About the Book
Jealousy, tragedy, survival, and revenge—the discovery of Christopher’s diary in the ruins of Foxworth Hall brings new secrets of the Dollanganger family to light and obsesses a new generation. With Flowers in the Attic and Petals on the Wind both now major Lifetime TV events, this first new addition to the Dollanganger story in nearly thirty years is a timely look at the events in the attic—from teenage Christopher’s point of view.
And don’t forget to preorder the follow-up, Christopher’s Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger!
Christopher Dollanganger was fourteen when he and his younger siblings—Cathy and the twins, Cory and Carrie—were locked away in the attic of Foxworth Hall, prisoners of their mother’s greedy inheritance scheme. For three long years he kept hope alive for the sake of the others. But the shocking truth about how their ordeal affected him was always kept hidden—until now.
Seventeen-year-old Kristin Masterwood is thrilled when her father’s construction company is hired to inspect the Foxworth property for a prospective buyer. The once grand Southern mansion still sparks legends and half-truths about the four innocent Dollanganger children, even all these decades later. Foxworth holds a special fascination for Kristin, who was too young when her mother died to learn much about her distant blood tie to the notorious family.
Accompanying her dad to the “forbidden territory,” they find a leather-bound book, its yellowed pages filled with the neat script of Christopher Dollanganger himself. Her father grows increasingly uneasy about her reading it, but as she devours the teen’s story page by page, his shattering account of temptation, heartache, courage, and betrayal overtakes Kristin’s every thought. And soon her obsession with the doomed boy crosses a dangerous line…
At first glance, and for most of the book, CHRISTOPHER’S DIARY: SECRETS OF FOXWORTH felt like a retelling of FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. The book makes no secret of this, but present-day Kristin’s story was little more than background noise as I revisited the original telling of FLOWERS I knew and loved so many years ago. Kristin is a distant relative of the Foxworths who lives in the shadow – literally and figuratively – of what happened in that house. Thanks to her father’s protection, she seems to be one of the few people in town not privy to every dirty little secret the walls held. Needless to say, when she finds Christopher’s diary on the property she is quickly pulled into his first hand account of his life, both before and during the time he and his siblings were imprisoned in the Foxworth attic.
As a reader of FLOWERS, I didn’t learn anything about the story I hadn’t before. To that end, I found the watered down version of the original (that is, the text of Christopher’s diary) bland, while for most of the book, Kristin’s story likewise lacked substance. The combination left me in a holding pattern as I waited for something to happen. Fortunately, something finally did. Unfortunately, it was at the nth hour. It wasn’t until the last couple of pages of the book that I found myself truly intrigued, and learning more will of course require that I pick up the next book in the series. Will I? Probably, but I wish I felt more of a pull toward the sequel.
The verdict: If you haven’t read FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, I’d suggest you grab that one instead. The story deserves the depth found within the pages of its own book. If you have read FLOWERS, you might enjoy this retelling, but if you’re looking for anything scandalous, you won’t find it here. It’s a pleasant and well-written read that neither adds to nor takes away from the Dollanganger saga, and whether because of or in spite of that fact, it’s a volume belongs in the personal library of every FLOWERS fan.
Complimentary review copy provided by publisher.
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