Petals on the Wind by Virginia Andrews
Plot: For Carrie, Chris and Cathy, the attic was a dark horror that would not leave their minds, even while they built bright, promising new lives. Of course mother had to pretend they didn't exist.
And grandmother was convinced they had the devil in them.
But that wasn't their fault. Was it? Cathy knew what to do.
She now had the powers she had learned from her beautiful mother. She knew it in the way her brother still yearned for her, in the way her guardian touched her, in the way all men looked at her.
She knew it was time to put what she knew to the test. To show her mother and grandmother that the pain and terror of the attic could not be forgotten... Show them.
Show them—once and for all.
So, for those of you who regularly read my reviews, you would know that I read the first instalment of this series in two days and could not put the book down! So naturally I had to go to my local bookstore immediately and get the second book so that I could find out what would happen to these children.
The second book, Petals in the Wind, did not disappoint at all. Again I could not put the book down and was intrigued by everything that took place.
The last book ended with the escape of Cathy, Chris and Carrie from the horrible Foxworth Hall where they were kept captive by their own mother and grandmother. Their mother had married again, her father had died and she would inherit a fortune, but for one thing, she could not reveal that she had children with her first husband (who also had been her half uncle) and could not have children with her second husband, Bart Winslow, either. So she kept her “darlings” locked up, her youngest son had been poisoned, and the siblings decided they had to escape.
Petals in the Wind starts with the children being outside, searching for their escape, trying to figure out what they had to do. They find their salvation in a big black women called Henny, whom happens to be a mute, but also the housekeeper of a doctor, Paul. Paul helps the children and cares for the ill Carrie, who has the same poison in her body as her late brother.
The story progresses with the children blossoming under the care of Dr Paul and Henny, Cathy attending a dance school, Chris achieving his goals of becoming a doctor, but Carrie never growing taller. Cathy starts having an affair with Dr Paul, but eventually marries her dance partner Julian, becomes pregnant, but he dies before she has given birth to their son.
But in the back of Cathy’s mind there is always the revenge she wants to inflict on her mother for the terrible things she had done to them. She goes to great lengths to achieve this, although her beloved brother Chris, does not want any part in this, this only fuels Cathy to go ahead with her plans.
She sets out to ruin her mother by making her mothers’ new husband fall in love with her. She begins an affair with Bart Winslow and becomes pregnant with his child before revealing her true identity at a Christmas party being held by her mother. The night ends in tragedy with a fire breaking lose, killing her grandmother and dear Bart.
Cathy eventually marries Paul, but he suffers a great stroke and shortly after dies. In the end she ends up with the one man who has always loved her unconditionally, her brother Chris.
The story is very strange, with incest always peeking through. Although Cathy has relationships with various people, her brother Chris can never get over her, begging her to marry him instead because he has never stopped loving her.
Cathy as a character also to me is a bit strange, I don’t know if I should hate her or love her. She is filled with hatred and seems to think of herself more beautiful than any other women; she uses this against men who truly love her, out of spite and wanting revenge on her mother. She herself realizes how much she actually is like her mother, and grandmother, nothing like her gentle father. I know that her circumstances from the past has made her what she is, but it still gets a bit much when she uses her sexuality all the time, it makes me think of her as a bit of a whore.
I feel terribly sorry for Carrie, who gets described as beautiful but her head being too large for her body. I found this hard to imagine without thinking of something in the alien realm. Carrie has not grown because for 3 years she did not receive any sunlight. She also is in ever depression because of the death of her twin brother, Cory.
The story is truly a great one, I feel for these children, but sometimes it does sound a bit far fetched to me. But that being said, I look forward to reading the rest of the series.