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Flowers in the Attic: "The Road to Riches"

Maggie Mae


I'm taking some time from dealing with personal/family drama/stress to recap another chapter of the masterpiece "Flowers in the Attic." 

This chapter is titled "The Road to Riches." When we open, they are still packing. I've always wanted to read about what other people pack in their suitcases. What an exciting bit of prose. Christopher & Cathy "throw" their clothes into two suitcases along with a few toys and one game. So, I'm guessing that the twins have what they are wearing and that's about it. They leave in the middle of the night, not saying good bye to anyone, and taking a train to the train station. Bikes were left in the garage along with other things too large to take. I'd say that the car they are leaving is probably worth more than the bikes, then I remembered what I spent on my bike, and what i've spent on my car and it's about equal. :/ these are kids though, so I'm guessing it's a couple of really nice retro cruiser type bikes that I would love to have right about now. 

Anyway, so they are on the train and they aren't sleeping. They are headed to Virginia and while they travel we are treated to how C&C (I know, everyone is C, but you know who I mean) speculate on what's going to happen next. 

They get off (using the name "Patterson") in the middle of nowhere at 3 a.m. Christopherr is scared of an owl. Momma snaps at them for some reason. We learn that they are in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and it gets warm and snows. Summers will be warmer than when they lived in Gladstone PA. They start walking, as they need to "reach there before dawn, when the servants get up." Servants. That's how "filthy rich" the grandparents are. 

Several paragraphs of logistics later, Momma has another breakdown. She snaps at Chris and Cathy to wake up the twins that they are carrying and force them to walk. She also mumbles "Lord knows, they'd better walk outside while they can." Cathy has a "ripple of apprehension shot down [her] spine" 

We are treated to a paragraph of Cathy's introspection of how she just "knew" that the cantankerous old grandpa would fall in love with them because they were wonderful children and Chris had straight As and how beautiful the twins were. 



"I had a gift too; the not bright and shining coin that was Christopher's. It was my way to turn over all that glittered and look for the tarnish."


More discussion about logistics and the damn suitcases. Cathy is now pulling two twins that are fighting her, Chris and Corinne (Momma) are each carrying one suitcase. This entire chapter could have been edited down to a sentence. 

Foxworth Hall is more than two hundred years old! For a fun US reference, the oldest house in my city is 100 years old, and we've only been a state for 50 years. Christopher says that it's not ski country - too many trees and rocks. K. And Momma points out a lake for swimming and ice-skating. (As though THAT will happen.) 

Finally the five Cs arrive at the house, where they are escorted up some narrow back staircases by an old lady. The lady looks them over and says that they are beautiful. This for some reason "chills" Cathy's "heart." 


Her nose was an eagle's beak, her shoulders weere wide, and her mouth was like a think, crooked knife slash. Her dress, of gray taffeta, had a diamond brooch at the throat of a high, severe neckline. Nothing about her appeared soft or yielding; even her bosom looked like twin hills of concrete. There would be no funning with her, as we had played with our mother and father. 

Who on earth thinks of their grandmother's bosom in any terms? Much less "twin hills of concrete." Twin. Hills. of. concrete. Does this mean that Grandmother has a really good, supportive, bra, in comparison to the rest of the early 80s when bras were optional? 

Grandmother gives some reasons as to why they all have to stay in the same room. Cathy is upset but not super upset because she didn't want to be alone anyway. Grandma is suspicious of Cathy & Chris's relationship. 

Grandma throws down some rules about where everyone should sleep, cleaning, and being quiet. Ending with "Until the day your grandfather dies, you are here, but you don't really exist." 

Grandmother will bring them food, more logistics about cleaning or something (it goes on forever!) and finally grandmother pushes the mother out the door. Momma promises to visit as soon as possible. Eventually, Cathy falls asleep with Carrie. 

Oh, and Grandma dropped the "That is exactly what your father and I always presumed about and your half-uncle!" bomb. So C&C are questioning what that meant at the end of this chapter. I was going to do two but this one was SO boring, with it's talk of suitcases and who carries who and who is sleeping where. 



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