on a journey, and that journey is wrapped up perfectly with The Shadows of Foxworth.
- Wraps up the series perfectly.
- Leaves you wanting more.
In conclusion, for the best reading experience of the Flowers in the Attic novels, I would recommend mixing the original novels published with the novels published between 2014 and 2020.
Reading in this order allows you to be totally immersed in the Dollanganger universe, and ensure that you can enjoy this series as much as you possibly can!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Books Are In The Flowers In The Attic Series?
The original Flowers in the Attic series consists of 5 novels that were published between 1979 and 1987.
However, for the best reading experience, I would recommend combining this series with the additional series of Flowers in the Attic novels published between 2014 and 2020.
- 20 Must-Read Genre-Blending Literary Fiction Books - May 26, 2023
- 32 Gripping Epic Fantasy Books To Transport You To Another World - May 26, 2023
- 12 Books Like Red, White, And Royal Blue You Will Love - May 17, 2023