Where the Greener Grass Grows

Where the Greener Grass Grows was always thought to be an unpublished manuscript of a previously unreleased novel and surprisingly turned out to be the first draft of what ultimately became Petals on the Wind.


Excitement enough for any VCA fan, and of course questions were raised – What did it contain ? What was it like ?

Although Jessica was not able to read the entire manuscript due to time restrictions , she has been able to inform fans on what the manuscript contains.

It’s 486 typed pages (though the first chapter is missing) and is written in third person. Surprisingly , it is actually completely different from the final version of POTW with many differences and is very slow going:

Cathy and Paul

●The story focuses on Cathy and her dating Paul and ultimately marrying him.

● Cathy attends school, is terrible at maths and is almost gang raped.

● Paul attempts to send her to a Private School

● It is Henny who encourages Paul and Cathys relationship. She also talks of her own husband.

● Cathy gives up her dream of being a ballerina and becomes Pauls housekeeper

● Cathy dates one boy Grant Sarnoff until she realises Paul is jealous

●Paul is aware of what happened between Cathy and Chris

●She stays married to Paul for the entire book, and Paul is still alive by the end.

●Paul is a doctor, but he also helps children of abusive parents.


●Carrie and Chris fade into the background for the first half of the book.

●Carrie marries Alex and she has a baby girl named Catherine Leigh.

● It’s unclear if Alex is a minister.

● Carrie dies by the end of the book


●The incest is only mentioned once, early in the story, when Chris comes to Cathy and says that what happened in the attic cannot happen again.

●Chris marries a nurse named Sarah. She’s not mentioned at the end of the book, so it’s unclear if Chris stays married to her.  


●Corrine is brought to trial for what she did to her children. The verdict is unclear, but she was set free.

●Corrine dies by the end of the book

Foxworth Hall

●Foxworth Hall is still standing.

And then this bombshell, which has been exclusively revealed to AtticSecrets :

“it was said Cathy was looking for the killer who killed both Carrie and Corrine it implied it might be the grandmother or someone else.”

The evidence found by Jessica Zinder especially Corrines death suggests that the Dollanganger saga was initially meant to be a two book series serie


It confims suspicions that ITBT, SOY and possibly GOS were just a product of Virginias imagination though if I know anything about Virginia I suspect that she liberally sprinkled these with clues to the real story also … especially in malcolms journal and Corrine’s dialogue.

Fans have often wondered if the book Cathy was writing in ITBT was Flowers in the Attic and when she says it was becoming so large that she had to split it in two – the second part became POTW.

Where the Greener Grass Grows certainly is the continuation of the flowers story , it is reminiscent of someones memoirs and with it being the first version of POTW makes you wonder if this is what really happened to the children in the real life version of the story….the true story. And if thats so then the whole murder aspect of both Carrie and Corrine is intriguing……..

If this is the case it can tell us a lot more about the true story too :

●It tells us that the house of the true story is still standing … or at least it was at the time the manuscript was written.

● The real life versions of Cathy and Chris did not continue their incestuous relationship.

● Where there are no direct descendants of the real life Chris and Cathy. There was of Carrie.

Interestingly, something that may back up the theory Where the Greener Grass Grows is also based on a true story is that Corrine was taken to trial.

Ann Patty, Virginia’s editor, when speaking of the true story links mentioned the mother had been taken to trial and it had made the papers. But does this mean the rest is true ?

Was there two more murders in the real life dollanganger saga ?

I also doubt it was a coincidence that the 2014 lifetime version of POTW had Chris engaged to a girl named Sarah …. someone connected to it must have been aware of this manuscript.

To me , it feels that Where the Greener Grass Grows was indeed what actually happened to the children once they escaped but unfortunately for Virginia the publishers felt it wouldn’t have been exciting enough .

I mean , seriously , our feisty Cathy giving up ballet and becoming a housekeeper ?! Never , surely . The whole concept seems alien to Cathys character.

And im kinda morally shocked that Henny would encourage the relationship with Paul !

Personally leaving out the star crossed lovers aspect of Cathy and Chris is a big piece of the Dollanganger saga missing, it wouldn’t have been the story we know and love nor would it have haunted us readers as much.

The continuation of the Dollanganger saga was that no matter how hard she tried Cathy couldnt escape the Attic. In WTGGG it seems she did and whilst that s all fine and dandy for real life unfortunately , its rather dissapointing in fiction. Flowers in the Attic was no fairytale …. there was never going to be a happily ever after.

Of course, id love to have read and seen Corrines trial and how she wriggled out of that one but apart from the murders …. Where the Greener Grass Grows seems to be very very tame.

However with the murders , if this really is a true story then things take a rather sinister slant.

The real life Foxworths were apparently very powerful, and according to Ann Patty to figure the true story out would need the CIA . This suggests that to publish anything that straight out stated murder would be a foolish thing to do and I suspect that the publishers of POTW were aware of that.

So thats the differences – What about the similarities ?

The thing that strikes me is where Petals had a lot of subtext, where the suicide of Carrie hints at the actual murder of Carrie – Where the Greener Grass Grows comes out with it straight. There is no subtext here. This could back up the theory that it was intended by Virginia that the subtext be read that way. That the suicides in POTW were not suicides at all.

All in all although completely different , I know I would kill to read this manuscript….. theres so much in my head regarding the changes its actually difficult to write exactly how I feel about them down without having read it fully myself . From a fans point of view would these changes have worked ? Would the Dollanganger saga still affect me as much ?

I asked Jessica her specific thoughts as she is the only fan and one of very few people who have seen this manuscript

” It was hard to read having to set my mind on it being in third person when for the most part reading her books in first person.  There are parts that seem to take forever and it is slow.  I guess if I was reading this cold (i.e.. never read POTW) I might have thought it was a slow steady pace unlike POTW where things are being thrown at you non stop.  During the rewrite I think she was tightening those things up.  While in other places she was digging deeper in many ways I found POTW  more action based though.

Cathy seem more passionate and also seems more curious about people it seemed she took more of what happened harder.

While Chirs seemed way more damaged then he seemed in POTW he didn’t just shrug it off but he separated from his sister unlike he was able to in POTW. (Granted that might of changed I just wish I could have read it more to tell more concrete thing then just the little that I was able too .)

Carrie seemed to act the most different she became quiet and more mature I think also (although there not being a first chapter) I didn’t see anything about Carrie being a Little Person.

The book was alike enough to know that is was the first version.  Again not reading the whole thing the only thing I can remember is Owl of the Roof which seems to be the most similar but for me it seems VC did the rewrite because she didn’t want this to be the last book or someone didn’t want it to be the last book.
Cathy giving up dancing seemed odd to me ”

So there we have it , again one more VCA mystery solved as to what the story of Where the Greener Grass Grows is and a whole lot more questions left in its place ….. but then again it wouldnt be VC Andrews if that wasnt the case 😉

id love to hear others comments on this, what they think of everything the manuscript contains and if they too believe WTGGG is the actual true story of what happened after the attic.

Of course , comments under this post are welcome as are on the AtticSecrets group aswell as a special thread on the Lost Angels of VCA forum


21 Comments Add yours

  1. eastsidon says:

    Definitely some mindblowing stuff. I’m so intrigued to know about if a trial matches the events.

    Just two points I would make one is the issue of the subtext, that Virginia subtext is actually her unique signature in the published Dollanganger works. Kind of how experts would say a brush stroke matches a certain painter. I think Virginia being an artist emulated the same concept in the literary world to ensure ownership. Ann Patty mentions that Virginia send her manuscript to many publishers and she got a lot of advice and feedback from them and modified her manuscript.

    The third person narrative too is intriguing. Thankfully it was changed up. I also think the change ups we see in the published Dollanganger works were all parts of a puzzle. The question I will put to everyone and probably one you will see in Ann Patty’s other famous novel “Life of Pi” which would you choose when you have the truth and a lie ? The answer forms the punch line in the Life of Pi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great response ! Yes I agree Virginia did have her signature subtext which this manuscript seems to be lacking :/ in all honesty, in this case I prefer the lie !
      The change ups being part of a puzzle I do agree with definitely , so I wonder if she ever actually produced WTGGG with the intent of it being part of the saga ? The more I think , the more it seems like a conclusion piece not a saga piece in itself….. as I said it has a definitive end but the published fita was littered with openings for further books …which now makes me want to see the original manuscript of Fita and how vastly different that was .


  2. Jessica Zinder says:

    People keep telling we want to see this. The way is quite simple write, e-mail beg to see this from B.U. and if you have the means find someone with wiggle room to be able to make this happen, We are strong as a crowd and if enough people are begging good chance B.U. will put this at least online.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great idea jessica 🙂 I will post this in group xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Justin S says:

    So, I find this to be completely fascinating. Adding a little bit to the mystery, I debated on which post to add the little bit of information I wanted to propose. I decided on this thread because there is a lot of mystery surrounding this development, however what I want to propose was not only brought up in the published Petals on the Wind, but in My Sweet Audrina as well. I don’t know if it was mentioned on another thread (I am still relatively new to this site; which I think is awesome), but I always remembered in both POTW and My Sweet Audrina references that V.C. Andrews made to the Lost Colony. Also known as Roanoke. Roanoke is a bit of U.S. history mystery in and of itself. Settlers formed a colony, but were in need of supplies. People went to get those supplies and when they returned from sea months later the entire colony had been abandoned and only one word was left as a clue carved in a tree: Croatan. Cathy references in POTW that both the Foxworths and the Winslows were descended from the colonists at the Lost Colony. Audrina also mentions that her family is descended from the Lost Colony. Even further interesting in regards to the Adare family in My Sweet Audrina, is that the first European girl ever born in the United States was from this Lost Colony and her name was Virginia Dare. There is first the obvious reference to Virginia. Second, though, take the name Virginia Dare. Take the “a” off Virginia and add it to the front of “Dare” and you get “Adare.” As in, Audrina Adare. I mean, I don’t know if it really means anything, but I saw in this post that the author referenced V.C. Andrews sprinkling clues throughout her novels and I thought this would be an interesting one. Just that this version of POTW was almost “lost” for the past thirty some years. Audrina “lost” her memory. All references again to the Lost Colony, both made in these two books, Petals on the Wind and My Sweet Audrina. It obviously could have been V.C. just having a little bit of fun mixed with, perhaps, her own interest in the Lost Colony but I thought it an interesting addition to all the other mysteries surrounding Where the Greener Grass Grows, POTW, and My Sweet Audrina.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Justin this is amazing ! Thanks so much for sharing. ..I was aware of the possibility of the lost colony and it’s links to potw but not the adares….what I did pick up was that both have strong links with the civil war theme running through them. But this Virginia Dare connection is an amazing bit of insight! I definitely feel it needs further analysis 😊


    2. eastsidon says:

      This is amazing, Justin. Thank you for that. Yes, I did read that before. One of my favourite series is “Haven” and it dealt with Croatoan during it’s final season. Truly amazing stuff.

      “The cabins had been taken down, the livestock had vanished and of the people the only traces were two graves and a message: the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and three letters “Cro” carved into a nearby tree.” I’ll link where this is from later. But you’ll be surprised to hear the Edgar Allen Poe , VCA had an obsession with him even whispered that word before he died. I urge you guys to watch Haven and yeah take a look at the link I will post soon. If you’re brave enough. It’s mind boggling.


    3. eastsidon says:

      Here’s the link guys
      but you know it’s kind of spooky the whole lost Colony thing. Cathy finds evidence that the Foxworths and the Winslows were once part of the lost Colony and Corrine mentions that Chris’s ancestoral link was the Dollangangers. Obviously it hinted that the real Foxworths and Winslows were lost … So did these imposters take over their names ? Makes for an awesome theory.


      1. Especially with the doppelganger /Dollanganger connection. ..but I agree with Neisha It s so refreshing to find a kindred spirit in you Justin! !


  4. Justin S says:

    That is an interesting link! I have always had an interest in Amelia Earhart, and I caught a light chill when reading that word was in her journal as well. I am glad that there were positive responses in regards to my post. I have always loved everything regarding V.C. Andrews. One thing I would still really love to come across is an unedited version of the original film of Flowers in the Attic. I talked to Jeffrey Bloom awhile back and he really is a wonderful guy. I think his original ideas would have gone over much better than the final edit he was forced to live with b/c of all the interfering producers. There has got to be some footage still out there! When dealing with anything V.C. Andrews, there is always one mystery after another.


    1. eastsidon says:

      Hi, Justin did you interview Jeffrey Bloom by any chance and do you have a link to the interview ? I would love to see his insight. When I saw Croatoan appear on Haven, I was super intrigued. And Lorraine would appreciate it too, apparently it appeared on the series “Supernatural” and I missed it.:( . But yeah it’s like super spooky, some things I’ve learnt about myth that V.C.A used scares me too. One day maybe we will know the connection for now we can only sit and theorise. I wish Virginia left more clues for us too. If you find anything else please let us know. It’s fans like you that make all of this more exciting. Thank you . I’m better known as Neisha Chetty (from the VCASuperFanboard) and co-creator of AtticSecrets. Lorraine and I will mull over this for a long time to come.


      1. Justin S says:

        While he shared a few things with me, there is no interview to reveal or link up. Most of the information can be viewed through other interviews that he has given out. The whole experience soured him quite a bit considering lots of people pointed to him as the problem when it really was not the case. He fought hard to not have the final result that became the 1987 version. He recognized that this was a series and killing Corrine off was never going to work. There could be no Petals on the Wind without her character. He was originally very faithful to the book in ways suggesting that he too, was a fan including lots more dialogue from the book. While from what I’ve seen, there was a never a full out moment of “going all the way” between siblings; it was more about lingering kisses, etc. His original design was more of a showdown between the kids and the grandmother; sort of like what we ultimately got with the Lifetime version. Also, the caretaker was also a menacing presence at the end. (Truthfully, I do think that would have been the way to go…I mean, it would be very difficult to end a film the same way as the book. Having the kids just leave works well in the novel, but a film has to have a little drama and punch at the end). Not to mention the grandfather was still alive as can be seen in one picture floating around the internet. One thing I noticed was that Fries entertainment produced the remake and Charles Fries was also a producer for the original film (or vice versa). Either way, what I really would love to see someday is an extended version of the original movie…with deleted scenes, the original ending. There were test audiences that saw the original ending. I mean, considering how many of us are out there it would appear that this would be financially beneficial to them to release it. I feel like Fries is the one that would have access to wherever the original edit remains. His involvement with both films makes me think that he is the one that has the rights or whatever, and thus, would be the one most likely to be in possession of this footage.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank s Justin
    This is extremely fascinating and I too made the link with fries and find myself in agreement with you here x interestingly only the film rights for fita and potw were bought and Neiderman was not allowed to be a consultant on theses two projects. However he was given creative consultant on the following films. This leads me to believe that fita and potw were bought specifically to protect the story


  6. Justin S says:

    I write for Wicked Horror. I did finally write an article regarding when I spoke with Mr. Bloom. The article is not an interview but a review on the 1987 movie. In it, I discuss the original script ending and the bits of incest that were in the script that I read. If you or anyone is interested in reading it the link is: http://www.wickedhorror.com/horror-reviews/back-80s-flowers-attic-original-script-ending/

    Or you can Google: Justin Steele Wicked Horror Flowers in the Attic


    1. Fantastic, I will definitely check it out !


  7. Justin S says:

    Update: In the U.K., Arrow Films has released a more definitive version of the 1987 film, “Flowers in the Attic.” The main obstacle being that if you live in the U.S., the blu-ray is Region-B locked. Most U.S. Blu-ray players are not compatible. After a mini-Odyssey these past two weeks, I was able to finally watch a copy. The original, Studio-vetoed Alternate Ending is available on this copy!! It was fascinating to watch. What a DIFFERENT movie this would have been. Due to my excitement at finally being able to see this, I cannot be objective as to whether or not I think it’s “good.” It is definitely is more of a slasher horror film ending. There is one part that utilizes a cheesy effect…and yet, it kind of scared the heck out me. You can watch a very slight clip of it on Youtube. If you type in: Flowers in the Attic the Arrow Films Story. It is an advertisement for the Blu-ray, so again the moment is fleeting. If you are at all a fan of the 80’s adaptation, then it is definitely worth it. There are interviews from Jeb Stuart Adams (Christopher), Christopher Young (Composer), etc. The ending was amazing to watch. So, so different. It follows the script from my article posted above over at Wicked Horror.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ll definitely check that out ! I’m in the UK but haven’t found where I can get the new copy …if you know where I’d really appreciate it x


      1. Justin S says:

        I just ordered it off of Amazon UK. I am pretty sure you can just order it from the Arrow Films site as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks after my reply to you I checked out Amazon UK and bought a copy ! I can’t wait !


  8. Crystal says:

    I always wondered if the fowlers from sweet valley were flowers in the attic. Lila had a mother who left her for fame most of the time and her name is similar to lillian.

    Also during world war 2 many families were hidden in attics etc. There is the time frame to consider.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Crystal says:

    I also thought genie the feral girl could of been viginia. Her mother even though she severely abused her eventually got her back.

    Also from sweet valley history one of jessicas ancestors worked in a circus and accidently mauled down by a tiger. Just like in the casteels story line.

    Also perhaps danielle steele could be fanny casteel

    Also when chris fed his siblings his blood…..what if he accidently created vampires….hence ann rices type gothic ness

    Liked by 1 person

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