In 1979 V.C. Andrews wrote Flowers in the Attic, which started a series of books that became a blockbuster hit in the Eighties. Laced with incest, switched parents, and warped family secrets, the series sold millions while establishing Olivia Foxworth as the quintessential evil grandmother, who held her grandchildren hostage in the attic while their weak-willed mother caroused with other men. In 1987 a prequel to the series, Garden of Shadows, was published, which told Olivia’s backstory from her point of view. This served two main purposes: first, it deepened the story’s narrative arc by showing how the flawed parents became who they were; and second, it showed that everyone has a story, or perhaps it’s all one story, told from an infinity of possible perspectives.

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AuthorJohn Proctor