It is a truth universally acknowledged that Flowers in the Attic — V.C. Andrews’ neo-gothic, incest-laden trashterpiece — is utterly, utterly nuts. To wit: The plot revolves around a beautiful idiot named Corrine who keeps her four children locked on the top floor of a creepy old mansion while she tries to convince their estranged, incredibly wealthy grandfather to write her back into his will. (She’ll get no money if her father knows she has kids.) Why can’t this woman, I don’t know, support her family by getting a job? Because shut up, that’s why!
If you’ve ever devoured the book — especially as a guilty but enthralled teenager — you know that what happens next is even more ridiculous: The kids learn that their father was also their mother’s half-uncle. (Raise your hand if you didn’t know half-uncles were a thing before Flowers in the Attic). Their wicked, Bible-thumping grandmother beats them, starves them, covers eldest sister Cathy’s hair with tar, and won’t stop insinuating that Cathy and her older brother Chris totally want to bone. Cathy and Chris do, in fact, totally bone. (Actually, he rapes her, but Andrews is so twisted that she implies Cathy was asking for it.) And that’s before their youngest brother Cory dies because — drum roll — their mother’s been poisoning them with arsenic-laced doughnuts for months.
Death by doughnut! Truly, Flowers in the Attic is without equal — or so you’ll think until you read its sequel, Petals on the Wind.
On Thursday, Lifetime announced that it’s already planning to bring Petals to the small screen for the first time — even though the network’s new adaptation of Flowers won’t premiere until Jan. 18. This is, in short, an insane, baffling, possibly genius idea — and here’s why.
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