Grown Up Dolls (Petals on the Winds – A Book Review)

Petals on the Wind
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 1980

On Goodreads

POTW

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Would the past never set me free?

Finally out and free of the attic of Foxworth Hall they’d been locked in for three years, the Dollanganger kids are now faced with grief and memories that will haunt them forever. With the loss of one of their siblings and in the midst of blossoming desires and revenge, the kids are given a chance to escape and start a new life with money they scraped during the attic days.

Together, Chris and Cathy take care of their sister, Carrie, as she faces getting bullied in school from being malnourished and is positive their grandmother was right to lock them away. Cathy’s dreams come at a great price and she is desperate for love that she’ll find it in anyone. The hatred for their mother is ever growing and consuming, driving her to great lengths for justice. Chris is positive that there is nobody for him except for Cathy and he won’t accept anybody else. Foxworth is behind them, but they carry its dark secrets, are one of its dark secrets.

The Dolls made it out of Foxworth, but they’re still haunted by their grandmother, mother, and that place. During the next chapter in the Dollanganger series the Dolls grow up and face more challenges, both with themselves and people who enter their lives as they strive to reach their dreams—Cathy wants to be the prima ballerina, Chris wants to be a doctor, and Carrie just wants to fit in. Their past follows them, twisting them as love blooms in the most unexpected places and then wilts.

Side Note: This series is not one I’d recommend for anyone under the age of 17.

Moving forward. The Dolls have grown up in this new chapter! The book starts off right where Flowers in the Attic left off, but time moves pretty quickly and soon enough Carrie is in high school and Chris in college. Cathy however, is obsessed with revenge and determined to get mother’s attention. She gets dark and twisted and it really puts her in league with her mother and grandmother. I was really thrown into a tailspin at seeing just how messed up they all are from the lasting effects of being locked away. I’m pretty sure there’s no amount of therapy that could help them.

POTW

The plot thickens! Even though the Dolls have escaped and their mother and grandmother aren’t physically present, they’re still there, ruining the Dolls. The exploration of psychological damage that people can inflict is so disturbing in this book! But it was so awesome, like a creepy awesome! The deep unsettling feeling increases immensely as new relationships form and old relationships try to die. The Foxworth family ties don’t break as easily as the Dolls wish they did. In fact, Cathy just can’t let go, not after losing Corrie and as it turns out there’s still so much to lose. I was disturbed more than once and really cringed with disgust at some parts. This story pushes the level of discomfort even further than before.

New characters enter the Dolls’ lives. Dr. Paul Sheffield and Julian Marquet are just two. Both are men that Cathy fell in love with, though I must say both relationships were abnormal. It’s seriously debatable about which relationship that Cathy’s had is worse. Each one really gave me some serious heebie-jeebies. Cathy challenged her desperation for love and need for some sort of self-punishment for herself into them. Paul is 20 years older than Cathy and Julian turns out to be obsessive to abusive lengths. We see Bart again and get to know him more as Cathy ensnares him as well with her beguiling nature too. Between the Dolls and the new characters introduced, I got to see the darker faces of humanity that nobody wants to envision because deep down they’re real and that fucks with us. Alcohol is a pleasant way to help with that.

POTW

This book was a great sequel. A bit repetitive in reminding me about what happened at Foxworth. I’m very positive that everyone that’s read that book doesn’t need to be excessively reminded of what happened at that hellish place. It’s unnerving to have to be reminded. Nobody wants to remember horrifying events like that. It’s a nightmare! This book really captures that feeling and the realism of being in someone’s head who’s been through so much pain and how it affected their future. Very trippy. A great read is also what I’m trying to say. There’s just so much to say and I’m totally unsure if you understood any of it. But, hey, the main thing to know is this was good.

Quotables:

“When next we see each other, we’ll still feel the same. I love you. Always will—right or wrong, I can’t help it…” (Chris to Cathy, p. 65)

“A dancer without fire is no dancer at all.” (Madame Zolta to Cathy, p. 171)

“Never, never was his love going to set me free to love anyone without reservations as long as he kept loving me.” (Cathy, p. 228)

“Angel, saint, Devil’s spawn, good or evil, you’ve got me pinned to the wall and labeled as yours until the day I die. And if you die first, then it won’t be long before I follow.” (Chris to Cathy, p. 250)

“It was our doctor Paul who set me straight, Carrie. He told me long ago, if a sin is committed when our parents married and conceived children, it was their sin and not our. He said God didn’t intend to make us pay the price for what our parents did.” (Cathy to Carrie, p. 317)

more to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Lies by Marina and the Diamonds.

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