Checking my stats after the long absence reveals a certain trend in my search hits.
"incestuous rape Flowers in the Attic": This blog discusses the rape scene in Flowers in the Attic: Part Six, which is the secondmost viewed entry on this blog by several hundred hits, surpassed only by the entry on the Andrews estate's court case with the IRS.
"flowers in the attic rape": Yes, same section.
"flowers in the attic chris and cathy make love": Cathy and Chris don't make love in that book. They do in later books, but in the first one, it's straight-up rape.
"flowers in the attic nude": There is a lot of casual nudity scattered around Flowers in the Attic, particularly in the section covered in Part Five. There is no nudity in this blog, unless you count that one picture of Burt Reynolds.
"flowers in the attic sex excerpt": The whole scene? It's not very graphic compared to some of the scenes in say, Petals on the Wind, and it's rather short, and it's, well, a rape scene. There's an earlier scene where Chris and Cathy kiss and make out a little that's probably more satisfying on the sensuality front.
"flowers in the attic porn": I'm sure it exists, although a quick search reveals that, if it's out there, it's surprisingly difficult to locate amid the tons of cheeky articles that describe the book as "softcore porn for preteens." Andrews' own sex scenes tend to be soft focus. You'll have to go to the fanfiction for anything more graphic than that.
At any rate, there's no porn in this blog, and there's no porn in Flowers in the Attic, except for maybe scenery porn. Andrews does love to describe her sets.
In a bit of mood whiplash, however, I'd like to talk about some other search results that really bothered me for a number of reasons.
"was vc andrews raped/was vc andrews molested/vc andrews was an incest victim"
Serious talk about incest and some analysis of Andrews' oeuvre under the cut.
The official answer: I'm not in a position to answer that question and I don't think anyone still living is.
My personal answer: No, I don't think so. There's not a lot of information on Andrews' early life, but there is some, and all of the evidence seems to indicate that while there were a lot of physical and emotional issues in Andrews' life, incest was not one of them. Given the themes of many of Andrews' novels, I can understand why it's tempting to ask the question and I can't judge anyone whose thoughts might go in that directlion. God knows mine have gone there on a few occasions.
Authors whose works are deeply linked to certain themes or motifs are invariably assumed to have had personal experience with those issues. But there is a separation between themes and actual events. One of my conceits for analyzing Andrews' work is that she felt her physical handicap as a kind of imprisonment and produced novels in which young women are literally locked away from society and experience an arrested development that mirrors Andrews' own. It's a far cry from that to the assumption that Andrews herself was locked in an attic. Likewise, I tend to interpret the incestuous themes in Andrews' work as being symbolic of an absolute insurmountable barrier to true love, and a rather genius one in that even if the two lovers manage to get together, the obstacle to their love will always be there, generating tension.
V.C. Andrews used incest as shorthand for forbidden love. She's not the first person to do this. This is all throughout Gothic literature, and Andrews is, at heart, a writer of Gothic novels.
Then, too, it was the 80s. I cannot stress how vital this social environment could have been to these books. Until the late 60s/early 1970s, incest was seen as a very rare and extreme phenomenon in Western societies. During the late 70s, victims of abuse, of incest, of rape, came forward with increasing regularity to tell their stories in books and on the then-new and wildly popular "tabloid" talk shows.* Incest was suddenly being talked about, and many people realized that they were not wrong for being deeply affected by childhood incidents they had dismissed--or had been told to dismiss--as harmless.
Into this sudden "epidemic" (that had actually been going on for literal centuries), Andrews dropped a bombshell of a book about incest. You can talk about whether this was the best time to be writing what was essentially a pro-incest book, but you can't deny it was topical. I believe that Andrews simply absorbed the then-current media, combined it with her own rich inheritance of gothic tropes, and the whole thing flowed out unconsciously, without regard for the implications. And oh boy, the implications.
While there's still a case to be made that perhaps the sudden emergence of incest as a popular discussion triggered Andrews into writing about personal experience, I'm not going to make that case, mostly because Andrews never wrote about incest from the perspective of a victim. In Andrews' novels, the characters are more often "victimized" by incest when it stands in the way of true love. Cathy can't return Chris's love because he's her brother and society has some weird arbitrary unfair thing about that. Heaven falls in love with Troy, only to learn that, just because Tony had to be her stupid father, Troy is her uncle and they can't be together. Ruby's love for Paul is forbidden just because they happen to be related. Andrews' first published short story, for a confessional mag, also has the lurid and amazing title "I SLEPT WITH MY UNCLE ON MY WEDDING NIGHT," which seems to prove that Andrews' fascination with this theme long predates her fame.
Ultimately, though, this is all conjecture via literary interpretation, which, while tantalizing, is ineffectual. The two people who might be able to illuminate the question are Ann
Patty, Andrews' former editor, who is working on publishing a memoir of
her relationship with the author, and Andrews' surviving brother, who
has never spoken publicly about his sister and in all likelihood never
will. This has less to do with any dark family secrets and more to do
with Andrews being an extremely private person in life and his
respecting her wishes after her death.
I really hope Patty publishes. If she does so, she will instantly become the foremost, perhaps the only, Andrews biographer, and a lot of questions we've all had over the years may finally be answered, including this one. I believe, and I hope, that the answer is in the negative.
ETA: A commenter asked for information as to what shows in particular were discussing incest in the late 1970s. Long story short: after doing my homework, I can find no evidence
to back up my statement that incest was being discussed in any significant way on any talk show until at
least 1986. I jumped the gun on that statement, and I'm legitimately
sorry for any confusion. This topic is very important to me and I do not want to spread any misinformation that might muddy the waters in any way.