“The woman who emerges from these pages is as riveting as her books” (The Wall Street Journal) in this Edgar Award–nominated celebration of the famously private V.C. Andrews—featuring family photos, personal letters, a partial manuscript for an unpublished novel, and more.
Best known for her internationally, multi-million-copy bestselling novel Flowers in the Attic, Cleo Virginia Andrews lived a fascinating life. Born to modest means, she came of age in the American South during the Great Depression and faced a series of increasingly challenging health issues. Yet, once she rose to international literary fame, she prided herself on her intense privacy.
Now, The Woman Beyond the Attic aims to connect her personal life with the public novels for which she was famous. Based on Virginia’s own letters, and interviews with her dearest family members, her long-term ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman tells Virginia’s full story for the first time.
Perfect for anyone hoping to learn more about the enigmatic woman behind one of the most important novels of the 20th century, The Woman Beyond the Attic will have you “transfixed” (Publishers Weekly) from the first page.
Combining a novelist's eye for detail with personal knowledge gleaned from his years as V.C. Andrews's ghostwriter, Neiderman (The Devil's Advocate) unpacks the famed gothic writer's notoriously private life. Despite being banned as pornographic in some areas due to its inclusion of incest, Andrews's Flowers in the Attic became a bestseller after its 1979 publication when the author was 56 years old. While Andrews's relatively idyllic childhood was far from dysfunctional, Neiderman notes how her ability to write about "the secret abuse of children" prompted speculation regarding how much of the book was based on real life. Drawing from letters provided by Andrews's family, he scrupulously unravels this and other mysteries still swirling around the novelist's life today—most notably regarding her complex relationship with her mother, Lillian, who "constantly hover" over Andrews yet never saw the manuscript for Flowers in the Attic; the pseudonym Andrews used to write "more salacious material" (including her undiscovered story "I Slept with My Uncle on My Wedding Night"); and the arthritic illness and surgeries that left her using a wheelchair. Neiderman also offers insight into Andrews's carefully guarded privacy, which he believes was largely inflamed by an unflattering 1980 People interview that "capitalized on her disability and portrayed her as an eccentric recluse." Fans will be transfixed.
It was a good interesting read. I didn’t know that she went through so much before becoming a writer. I am ever so grateful to her for becoming not just a writer but my favorite writer. Although My Sweet Audrina is the book that got me hooked on her style of writing it is the Flowers in the Attic that is my favorite series.