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Flowers in the Attic: "The Attic"

Maggie Mae

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Chapter 4: The Attic

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I realized today that though I remember finishing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for this blog, I may have not actually posted them. If you can find anything after the chapter where Mr. Salt offers to buy his daughter a person, I'd be grateful. Otherwise I'll have to start typing up the end to that as well. I can't have half a dozen books started for the FJ blog, and none of them done. I have a reputation! 

Anyway, so on to the recap of this wonderful book.

Cathy is telling us again about where the servants are in the house. I don't care at all. Also, this book is so dated with it's talk of "servants" vs "staff" and the general use of language. "The morning hour of ten came and went." No one in the current year talks like that. Though I suppose in 30 years, people will be making fun of our current idea of modern. *I* sometimes make fun of our current "modern." 

The kids go upstairs to the attic. As a frequenter of attics, I can identify with the description of the heat, the smells, and the interest in old things. Also the fear of bugs and small critters popping out at you. What I can not identify with is the sheer size of this attic. Furniture, chamber pots, an old bathtub with the claw feet. There are deep dormer windows and dozens of leather-bound trunks. "Big trunks, fit for coffins." They find uniforms for both Union and Confederate soldiers. 

Chris thinks that the Civil War should be renamed to "The War Between the States" as it "sounds better." What do you know, teenage boy? This subject is quickly dropped as he finds some men's suits that are riddled with moths and moth balls. He is so pretentious. 

Quote

 

Don't be such babies. What you saw where moths, harmless moths. It's the larvae that do the chewing and make the holes. 

He also complains about having to undo buttons to go to the bathroom. I can see him signing up for The Red Pill on Reddit, if this were to be modernized. 

Cathy goes on about "olden-day people" and how they dressed. She thinks the idea of "flouncing around in frilly chemise over pantaloons" and tons of lace and wire hoops sounds fantastic. 

Quote

I'd carry a fan to elegantly cool myself, and my eyelids would flutter and bewitch. Oh, what a beauty I'd be. 

Yeah, so we've got a narcissist in the making, a neckbeard, and two creepy twins, one of whom is a complainer. Carrie is now crying. She'll be doing a lot of it. She doesn't just cry or whine though. She howls. She's 4, so it's not like she's a toddler. 

There are also, supposedly, thousands of books in the attic, ledgers, desks, TWO pianos, and just tons of things that are listed out. I can't imagine how big this attic must be.

Chris and Cathy find a photograph of some relative that looks just like their mother. Chris is turned on by the photo. 

Quote

 

Now, that is what you call an hourglass figure. See the wasp waist, the ballooning hips, the swelling bosom? Inherit a shape like that, Cathy, and you will make a fortune.  


 

Cathy points out that the woman is wearing a corset. Chris is not at all concerned about that, saying that you can't squeeze out the top what isn't there. Gross. 

Chris decides that their mother is beautiful, but unknown strangers is just pretty. 

Cathy and Chris come across another room. It's a school room. The twins play on some old rocking horse thing. Carrie almost throws a tantrum because Cory got on the horse first. Cathy finds a book, opens it, and a bunch of bugs fall out of it. Christopher: 

Quote

 

Cathy, you're twelve, and it's time you grew up. Nobody screams to see a few bookworms. Bugs are a part of life. We humans are the masters, the supreme rulers over all. This isn't such a bad room at all.


 

Gag. 

They look out the windows, the twins throw temper tantrums about wanting to go outside, Chris makes some swings in the attic for them. Cathy goes on and on about him risking his life, and the twins only be satisfied for a few minutes. 

Then we are back on to "when we are rich." 

Quote

 

Golly-day, wow! We'd be able to have everything! Yet, yet, I was terribly troubled. . . that grandmother, something about her, the way she treated us, as if we didn't have a right to be alive. 


 

That's what religious fundamentalism does to a person. 

They wandered around until 2. Chris points out that even if they were to open the drapes, the windows face north. So what, Chris? Even indirect sun is better than no window at all. You are a pretentious jackass, Christopher Foxworth/Dollanganger. 

They bathe Cory and Carrie together, then Christopher talks to Cathy while she bathes. They have a discussion about no doing that again. Chris tells her to remember how much everything will be better when they are rich. 

Also from Chris: 

Quote

 

I've always wanted to be filthy rich so I can be a playboy for a while, only a little while, for Daddy said everybody should contribute something useful and meaningful to mankind, and I'd like to do that. But until I'm in college, and med school, I could sneak in a little fooling around until I settle down seriously. 


 

Cathy has a very long paragraph about wanting to ride horses and be a ballerina and eat ice cream and cheese all day. 

Oh and Chris doesn't want to be confused with daddy so he demands that Cathy call him Chris instead of Christopher. I think VC Andrews was just tired of typing out Christopher. I can't fault her for that one. 

Cathy gets out of the tub. She claims that her and Chris knew each other's bodies well, as they'd been looking at each other's naked bodies since she could remember. And her's is the best. It's "neater." (Which reminds of how later she goes through puberty and is obsessed with keeping everything "neat." 

After lunch, they twins throw more temper tantrums, these ones are full blown in comparison to the ones in the attic. I say go for it. Stop trying to be quiet and forgotten about. What are they going to do to you anyway? They both miss their momma. Maybe they should be allowed to scream and let the "servants" find them and rescue them. 

The twins take naps, Chris gathers books, Cathy is introspective. She didn't want scientific explanations to everything, she likes the ideas of fairies and witches and ogres. 

At dinner, the food isn't good and it's all lukewarm. The twins didn't like it. Carrie complains some more and that makes Cory eat less food than he would have otherwise. Carrie is really annoying, to be honest. 

Finally, mother arrives. And the room is a mess, Chris and Cathy are on a bed together looking at each other. They broke the rules. 

The next chapter is titled "Wrath of God" so I'm sure there will be punishments for their transgressions. 

Links to previous recaps 

  1. Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy"
  2. "The Road to Riches"
  3. "The Grandmother's House"

6


5 Comments


littlemommy

Posted

"Big trunks, fit for coffins."

Anvils, perfectly heavy for proper foreshadowing. ;)

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FloraDoraDolly

Posted

One thing I always wondered... What did they do with their garbage? Sure, some of it could have gone into the attic. But (SPOILER ALERT) these kids are locked up for over three years. That's a lot of food scraps (which would stink), empty toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles, old bloody bandaids and sanitary pads (after Cathy gets her period), packages and wrapping paper from Momma's lavish gifts, etc. Where did it all go?

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Posted

Well, after the toilet got backed up and Christopher cleared it with a hanger, didn't they shove all the rags they used to clean up in an old trunk? Even if the everyday trash left regularly, that particular trunk was always going to be nasty. :puke-front:

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Grimalkin

Posted

    Well, I broke down and got the book. I forgot so much. I am obsessed about the names carved in the desk in the attic school room. Johnathon and Adelaide. Were they attic kids too? Is the year carved the current year when they carved it, or the year they were born? Did he incest start with them? Is this  the inspiration for that episode of x-files that involves incest? 

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FloraDoraDolly

Posted

As far as I know, Jonathan and Adelaide never make another appearance in the series. (But I haven't read the new books that came out recently.) In "Garden of Shadows", a prequel written from the grandmother's POV, Corrine's two older brothers were tutored in the attic schoolroom when they were little. IIRC, it was some kind of family tradition. The kids were out of everyone's hair, plus the harsh attic environment was deemed to be good for building character. Malcolm (the grandfather from FITA) did not care for his sons and didn't want them around. He clashed with the older boy and thought the younger one was a sissy. But he adored his little princess Corrine.

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