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Creator: V. C. Andrews
V. C. Andrews (real name Cleo Virginia Andrews) was an author best known for Flowers in the Attic, a novel infamous for its portrayal of Brother-Sister Incest. She wrote several sequels and produced other novels up until her death in 1986. After her death, a ghostwriter approved by her family continued to turn out novels under the same pen-name, and is still doing so at the rate of roughly one a year.

Newer books published in her name have become increasingly farfetched over time and most of them resemble a Soap Opera or a Lifetime Movie of the Week, but her international fanbase remains undiminished.

Works by V. C. Andrews with their own trope pages include:

Other works by V. C. Andrews provide examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Quite a few of these. Notably, Alicia Foxworth becomes a stepmother to Malcolm (who is a decade or more older than she) at sixteen, and gives birth to her son Christopher at age 17-18; Leigh was thirteen years old when she had Heaven; and Celeste is around fifteen when she gives birth to her daughter.
  • Abusive Parents: Hoo boy. If you're a V.C. Andrews heroine, you're lucky if your parents/caretakers are only neglectful of you.
  • Affectionate Nickname: "Angel" for Leigh in the Casteel series, "Butterfly" for Janet in the Orphans series, and "Cat" for Cathy in the Wildflowers series.
  • Alice Allusion: Lampshaded in the Secrets series, where Karen's daughter is named Alice in the hope that "maybe one day [she'll] fall into a Wonderland" and escape her mother's fate.
  • Alpha Bitch: Clara Sue and Gisselle qualify. There tends to be an Alpha Bitch at every Boarding School of Horrors the heroines attend.
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: Ruby does this in All That Glitters.
  • Author Existence Failure: Subverted: She only wrote 8 books during her life, but a ghostwriter has written over 60 since under her name.
  • Battleaxe Nurse
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The protagonists tend to be very beautiful, with their foils being not really ugly but they have this one particular thing mentioned about them that isn't "beautiful." This is usually being overweight, having bad hair, lips as thin as rubberbands, etc.
  • Bedlam House: Belinda Logan, Celeste (the first Celeste), Karen Stoker, and Ian March all end up in these. In the Hudson series, Megan goes to one temporarily after Brody dies but is released at the end.
  • Betty and Veronica: Several examples, most notably the Casteel series (with Logan as Betty and Troy as Veronica to Heaven's Archie) and Landry series (Paul is Betty and Beau is Veronica to Ruby's Archie.) Also, Paul and Julian to Cathy.
  • Bi the Way: Supposedly, April in the Shadows series, although it's pretty much implied after she dates Peter that she is now "straight" again, or at least would not consider another relationship with a woman.
  • Big Fancy House: Foxworth Hall, Farthingale Manor
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Tons of them, in almost all of the books, often in multiple families in one book.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
  • Blank Book: In If There Be Thorns
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Malcolm, Tony, Philip
  • Boarding School of Horrors
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to pretty much every main character.
  • Break the Haughty: Clara Sue gets her comeuppance for being a spoiled Alpha Bitch throughout the first three Cutler books. The girl she hated at school turns out to be her long lost sister (Dawn) whose returned presence completely upsets the twisted family dynamic the Cutlers have. Then she learns Dawn is actually her aunt and her sister thanks to their mother having an affair with their grandfather. Their grandfather, it turns out, left majority control of their family's hotel and estate to Dawn as a way to make up for his actions, essentially robbing Clara Sue of a legacy she expected to be her's once their grandmother died. Clara Sue later accidentally causes Dawn to have a miscarriage which seemingly robs Dawn of the ability to become pregnant. When Clara Sue tries to contest the will with her Gold Digger boyfriend on the grounds that Dawn is an illegitimate child, Dawn takes a lot of joy in revealing that Clara Sue is also the result of an extramarital affair between their mother and an old boyfriend, meaning she has no Cutler blood in her at all. Clara Sue later dies in a truck accident.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Though many people associate V.C. Andrews with this trope, it actually only appears in the Dollanganger series. Afer Andrews' death, however, the ghostwriter took the idea and ran with it.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!
  • But Not Too Black: Rain in the Hudson series is considerably lighter-skinned than her siblings, which turns out to be because she's adopted - she is actually biracial with a white mother.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Sasha in the Family Storms series is keen to point out she's only half Asian.
  • Cain and Abel: Vera and Audrina.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In Petals On The Wind, Cathy's main goal is to get revenge on her mother for what she did to her children.
  • Cash Cow Franchise
  • Child by Rape: Corinne was born when Malcolm Foxworth raped his father's wife Alicia, Mal when Malcolm Foxworth raped his wife Olivia; Heaven when Tony Tatterton raped his stepdaughter Leigh; Charlotte when Jed Booth raped his adoptive daughter Lillian; Dawn when Bill Cutler raped his daughter-in-law Laura Sue; Paul when Octavius Tate raped Gabrielle Landry; Linden when Kirby Scott rapes his stepdaughter Grace, and many others.
    • The Gemini and Heavenstone series both feature a plot involving a main character being drugged and raped so she can conceive a family heir. It's unsuccessful in the former case and successful in the latter.
  • Christmas Cake: In Garden of Shadows Olivia mentions that at 25 years old she was already considered an old maid. This leads her to rush into marriage with Malcolm Foxworth and convince herself that she is in love with him.
    • Olivia Gordon of the Logan series marries Samuel Logan mainly to show that she can land a wealthy man like her sister, but also because she is almost too old for marriage. (She mentions that it had been commented on and that all her old schoolfriends are now married.)
    • In the Casteel series, people in the Willies tend to marry very young - Heaven's mother, Leigh, was married at thirteen. Heaven is advised by her grandmother (adoptive grandmother, though Heaven doesn't know that) to wait until she's fifteen, which is considered a late age for marriage, as she will then be grown up enough to make a sensible choice.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Charlotte in the Cutler series.
  • Cool Loser: Pretty much everyone, Cathy, Heaven, Dawn, Ruby all fit.
  • Creepy Child: Sylvia, Bart. Celeste and Noble appear to have been Creepy Children, but since the story is narrated from Celeste's perspective, she doesn't know that this is how she was perceived.
  • Creepy Housekeeper: John Amos
  • Creepy Twins: Cory and Carrie were perceived as such, though they weren't aware of it. Richard and Melanie Cutler are another example.
  • Daddy's Girl: Audrina Adare, Corrine, Cathy
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Emily Booth can be considered an example, Corrine could be considered an example, too.
  • Dark Secret: VC Andrews lived on this trope, there are dark secrets in every book series, multiple secrets in every book.
  • Death by Childbirth: Leigh, Heaven's mother. Also Gabrielle/Gabriel, Ruby and Giselle's mother. Becomes a plot point in Daughter of Darkness, where Lorelei discovers that she, and her "adoptive" sisters, are really her father's biological children. He impregnates his daughters, and leaves them to die in childbirth, so that the resulting offspring will grow up to lure new victims to him as Lorelei and her sisters have done.
    • In the Cutler series, Jed passes off his wife's death as dying in childbirth with Charlotte - she actually died from stomach cancer several days previously. This is to hide the fact that Charlotte is actually his adoptive daughter Lillian's baby, the result of him raping her.
    • In the Cutler series, Lillian's mother, Violet died during childbirth.
  • Death by Despair: Ostensibly the reason for Cathy's death during Seeds of Yesterday after Chris is killed.
    • Darkest Hour cites this as the reason for Violet's Death by Childbirth: she had been "wasting away" throughout her pregnancy after her husband died suddenly.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Happens to Crystal when her adoptive parents are killed in a car crash and she has to return to an orphanage; she even says that it's too much like one of the soap operas her adoptive mother used to watch to be real.
  • Dirty Old Man: Numerous examples in all books and series, most infamously the Casteel series' Tony Tatterton, who raped his 13-year old stepdaughter Leigh, then later in a fit of dementia/drunkeness, attempted to rape his daughter Heaven (who is the result of Tony's rape of Leigh), and later still, in a similar state, his granddaughter Annie.
  • Disappeared Dad
  • Doppelgänger: It's occasionally implied that the Joel Foxworth we meet in Seeds of Yesterday is an impostor for the real one, who was thought to have died. This is also the term used to describe both Cory and Carrie and Jory's twin children.
  • Dramatic Irony: At the end of Web of Dreams, when Leigh goes into labour, she stares up at the starry sky and tells Luke that when she goes to bed she will feel like she is sleeping in heaven ...
  • Driven to Suicide: Carrie
  • Driven to Villainy: Olivia Foxworth and Lillian Cutler can be considered examples.
  • Dumb Blonde: Dawn. And except for her manipulativeness, Corinne (Carrie's mother in Flowers in the Attic): she has no ability to care for her family after her husband dies, and runs up a huge credit card debt.
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French: The reason for the setting of the Landry series (where the heroine's family is French Creole) and Forbidden series (where the heroine and her sister are half-French.)
  • Evil Matriarch: In the Dollanganger, Cutler, Casteel, Logan and Early Spring series.
  • Evil Twin: In the Landry series, heroine Ruby meets her Separated at Birth twin sister, Giselle.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Brooke's Important Haircut in the Orphans series. In the Casteel books, Heaven bleaches her hair in an attempt to resemble her dead mother, but then has it dyed back to its natural colour when she discovers that she doesn't need to try to be someone else.
  • Expy: Stock characters are pretty much the same across several of the series. The heroines, their love interests and their children seem to follow the same kind of mold, with a few deviations. So do the "evil grandmother" figures (Olivia Foxworth, Olivia Logan, Lillian Cutler ...), the "jealous sister" figures (Vera Whitefern, Fanny Casteel, Clara Sue Cutler, Allison Randolph ...), the "vain mother who doesn't care" (Corrine Dollanganger, Jillian Tatterton, Laura Sue Cutler, Haille Logan, Megan Hudson ...) and the "perverted old men" (Tony Tatterton, Octavius Tate, etc).
    • Geraldine and Howard Carson from the Wildflowers series also bear a more than passing resemblance to Kitty and Cal Dennison from the Casteel series (i.e. "the domineering, fastidious mother who treats her adoptive daughter cruelly because she reminds her that the man she loved had a child with another woman" and "the henpecked father who initially gives his adoptive daughter the love and attention she needs but eventually takes advantage of her sexually").
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Several examples of this. Notably, in the Wildflowers series Cat discovers that Geraldine, her adoptive mother, is actually her sister - they share the same birth mother but Cat was raised as Geraldine's daughter.
  • Fat and Skinny: It's common for the thin, beautiful heroine to be contrasted with her jealous, overweight foil - Dawn and Clara Sue, Delia and Sophia, etc.
  • The Film of the Book: Rain.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Orphans series has Butterfly (phlegmatic), Crystal (melancholic), Brooke (sanguine), and Raven (choleric/melancholic); the Wildflowers series Misty (sanguine), Star (choleric), Jade (melancholic), and Cat (phlegmatic). The Shooting Stars series might also have this kind of four-girl ensemble.
  • Franchise Zombie: To some, the quality of the books declines sharply after the Casteel series, which was the last to be written by Andrews herself. Other readers believe that the books didn't really Jump the Shark (as the Landry series came after the Casteel series but is still one of the most popular series) until after the Logan series.
  • Freudian Excuse: Olivia Foxworth, Lillian Cutler, and Olivia Logan are given these in the prequels to their respective series that explain why they were so cruel and domineering towards the series' protagonists. Geraldine from the Wildflowers series is also given one through letters that Cat finds in the attic.
  • The Fundamentalist: Olivia Foxworth, John Amos Jackson, Joel Foxworth, Jed and Emily Booth, Jacob Logan
  • Funetik Aksent: Very common, especially in the Casteel series.
  • Gender-Blender Name:
    • Many minor female characters in the books are named Toby.
    • Semantha Heavenstone's family calls her "Sam" (except Cassie)
    • In the last two books of the Landry series, Ruby's mother is named as Gabriel, a male name (the first three called her Gabrielle, the female variant.)
  • Generation Xerox: Heaven's daughter Annie and Dawn's daughter Christie are said to look extremely similar to their mothers; so much that some sanity-challenged people keep on mistaking them for their mothers. They even get in relationships similar to the ones their mothers had (Annie in a "forbidden" one with Luke that she compares to her mother's relationship with Troy, Christie with Gavin who comes from the same family that Dawn's husband Jimmy did).
  • Ghost Memory: Subverted in My Sweet Audrina. Audrina's father wants her to gain the memories and talents of her dead older sister of the same name, but the two Audrinas turn out to be the same person.
  • Gratuitous French: Frequently used in the Landry series and Forbidden Sister.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Carrie and Cory Dollanganger, Darren and Deirdre Marquet, and Richard and Melanie Cutler are all examples. In Music in the Night, Cary and Laura were once this way until Laura began trying to develop her own identity. Played with in Celeste where the efforts of the heroine's mother to force her to be more like her twin brother culminate in Celeste being forced to dress and behave as her brother and take his place after he dies.
  • Handicapped Badass: Rain has her moments of this in End of the Rainbow.
  • Hollywood Homely: In-Universe. The young Olivia Foxworth was mocked for being over six feet tall, and believed she was plain, but (according to Corrine) Olivia was considered aristocratically good-looking in society. In the April series, several men seem to find April attractive even though she thinks she is enormously overweight.
  • Happily Adopted: Very uncommon compared to the alternative, and the few cases of it tend not to last, but Dawn was pretty happy with her adoptive family in spite of them moving around a lot, Crystal probably would have been reasonably happy with her adoptive family if the Diabolus ex Machina hadn't come crashing down on her, and Butterfly does eventually get adopted by a family who genuinely loves and cherishes her. Rain's adoptive mother also gave her more love and attention than her actual mother did, although her home and school life wasn't exactly rosy.
    • After their escape from the attic, the remaining Dollangangers are adopted by the generous Paul Sheffield, who even puts Chris through medical school. (Things get a little creepy when Paul begins a relationship with the underage Cathy, but it's still better than the attic.)
    • In the Casteel series, Jane and Keith end up adopted by a wealthy couple who loves them dearly and give them a wonderful life. Although they reconcile to some extent with their birth family, they choose to stay with their adoptive parents.
  • Hypocrite: In spades, often combined with Values Dissonance and Moral Dissonance. The most prudish, uptight, religious characters are often revealed to be abusive (though they justify their abuse in the name of religion), adulterous, dishonest, etc. One of the worst examples of this is in the book Seeds of Yesterday. Narrator Cathy happily engages in an incestuous relationship with her brother, to the point where she blasts anyone who dares to criticize them about it, yet condemns her son Bart and daughter-in-law Melodie for their adulterous affair (Melodie is married to Cathy's other son Jory) and daughter Cindy for sleeping around. Similarly, Bart sleeps with sister-in-law Melodie (and other married women, it's implied) and visits prostitutes, yet constantly verbally and physically abuses Cindy—who is neither cheating on nor related to any of the boys she sleeps with—for her sexual behavior.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Daughter of Darkness is based around a teenage girl who comes to resent her father, a vampire, for forcing her and her sisters to lure young men to the house as victims.
  • In the Blood: Chris and Cathy do things very similar to their own parents.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In Fallen Hearts, it's revealed that Troy faked his death so that Heaven could marry Logan and live happily with him. Also, Paul agrees in All That Glitters to go along with Ruby and Beau's plan to have Ruby take the comatose Giselle's place so that she and Beau can be together, even though he's deeply in love with her and everyone else believes that he and Ruby are married.
  • Ill Girl: Carrie, Jane, Eugenia all are examples.
  • Important Haircut: Brooke from the Orphans series cuts her hair when she realizes that she can't live with an adoptive mother who tries to mold her into something she's not (she wants to be an athlete, her mother wants her to be a model).
  • Incest Is Relative
  • It's All About Me: Laura Sue Cutler is an utterly self-absorbed Woman Child.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: My Sweet Audrina notes that the women of the Adare (except Vera, a redhead) are born with what they call "chameleon hair", which appears to change colours according to the light.
  • Kissing Cousins: Melody and Cary in the Logan family series are cousins, but they fall in love anyway. Then they find out they're second cousins.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: In Celeste, it is mentioned that the events of the Cutler series were made into an actual Lifetime movie.
    • Lifetime adapted Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind for TV, and has announced at least three more adaptations to come.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Typically, the heroine will represent the Light Feminine, and her rival/foil the Dark Feminine.
  • Littlest Cancer Patient: May Logan, and Echo in the Shadows series are a variation of this (both are deaf, rather than cancer sufferers). Eugenia Booth may also qualify.
  • The Lost Lenore: Leigh to Luke; Cory to his surviving siblings
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Philip Cutler is the most noteworthy example, going from a well-adjusted guy with an interest in the heroine Dawn to a crazed Yandere who refuses to give up on Dawn when it's revealed that they are actually brother and sister, tries to rape her more than once, marries another woman only to try and turn her into a Replacement Goldfish for Dawn, and even later on tries to do the same thing with Dawn's daughter (and his niece) Christie.
  • Love Makes You Evil
  • Love Mother, Love Daughter: Bart with Corrine and Cathy may count, Philip with Dawn and Christie. Tony Tatterton takes this further with four generations of women in the same family - he was initially married to Jillian Tatterton but fell for her daughter Leigh, granddaughter Heaven and great-granddaughter Annie.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: For one example, Dawn Cutler eventually learns that her father is neither the man who "kidnapped" her in infancy nor Randolph Cutler, who thought he was her father. She was actually the daughter of Randolph's father, who raped his daughter-in-law. Another example is how Heaven's father turns out to be not Luke, but Tony Tatterton, whom she had thought was her grandfather.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: Malcolm and Bart
  • May-December Romance: Several. Cathy and Paul, Garland and Alicia, Dawn and Michael Sutton, and Tony and Jillian are just a few examples.
    • Although occasionally the idea of May-December is more like May-August or May-Mid-Autumn. The original novels in particular are prone to labeling anyone over thirty as Christmas Cake.
  • Meaningful Name: Dawn has golden hair, Ruby is a Redheaded Hero, and Melody can play the fiddle extremely well.
    • Celeste (a name meaning "heavenly") replaces her dead twin brother and believes that she can speak to ghosts and spirits. The Forbidden Sister features a character named Roxanne that became a prostitute.
  • Missing Mom
  • Momma's Boy: Randolph Cutler, Paul Tate, Malcolm Jr. and Joel get accused of this by Malcolm Sr.
  • Moral Dissonance: Ruby and Beau's plan in All That Glitters received lots of disapproval from fans. And numerous in-universe examples in Seeds of Yesterday: Catherine and Chris carry on an incestuous relationship, yet blast Bart for his adulterous affair with his sister-in-law Melodie, as well as their daughter Cindy for her promiscuity. Similarly, Bart sleeps with his brother's wife and numerous other married women, yet constantly verbally and physically abuses Cindy for the slightest infraction, not the least of which is being sexually active.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Most of the books suffer from this. An especially bad case is the Early Spring series, where the main character is aged between six to eight years old through the course of the books. Even though the storyline is based around her going through precocious puberty, she's still a young child; yet the narrative voice is essentially the same as for the older teenage heroines of other series (who, themselves, are prone to this trope.)
  • My Beloved Smother: Many, but one especially good example is actually a father: Damian from My Sweet Audrina, who goes to great lengths to preserve the "memory" of his beloved Audrina.
  • Name's the Same: Olivia Foxworth and Olivia Logan, Laura Sue Cutler and Laura Logan, Catherine "Cathy" Dollanganger and Cathy Carson (though the latter has the nickname of "Cat" to differentiate her) and Catherine Landry, Melodie Richarme-Marquet and Melody Logan, Tony Tatterton and Antonia "Toni" Winters, Sarah Casteel and Sarah Logan. The heroine of the Early Spring series is named Jordan March, and Family Secrets features a non-related main character also called Jordan March.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Annie and Luke in the Casteel series, Jimmy and Dawn in the Cutler series, and Rain and Roy in the Hudson series. The Hudson series is possibly a subversion, since Rain marries Austin later on.
  • Never My Fault: Laura Sue Cutler from the Cutler series, utterly self-absorbed, spineless, and unwilling to take responsibility for her actions. She's either at her vanity mirror or feigning illness to avoid having to take on any sort of responsibility at the hotel.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Heaven learns early on that Sarah is not her real mother, but doesn't learn until later on that Luke is also not her real father. Dawn also doesn't know that she was 'kidnapped' at infancy, despite her parents and siblings all being tall and dark-haired in contrast to her daintiness and golden hair, until her supposed birth mother dies. Rain also goes for many years without knowing that she's actually biracial and her real mother sold her to a poor black family to keep her existence secret. Giselle probably wins the prize for rude awakenings: she only learns that she is adopted when her twin sister Ruby shows up on the family doorstep.
  • Odd Name Out: In the Shooting Stars series, no one bats an eyelid at girls named "Cinnamon", "Honey" and "Ice" ... yet Rose is the one who gets teased for having a weird name!
    • Inverted in the Wildflowers series where Misty, Star, and Jade tease each other for having such unusual names and Cathy's relatively normal name gets no comment (she gets called "Cat" later on, but it's just an Affectionate Nickname).
  • Orphanage of Fear: The place where Butterfly, Crystal, Brooke and Raven all meet in the Orphans series. It looks like a good place to live, but...
  • Orphan's Ordeal: The main plot of the Orphans series.
  • Parental Abandonment: Where do we begin? Malcolm's mother, Corrine, abandoned her family. Sarah from the Casteel series abandons her children in the middle of the night.
  • Parental Incest: Oh, where do we begin?
  • Parental Neglect: Malcolm neglects his sons, Corrine at first neglects her children, then takes it one step further, Randolph and Laura Sue are too absorbed in other interests to look after their children.
  • Pillow Pregnancy: Takes place in Garden of Shadows, Tarnished Gold and Olivia.
  • Police Are Useless: This is often excused as most of the troublemakers fall into the Screw the Rules, I Have Money! category.
    • In a memorable instance of police actually being called, they somehow determine that a double-amputee with no legs tripped on a flight of stairs.
  • Posthumous Narration: Tarnished Gold and Music in the Night conclude with the protagonist narrating as they die.
  • Promotion to Parent: Heaven and Tom in Heaven. Cathy and Chris in Flowers in the Attic.
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender: Celeste
  • Rags to Riches: Many series have the heroine start out in a poor family and then learn that she's actually related to a wealthy family. However, these riches always come at terrible prices...
  • Rape as Drama: Rape happens a lot in Andrews' work, and most of the time, it's played for drama.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Corrine; Grandmother Emma
  • Redemption Equals Life: Of all the "jealous/evil/promiscuous/bitchy sister" characters in the first five series, the only one who doesn't die is Fanny Casteel, the only one of them who eventually somewhat develops into a less selfish person.
    • In the Delia series, Tia Isabela's Heel-Face Turn earns life for her daughter Sophia, who survives a near-fatal drug overdose. Sophia also becomes a much kinder person after this.
  • Religious Stereotype: Olivia Foxworth, John Amos, Bart Winslow (although he gets better), and Emily Booth are all stereotypes of Christian fundamentalists.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Subverted in My Sweet Audrina; at the beginning the reader is told that the title character is under pressure to replace her dead older sister of the same name, but later finds out she is the "dead girl." Audrina was actually gang raped on her birthday and her parents subsequently wiped her memory and implanted new ones to protect her from the trauma.
    • Played straight in the Gemini series, where the heroine is forced from early childhood to dress as a male and "become" her twin brother, who died suddenly.
    • Also played straight twice in the Casteel series. First, when Heaven voluntarily dyes her hair blond, she is mistaken for her mother Leigh by several people, most notably by her father Tony, who raped and impregnated Leigh and eventually tries to do the same to her. Then in the next book her daughter Annie is sent to live with Tony (though she's unaware that he's her grandfather)after she is paralyzed in the car accident that killed her parents. He convinces her to dye her hair blond like the other women and subsequently tries to mold her into his image of Leigh. Much like with her mother Heaven, the resemblance and his worsening dementia cause him to repeatedly confuse her with the other two, to the point where he virtually imprisons her, sabotages her attempts at recovery, and eventually tries to force himself on her late one night.
    • In the Cutler series, Philip remains so madly obsessed with Dawn, even when he learns that they're brother and sister, that he tries marrying another woman and having her dye her hair blond and wear Dawn's nightgown and perfume to mold her into a substitute for Dawn. And then when Dawn's daughter Christie comes to live with him after her parents' deaths, he begins to confuse her with her mother and eventually rapes her one night.
    • In the Logan series, Aunt Sarah at first tries to turn Melody into a replacement for Laura, giving her Laura's clothes to wear and saying things like "That's just what Laura would have done," "Laura didn't wear her hair like this." May also be the case with Cary, who is heavily implied to have been in love with Laura (his own twin sister.)
  • Retcon: Garden of Shadows retcons many of the events of Flowers in the Attic, although some things are possibly explained by Corrine exaggerating events in her mind or lying to the children.
    • Similarly, in the Landry series Grandmere Catherine's account of Gabrielle's death differs from Gabrielle's own account in Tarnished Gold. Again can possibly explained by Catherine altering her version of events to comfort herself, since she stated that Gabrielle's last words were to thank her.
  • Satellite Love Interest: A lot of the heroine's love interests seem to fill this role. Logan Stonewall, Niles Thompson, Paul Tate, Beau Andreas all apply.
  • Second Love: Austin for Rain, Miguel for Willow, Adan for Delia although he dies and she goes back to Ignacio anyway.
  • Series Continuity Error: The Dollanganger and Casteel series have this, probably because the prequels were written by a different person.
  • Settle for Sibling: Beau settles for Giselle when he can't have Ruby in the Landry series.
    • In the Cutler series, Jed Booth wanted to marry Violet (Lillian's real mother), but had to settle for her sister because polite society dictated he should court the elder daughter.
  • Sexless Marriage: Subverted with Arden and Audrina. They have sex, but she hates it and merely goes through the motions. Understandable, given that for her entire life, she's been bombarded with stories of her older sister's gang rape and murder and as we later learn, she is the one who was gang-raped as a child. As the marriage progresses, she comes to genuinely enjoy sex. Ruby and Paul's "marriage" was also arranged to be like this, although it also didn't remain sexless forever.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Heaven and Fanny; Dawn and Clara Sue (and to some extent Fern); Ruby and Giselle; Rain and Beri (and later Allison); Olivia and Belinda; April and Brenda.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Chris, Cathy, Carrie and Cory must atone for the sins of their parents.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Semantha Heavenstone. In the Landry series, Ruby's mother is named as Gabrielle for the first four books but becomes "Gabriel" in Tarnished Gold. In the Dollanganger series, Cathy's mother is named as both Corrine and Corinne.
  • Spoiled Brat: Corrine, Clara Sue, Allison and Hannah are all examples.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Leigh and Luke; Heaven and Troy; Laura and Robert.
  • Stepford Smiler: Jillian and Corrine are both Type C
  • Stigmatic Pregnancy Euphemism:
    • In Secrets of the Morning, Dawn discovers she's pregnant after being hit by a car and taken to hospital. Grandmother Cutler sends her away to Emily to have the baby, claiming to everyone else that Dawn is convalescing and her injuries from the car accident are far more serious than they really were.
    • When Ruby gets pregnant in Pearl in the Mist, Daphne instantly pulls her out of school and tells everyone that Ruby was too grief-stricken after her father's recent death to continue studying.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Occurs in the fourth book of the Casteel and Cutler series to shift the focus to the heroine's daughter and keep the angst and drama rolling.
  • Surprise Incest: Chris and Corrine, more than they knew; Troy and Heaven, Dawn and Phillip, Ruby and Paul.
  • Technicolor Eyes: The women of the Adare family in My Sweet Audrina, to go with their "chameleon hair".
  • Teen Genius: Ian in the Early Spring series
  • There Are No Police: Nor are there social services.
  • Theme Naming: From the Casteel series to the De Beers series, every main heroine has a name that can be used as a noun: Heaven, Dawn, Ruby, Melody, etc.
    • In an in-universe example Willow purposely names her daughter Hannah, meaning "grace", which was the name of Willow's mother.
  • Theme Twin Naming: In the Dollanganger series there was Carrie and Cory, and then later, Darren and Deirdre.
  • The Unfavorite: Vera from My Sweet Audrina, Heaven to Luke and Sarah in the Casteel series, Lillian and later Charlotte to Jed in the Cutler series, Victoria from the Hudson series, and Celeste from the Gemini series.
  • The Vamp: Yolanda Lange in Petals On The Wind, Vera Whitefern in My Sweet Audrina, Fanny Casteel in the Casteel series, Fern Longchamp in the Cutler series, but especially Midnight Whispers, also Gisselle Dumas in the Landry series. Usually dark-haired and usually after the heroine's man.
  • Together in Death: Laura and Robert in the Logan series.
  • Token Minority: Raven in the Orphans series, Star in the Wildflowers series, and Ice in the Shooting Stars series.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Audrina Adare
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Leigh "Angel" Casteel, Laura Logan, Gabriel(le) Landry and Eugenia Booth. Also a common fate of the heroines' various love interests (notably Robert Royce and Adan Bovio.)
  • Traumatic Haircut: A variant in the Dollanganger series: Olivia coats Cathy's long hair in tar to force her to cut it. The children manage to remove the tar with chemicals. Played straight in the movie, where Olivia knocks Cathy out and hacks her hair off. Also, in Celeste, Celeste's mother cuts her hair while she is asleep in order to force her to dress as a boy and "become" Noble.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Bart, Fern, Sylvia.
    • Fanny Casteel is already fooling around with boys at the age of ten and implied to be sexually active by this age (she later seduces and has a baby with Reverend Wise after he adopts her.)
    • Plenty of this in the Early Spring series. Ian is a thirteen-year-old prodigy whose knowledge of sex (as well of other subjects) is far beyond that of many adults; and is fixated on performing "experiments" involving his seven-year-old sister Jordan, who's going through precocious puberty. When their governess tries to punish Ian, he murders her. Jordan herself also has age-inappropriate knowledge of sex (gained from Ian and an older teenager), which shocks the governess, as does Jordan's use of tampons rather than sanitary towels for her premature periods.
  • Unwanted Harem: If you're a V.C. Andrews heroine, every single male who lays eyes on you will want to have sex with you, especially if they're blood-related to you. Consider that Cathy sleeps with her brother (who she marries), her caretaker (who she marries), her dancing partner (who she marries), and her mother's second husband (who she...okay, she doesn't marry this one, but she still professes to love him. In equal measure to all of her other lovers, presumably) in the Dollanganger series, and you'll understand.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Celeste in the Gemini series.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?
  • Wicked Stepmother: Daphne from the Landry series. Lillian Cutler and Jillian Tatterton could also be examples.
  • Wife Husbandry: Paul Sheffield's relationship with Cathy has elements of this, though she is already sixteen when he adopts her, and he doesn't appear to have had it in mind at the time of taking in the children. A more straightforward example is Child of Darkness, where the Emersons adopt Celeste because Ami's father-in-law had fallen for her, and wanted to marry her when she was older or at least convince her to have a child, who could become the family's heir. They drug and rape Celeste when it becomes apparent this plan isn't going to work.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Most notable in the Casteel series, where Heaven and Logan cheat on each other with Troy and Fanny, respectively, and end up giving birth to a daughter and a son who aren't blood-related to each other (although they don't know that at first).

Poul AndersonAuthorsPiers Anthony

alternative title(s): VC Andrews
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