'Petals on the Wind's Success Means Lifetime Should Bring These 5 Other Disturbing Novels to TV
No one ever said that Lifetime movies were all sunshine and rainbows, but lately the network has taken a plunge into some seriously disturbing source material. Earlier this year Lifetime adapted V.C. Andrews highly controversial 1979 young adult novel Flowers in the Attic which was a really great idea considering everyone and their mother watched. And boy, was it dark. In case you were one of the few people who didn't catch the adaptation on Lifetime, the novel tells the story of the Dollanganger children. After their father dies, they are sent to live with their abusive grandmother, who locks the children away in the attic until their escape three years later. That's plenty sad and awful on its own, right? Except, actually, it gets worse: The abusive situation leads the two oldest children to engage in an incestuous relationship with one another.
Did I mention that this book is in the young adult section?
Sure, the entire concept of Flowers in the Attic will make you want to cringe, but that didn't stop Lifetime from jumping on the sequel immediately. Lifetime just released the sequel to Flowers in the Attic , which is based on the second book in the Dollanganger series, Petals on the Wind. The Lifetime movie of the same name follows the children after their escape from the attic and into adulthood. In addition to a continuation of the incest stuff, there's also scary scenes of domestic abuse and Cruel Intentions-esque games of seduction, so don't think that you're getting away any easier with the sequel. (You're not. It's worse.)
Since Lifetime is so fond of adapting disturbing novels for the small screen, they should really take a look at some of these WTF stories. Here are four other novels with elements of Flowers in the Attic that are just begging to be a Lifetime movie.
Room, Emma Donoghue
This novel is told from the perspective of 5-year-old boy named Jack. Jack and his mother are prisoners of "Old Nick," the man who kidnapped his mother when she was in college. Jack and "Ma" risk their lives in an attempt to escape from Old Nick, and find themselves in a world they no longer recognize. If Lifetime wants this one (and oh, they should want this one) they'll have to wait a while — the novel is currently in development and just cast Brie Larson as Ma.
Tangerine, Edward Bloor
In this novel, a visually impaired boy moves to Tangerine, Florida with his family and quickly finds himself caught in the middle of a series of very strange events which leads him to unravel a major secret from his past. I won't give away the horrifying ending, but I will say that you might rethink your own sibling issues after reading Tangerine.
Among the Hidden, Margaret Peterson Haddix
Hey, Lifetime, do you want another series about kids hiding in attics? Because the Shadow Children series has yet to be adapted. In the first novel in this series — Among the Hidden — we are introduced to a world where third children are banned by the government due to lack of resources, and the ones that remain must hide out or be killed... which some of them are. Luke, a third child, hides in his family's attic until he decides to take a stand for justice.
The Girl in the Box, Ouida Sebestyen
This 1988 novel is about a girl who gets kidnapped and is thrown in a basement with nothing more than food, water, and a typewriter. She has no idea when — or how — she'll escape, and must learn to cope with her prison sentence by writing down her thoughts. Lifetime could take this disturbing plot, pepper it with flashbacks, and create a movie that makes us all completely depressed until the very end... when we just break down and cry.
The Gate to Women's Country, Sheri S. Tepper
Remember when Lifetime's slogan was "Television for Women?" Well, an adaptation of this book definitely would have fit the bill. In this novel, women have created a matriarchal society that has systematically kept men (and violence) out of their society. When the protagonist Stavia educates her warrior friend, he begins to formulate his revenge on the female leaders.
Images: Lifetime, Amazon