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A collaborative effort from Free Jinger members to review and recap books, movies and tv shows.

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Flowers in the Attic: Table of Contents

Here is the Table of Contents for Flowers in the Attic. New recaps will be linked as they are hastily written.  Part One Prologue and Good-Bye-Daddy.
The Road to Riches
The Grandmother's House
The Attic
The Wrath of God
Momma's Story
Minutes Like Hours
To Make a Garden Grow
To Make a Garden Grow (Part Two)
Holidays
Holidays (Part Two)
The Christmas Party
Christopher's Exploration and Its Repercussions
The Long Winter, and Spring, and Summer
Part Two Growing Up, Growing Wiser
Growing Up, Growing Wiser (Part Two)
A Taste of Heaven
A Taste of Heaven (Part Two)
One Rainy Afternoon
To Find a Friend
At Last, Momma
At Last, Momma (Part II)
Our Mother's Surprise (Part 1)
Our Mother's Surprise (Part 2)
Our Mother's Surprise (Part 3) My Stepfather
Color All Days Blue, But Save One for Black
Escape
Endings, Beginnings Epilogue

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Our Mother's Surprise" (Part 3)

PART THREE OF THIS NEVER ENDING CHAPTER The next section of this chapter is nine paragraphs.  Cathy's "bright" dreams are interrupted by nightmares of her grandmother cutting off her breasts. Even when Cathy is sleeping, she is thinking about her breasts. In my head, I just simultaneously compared VC Andrews to GRRM's idea of what women think about and wondered how big VC's breasts are. Unfortunately, google image search only returns headshots, and I'm not putting the phrase "VC Andrews breast size" into my google search history, especially at work. Even if I do control the google accounts, I don't have access to the ISP. For real, though, all of that popped into my head at the same time. For those of you unfamiliar with the Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin, while fairly competent at writing women characters, has this idea that women are constantly thinking about their breasts and nipples. Well, young women, anyway. Women with children are often hysterical. Or Cersei Lannister.  Back to our hero. Cathy is sleeping poorly. Chris "sleepily" stumbles over to hold Cathy's hand and ask about her nightmares. She believes that the dreams are precognition and psychic. I agree with Chris that dreams don't mean anything. (Sorry! I think they might "mean" something in that they are processing your memory and emotions, but they don't foretell the future.) in the dream, Momma comes in and cuts out Cathy's heart, while covered in diamonds. I am reminded of Tobias stealing Lindsay's diamond cream.  And now I'm sad, because I'm thinking of how all of my favorite shows are ruined by fandom people. Skip this next paragraph if you don't care  about anything other than FITA, because I'm going way off topic.  So I started looking at dedicated subreddits to my favorite shows, and I'm starting to just hate fans. I can't seem to find both the volume and quality of discussion elsewhere, ever since TWOP disappeared. For shows like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" or "BoJack" or "Arrested Development" it's just kind of where I ended up looking. I was kind of hoping for discussion about "where do you think the show is going." But it's more like "THIS SHOW IS TERRIBLE" and "WOMEN WRITERS RUINED IT" Basically, I've been annoyed about this since last week's IASIP episode aired. There will be comments about how they shouldn't have pandered to the SJWs, and you can click on the user name, and it's inevitably some jerk who posts in The_Donald and hates women and minorities and has this bizarre view of the world. It's fascinating, but it's also profoundly irritating. Because I think IASIP has always been political. It's a show about degenerate characters doing weird things, but it's always topical. Anyway, so Tobias and his diamond cream reminded me how much I miss Portia De Rossi on Arrested Development, and how horrid fans were after season 4, talking about how she didn't look good anymore. Which was bullshit because she looked great, and also bullshit because why can't she just be funny! No one thinks Tobias is attractive, but he's funny.  Ok, back to Flowers. Chris listens to Cathy recount the dreams and finally decides that they must escape! (Yay!) Then he goes into a whole lot of sexist nonsense.  Well, as long as there's a plan.  He then kisses her on the lips.  ACT BREAK  This chapter is never going to end. I want to get to the sex. I have my gifs ready.   They decide that they need to get a key to the room, and somehow they "know" that the key to the room is also the master key to every room. They can't use the sheets tied together because of the twins. They don't think that the grandmother will ever be careless enough to put the key down. Her "hateful gray dresses" have pockets. Momma is a terrible person who cuts all of the pockets out of her clothing, so she is extra terrible, but also more likely to leave the key laying (lying? I don't know.) about.  Cathy describes how terrible Corrine is again. Corrine is coming to visit two to three times a month, bringing gifts. The gifts are usually ill fitting clothes. Cathy needs a bra, asks for one constantly, and never gets one. She gets ballet shoes. Momma doesn't ask about the twins. Momma is awful and I hate her. It's mentioned that Cathy brings up all the small illnesses, how they all have headaches, craps, and vomiting. Momma lectures them about food safety, in between telling them about Bart and all the wonderful parties she's attended. It's fucked up.  They steal the key and make a mold of it in a bar of soap. She didn't notice.  ACT BREAK.  It took three days to make a key. The process is described in one paragraph, but not really. They used wood from the attic, they had metal, but nothing to strong enough to shape metal. Who knows what they used to whittle down the wood. Who knows what kind of wood they used. Who cares, right? It's not about "how to escape an attic" it's about "how to fall in love with your brother."  Which brings me back to A Song of Ice and Fire. I wonder if GRRM ever met VC Andrews or read these books.  Game of Thrones came out in 1996, ten years after VCs death, but that doesn't mean anything. Or was incest just a pop culture thing in the 70s? Pushing boundaries and all? (I'm going to assume he took 10 years to write GoT, as it seems to be a good 5-10 years between books. Where is Winds, George? I NEED it.)  They get a key that works. Instead of just fleeing, they decide to plan it out. Chris decides they need money, and to get money, they have to steal it from their "mother, her husband, and the grandmother." Good luck. Cathy worries about the twins being whipped and being starved again. They know that Momma will leave to go party, and she doesn't count money or change. The plan is to wait for her to tell them about the next part. This happens. Turns out that Corrine hates living in this house, but Bart would rather stay home. Considering that Bart, presumably, works for a living, this seems fair. It also explains how she can run out and buy random shit and schlep it up to the attic without him asking questions.  I think Bart might have married her for her money. Evidence: He's younger. He's living in a client's home. He married a woman who locked four children in the attic. His mother-in-law can't possibly be very welcoming. There is a butler who makes the Maxwells look like fun.  That's another Act Break. I guess the rest of this chapter will have to wait. UGH. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Our Mother's Surprise" (Part 2)

I have gained weight and my underwire is poking into my boobs. It's very uncomfortable, and yet, I'm ever so grateful that I have a bra at all, unlike Cathy.  Cathy is waxing poetic about love, as many people have done throughout history. It's raining. The twins are watching TV. Chris and Cathy are laying on the old mattress in the attic, reading a book that their mother brought up from the downstairs library. They argue over each other's reading style.  The book they are reading is likely made up for the novel. It's a book about star-crossed lovers who are looking for purple grass that they are already standing on. Because of the romantic nature of this book, and the unhappy ending, Cathy slams it shut and hurls it at a wall. She then rages out at her brother. He neckbeards at her about symbolism and they launch into a rather strange discussion and misplaced discussion about "romantic trash" literature, sexism in writing, and sexuality. During this exchange, we are reminded that Cathy has a bosom. Over her bosom, she is wearing white leotards (which she is wearing in a presumably filthy dusty attic, and washing in a bathtub, so while they are described as white, I'm going to picture them as dull grey with shiny spots from overwearing.) Over her leotards (more than one?) she has a short wool skirt and a wool cardigan. Great. I dress exactly like Cathy Dollanger, but I wear black instead of white. And my wool skirt is plaid.  They kiss. Eyes meld and held. There is nervous laughter.  The New Yorker has a piece about this book and chapter, and I recommend it.  Cathy decides that she is a sour lemon, contaminating Chris, who is a "barrel of good."  She decides that to make him feel "manly" she needs to give him a haircut. Holy gender roles! She says that "right now, your hair is long and pretty, like mine" and he disagrees that Cathy's hair is pretty, and says maybe it was, before the tarring. Way to make your sister feel great, Chris. Is this part of that negging thing I read about?  We learn that Chris is sleeping with a lock of Cathy's hair. It's just sort of mentioned, as though it's a perfectly normal thing. I'm not sure if this book is discussing that like it's normal as an intentional part of Cathy's narration and the general fucked-up-ness of their lives, or if VC Andrews thinks it's somehow romantic.  Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew.  Chris tell her again that he's never said her hair was pretty. She rubs his cheek and thinks about how he needs to shave.  Neither Cathy, nor Carrie have had their hair trimmed since they came to Foxworth Attic. Now Cathy is claiming that only the top of hers had been snipped off to signify submission to "a mean old woman made of steel." Which makes me question again the whole "tarring" chapter, but whatever.  A line from VC Andrews pops up here.  I have to admit, I'm always a little worried about hair-cutting scenes, ever since "The Color Purple." I don't think I would cut anyone's hair, but especially not a man's. How weird is that? It seems so oddly intimate, before we get to the fact that I will likely associate it with rape for the rest of my life. Fortunately I live in a world where anyone can pop on down and get a haircut by someone with a license and not expect me to mangle up their hair. For now. Gilead could still happen.  Chris's hair hangs below his shoulders, she tries not to take too much. Cathy uses a silver backed mirror with her initials to show him her work. Apparently, she received a sterling silver set of a brush, mirror, and comb for her last birthday. She has to hide it from the Grandmother, of course.  Chris thinks he looks like Prince Valiant. Which. Um.  He calls her "Catherine Doll" which is creepy, because the whole "Dresden Dolls thing" is creepy to me. She says Prince Valiant should be lucky to look like him, and I probably agree. Then she lays it on reeeeel think with a "handsome, manly, blond brother"  OK, VC, you can go to the salon and become blonde if that's what you want. It's OK.  Chris "pounces" and chases her about the attic, threatening to cut her hair. If she gave him the haircut above, I can see why he wants revenge.  This leads to her tripping and him stabbing her with the scissors. How do you not know that running with scissors is a no-no?  Ask your mom for some more up-to-date medical journals or something. Never mind. I'm sure the medical journals at the time were still spouting the benefits of cigarettes. Then again, maybe cigarettes would be preferable to arsenic donuts.  Chris goes and gets medical supplies, Cathy worries about her sweater. I get you, Cathy, for once.  After patching her up, he leans over her, gazing into her eyes, seriously and intense. She is "in thrall," which is a word that means "a servant or captive" but in this case means "the state of being in someone's power." Which is gross. LIke this book.  She sees the suffering in her captor's eyes, which are kaleidoscopic and rainbowed. She draws his head down to her breast as she has seen her mother do??? WTF He then BLAMES HER - "why did you run? Because you ran, I had to chase. I was only teasing. I wouldn't cut one strand from your head; it was just something to do, to have fun. And you were wrong when you said I thought your hair was pretty. It's more than just pretty. I think you may grow on your head the most glorious hair in the world."  I'll leave that and allow you to make your own connections to the real world and the "it was a joke" excuse.  The lay there, with Chris on her bare breast, she pretends to not notice him stroking it. He kisses her nipple. She wonders why it feels so strange and thinks about the romance novel they read together. She says "I can't imagine them doing what comes next" (breathlessly, of course.) He wonders if Cathy knows what comes next. She does, "sort of." She asks him the same question. He laughs, and says he learned at school, in the boy's restroom.  I wonder what their relationship would be like if their father hadn't died and they attended school like normal. Chris would probably grow up and be a know-it-all condescending doctor who dismisses women's pain. Cathy would likely be rather self-centered and superficial. But also, their lifestyle was likely unsustainable regardless, so I wonder if there would be some hard truths in their future? Perhaps lots of sibling fights where he makes fun of her and she makes fun of him.  She says "you do think i'm pretty" and he moans, sits up, and stares down at her breasts. She cut off the tops of the too-small (white) leotards so he sees too much. He fastens her sweater, reminds her that she is his sister and that's weird and wrong, and reminds her that they need to check on the twins. They talk about sin.  Cory is playing on his banjo because that's a super quiet activity that no one in the house will notice. Carrie sings, Chris plays guitar. We've got a family band in the attic! They sing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" together without actually saying the name of the song because song rights.  Cory mentions that Mamma never noticed Cory's pet mouse and wonders why. Everyone is sad. Chris "brightly" explains the "new husband" aspect of her relationship. I wonder if "not telling your husband about your four minor children from a previous husband" is grounds for an annulment, because if not, Bart is really being screwed here.   Cory calls Cathy out about the blood on her shirt, they lie about it being paint. Chris says, and I am not joking, "I want to look at TV while Cathy prepares dinner." and then orders her to put on a clean shirt.  That night, Cathy thinks a lot about sex and love, and she decides that what she sees in his eyes makes her aroused. It takes five paragraphs to come to that conclusion, including some thinking about sin and the grandmother.  Act Break!

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Our Mother's Surprise" (Part 1)

Chris and Cathy go another 10 days without seeing their "mother." During these 10 days, they speculate for hours about why she went to Europe. They think of it as a punishment, so when she finally does show up again, they don't demand to be let out. They are "quiet, timid, and accepting." They believe they can not escape using the sheets, because the twins go hysterical on the roof.  Because they are so "respectful," "momma" laughs and spins around, telling them how HAPPY she is. She begs them to guess what happened.  Christopher suggests that perhaps the Grandfather has died. This annoys mommy dearest who says  Cathy reacts in a predictable manner with a dull "why don't you just tell us. We'll never be able to guess, we don't know much about your life anymore." If this were me, I would have added in a "because you haven't visited in 10 days, and prior to that it was months, including a 10 day period where we resorted to eating/drinking Christopher's blood, plus Grandmother dumped tar in my hair, the twins aren't growing, I'm being deprived of my constitutional right to an education, under Virginia's constitution, article 8, section 3, and also it's very boring! I miss my friends, I miss my bike, I miss being able to run and the twins deserve to play and they also deserve school. Can't you just drop us off at a fire station or something? We promise we'll pretend that we don't speak English or have amnesia, we don't care."  Anyway, so shocker, "Momma" has married. Chris and Cathy are unsurprised.  Ew.  This news, coupled with Momma's voice, causes Cathy to feel as though a "little gray bird of panic" has fluttered in her rib cage. It's a forced, terrible metaphor that makes less sense the more I think about it. (Why am I still thinking about it?) It's a gross mental picture.  MOTY Corrine wants her estranged children to be happy for her. Maybe they would be, if you had not LOCKED THEM IN A ROOM FOR YEARS ON END. They would have been introduced to their stepfather in an appropriate manner. How are you even going to tell him, Corrine? When? How do you start that conversation? So, "Bart, dharling, I've got a secret and it's simply horrible." Bart: "oh, corrine, you know i love you and your money until the ends of the earth" Corrine: "you'll hate me I know. (heavy sigh), I suppose, it just can not wait anymore." Bart: "love, what IS it?" (embrace)  Corrine: (break embrace) "You'll never understand, but I must share this with you as it weighs heavily upon my heart. My love. Remember when I was away from Foxworth Hall?" Bart: (Cautious) "yes, my pet" (holds hand dramatically) Corrine: "I was married"  Bart: "It's a new world out there! I love you no matter who was in your bed before me! I might have expected it, a woman of your beauty and height. Oh Corrine, I am so sorry you felt you had to hide that from me, I would have expected it. Does your mother know?"  Corrine: "She knows. There is more, my love. I have four children whom you've never met. They live with their grandmother. I miss them terribly, but they also remind me of him, and they are quite comfortable where they are. Do you think less of me?" Bart: (jokingly) "as long as you didn't lock them in a closet to starve. We all make hard choices in life, and this is your path. I love you unconditionally. Someday we'll go get those kids back, and I will love them as my own because they are yours"  Corrine looks off into the distance.  I suppose I was premature with that soap opera moment, as Corrine tells Cathy (while smiling) that Bart has been in love with her (Corrine, not Cathy) for a long time, though he was an incel loving that bachelor life (totally not code for gay in 1950). Corrine had to beg her father to be "allowed" to remarry. While she is emoting her woes all over her teenage daughter, Corrine is "nervously working" a string of "genuine pearls." Good news, everyone, she was allowed to remarry AND inherit. Gots to keep that MONAY.  Cathy is aware through body language that Momma is lying to her about the amount of love she has for Bart in comparison to money  herself Christopher the Elder, and changes the subject.  They talk about the gifts, and Momma segues into Bart's family and background. More talk about the "genuine pearls" which are on a string, being twisted around and I'm sure there is some sort of metaphor here I'm missing but It's dumb, just like the phrase "genuine pearls."  Momma asks Cory if he likes the boats and tries to talk to Carrie about dolls, but the twins talk to her like she is a stranger.  Cathy asks a probing question: Does Corrine's new husband know about the children. I bet you can guess the answer. And of course Corrine doesn't like being asked that question. I question what kind of mother she REALLY was before they went into the attic.  We also find out that Bart is also Malcolm's attorney. Which seems like a conflict of interest when there are ridiculous clauses in the inheritance, like "my daughter shall not inherit if her marriage to my brother/son produces children" even though in that case the estate would pass to the spouse, who is still living. Corrine would get nothing when he dies, only what her mother would let her have.    Cathy wants to say that a man should know when his wife has four children from a previous marriage, but Chris is an incredibly useless human being who glares "meanly" at Cathy, so she shuts up. Cathy prays for a hot minute and we get an act break. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "At Last, Momma" (Part II)

Guess who's back?

Back again.  Momma's back.  Tell your friends.  Oh, wait, Chris and Cathy don't have friends, because their selfish, terrible, inconsiderate mother (who is out-of-this world beautiful & wonderful and smells great and wears flimy negligee while interacting with her children) locked them in a room in Foxworth Hall.  In case you were interested, Corrine is wearing a "beautiful lightweight suit, with soft gray fur at the cuffs and around the neck of the jacket."  Corrine yammers on about missing them, wondering why they aren't so excited to see her, and she's got presents and excuses and she's just a full paragraph of terrible. She ends with "you didn't suffer, did you?"  Cathy is feeling conflicted,because she loves her mother and wants to trust her.  Chris's voice has dropped and he tries to be very diplomatic, saying that of course they missed her but it was wrong of her to stay away for so long. Is anyone going to be like "Mom, we feel like shit, the twins aren't growing, and by the way, our grandmother didn't feed us for 10 days? Look the scar on Chris's arm from where he fed us with his blood." or even "hey, in case you didn't know, we are children and children need to be in school" or "hi mom, can you please get me a bra?"  Anyway, so Corrine is upset at Chris, and asks him if something went wrong.  He responds with an impassioned plea for her to really look at them, and realize how much they have grown up in the attic.  They argue and talk about love. Chris feels that he has to love his mother, and it goes on for several paragraphs. In short, they love her, but they have had enough of being in the attic. He demands that she let them out of the room. He offers to let her off, scot free. She'll never have to see them again. Cathy thinks about the starvation, the tar, and the blood drinking. Cathy decides that what Chris is saying and the way he is saying it to Corrine is her fault. I'm not sure why she thinks that what he does has anything to do with her, but apparently the mom has also decided that Chris's behavior is Cathy's fault.  So convoluted. Cathy starts yelling at Corrine as well, pointing out the obvious - the twins are gaunt and have dull hair, their eyes are "hollowed out" and look unhealthy. Corrine doesn't like this, turning away and crying. Corrine manipulates the children, textbook style. She turns it around, pointing out that the children agreed to wait in the attic until the patriarch's death. She promises rewards in the future. Cathy is touched by Corrine's monologuing, but isn't buying it. Chris is quiet. Cathy follows suit.  Corrine cries about her children being ungrateful. Says that she is the only person who cares about them. They hug their mother and apologize to her.  Pardon me, but  God damn it.  Corrine is such a bitch.  Corrine looks awful, btw, while she's being stone cold. Mascara is dripping down her face, her lipstick is smeared, her hair is a mess. Cathy points this out. I can't say I wouldn't be equally petty if I were narrating a book about my imprisonment.  Corrine ignores everyone but Chris, and tells him that she purchased a set of encyclopedias for him. They are bound in genuine red leather, tooled in twenty-four-karat gold around four sides, and hubbed-spined a full half-inch outward. They will have his name on them, but she can't mail them to him directly.  Cathy is at least smart enough to think about the cost of the books and how that money could be better used in their escape from Foxworth Prison funds, but then realizes that Chris really wants them.  How much the world has changed! When i was a kid, we had encyclopedias in the hallways, AND a CD-ROM encyclopedia that took equally if not longer to use. These genuine leather bound encyclopedias that cost Corrine thousands are now worth nothing. Momma Corrine raises her head "regally" and turns to leave. She then tells them the following:  That's not how this works, Corrine. Turns out that the mother-of-the-year didn't speak, touch, hug, or even really look at the twins. So Cathy sucks it up and pretends to be happy for them. Carrie is concerned that she looks funny, and didn't grow. Cathy lies and tells her she grew lots. They open their gifts.  New books, new toys, new games, new puzzles. Corrine knew their tastes and hobbie, but not their sizes. She also brought Cathy books she's already read.  Cory was gifted a banjo. Not even going to question the logic here. Corrine is all "oh, it's so hard for me to sneak gifts to you" ... but here's a banjo that I wrapped. Never mind me, servants, mind your business, I'm just carrying a stack of wrapped gifts to the attic, nothing to see here, it's not weird. Cory immediately knows how to play it and Carrie sings along. If only Corrine wasn't a terrible person, they could have managed to make money by becoming a family band!  Cathy is lectured by her brother. She is too upset to eat the candy, and he yells at her about playing the martyr and suffering needlessly.  The dresses her mother got her don't fit in the bust, because we can't go a chapter without being reminded that Cathy has breasts. I am glad that Lifetime decided to do this recently, otherwise it might have ended up as a limited HBO series; and no one needs that.  Chris is a complete ass while Cathy is upset. He tells her:  Thankfully, Cathy yells at him. But not in the "destroyed by words" way I want to yell at his smug, stupid, douche-bro face. She tells him to shut up, and that she shouldn't have to point out that she's no longer a tween, it's obvious that her mother hasn't looked at her. Unfortunately, she closes her statement with "what you need is a jock strap - and some sense in your head that doesn't come from a book!" Which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Cathy flounces out and starts dancing in the attic. After pointing out that she hates everyone and everything and wants to be dead. Well, she is a teenager, so some of that is hormonal and some of it is situational, and she's entitled to her feelings. She dances so hard and fast that she falls and hurts herself. She struggles on her now-bum knee and climbs out onto the roof and contemplates throwing herself into the rose bushes. (Where there be thorns!) And imagines a future where the mother and grandmother make up a story about a local girl climbing up the house and dying, and then Corrine feeling so bad that she lets Chris and the twins out. Cathy then wonders "what if momma doesn't care" and worries about the twins. Cathy climbs back up the roof and lays outside well into night, getting colder and colder. She ponders God and Heaven.  Eventually Chris comes up and gives her a jacket. He tells her that the twins have eaten dinner & they only pretended to eat all of the candy. She's like "wtf is wrong with you" in her head, but is unable to voice her concerns. He lectures her about not saying "ugly things." Cathy points out that what she said is true, and it's what she feels, and she knows he feels the same way. He says that he has never wished himself dead, and that she shouldn't say such things or even think about death.  Fuck that. Stop trying to make mental health about "smiling more." You will be a shitty doctor, Christopher Dollanganger Foxworth Jr.  Eventually, Chris tells her that he isn't stupid and he knows that she's more of a mother to the twins than Corrine. Since this is a "gothic horror romance" novel, we learn that his voice is "gritty, hushed, and deep." He also spoke "without bitterness, only regret - just the flat, emotionless way a doctor tells his patient he has a terminal illness."  How would she even know about the "flat emotionless way a doctor tells his patients he has a terminal illness?" She's been locked in an attic for several years, medical dramas aren't really a thing yet, and as far as I know, they have lived a pretty charmed life and never heard a doctor diagnose anyone with a terminal illness.  Cathy also points out "what a perfect way to strike back at Momma and the grandparents." She decides that God has closed his eyes to everything the day Jesus was put on the cross. She also realizes that her Daddy would see her and feels shame. Chris demands that she look at him.  She then apologizes to him, saying she didn't mean it, and she's just so afraid all the time and how she wants to do things, outside things. They hold each other.  Finally, she points out that they have to take the initiative, and points out that old adage that many of our fundies forget: "God helps those who help themselves."  Chris pathetically says "I'll give it some thought, though, as Momma said, we could come any day into that fortune."   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "At Last, Momma"

I am on the second paragraph of this chapter and it seems like the last chapter was a short story she wrote about this family and jammed it in. This chapter opens with a reminder of the whipping, but no lasting repercussions. Just that Cathy & Chris never discussed them. She often catches him staring at her. (PSST, that's because he's a teenage boy with no role models, a neckbeard spirit, and "nice guy" vibes)  Paragraph two is where the reader is once again reminded that Cathy has breasts.  Chris has also hit puberty, but I don't really feel like describing that. NO WAIT OMG.  ...  Cathy has a sudden epiphany and stops polishing the school desks. I'm reminded of my old boss (both old as in, prior, and old as in WHY ARE YOU STILL WORKING) who once made fun of our ED at the time for cleaning his "work surface" which always confused me. Cathy turns to look at Cory and Carrie and is astounded because she realized that they haven't grown much in 2 years and four months. "Their bodies seemed frail flower stems too weak to support the blossoms of their heads"  Christopher seems to think that they need to go outside and get sun. I suppose they could be lacking vitamin D. I don't know if that means that they will stop growing. Mostly it makes people depressed and susceptible to bone pain and cardiovascular events. This is where I stopped to take my supplements, as pretty much everyone in the northern hemisphere is Vit D deficient. Also, weirdly enough, Australia. Of course, if you go outside in Aus, you'll get skin cancer from the sun and/or be eaten/poisoned/attacked by creatures that live no where else. Like the Blue Ring Octopus, or the evil and DEADLY Drop Bear. Or you'll just get Chlamydia from a koala.  The older Dollangers decide to drag the little 'uns outside. I guess they are six. Cathy... "I leaned to heft Carrie's slight weight." Kind of sounds like she's calling her six year old malnourished sister fat.  It's Thursday, so the "servants" are off and spending their day in town. Supposedly it's "safe" to use the back part of the roof. The kids wake up and flail around and panic and scream. I don't understand why they don't want to go on the roof. Carrie bites and hits Cathy. They decide that trying to force them out endangers all of them. They measure them in the school room, looks like the young'uns have only grown two inches in height in two years. Cathy brags about growing "many, many inches between five and seven". YES! I now know that the twins are seven. They should be around 48 inches and 50-60 lbs, but I'm a USA-ian so adjust those weights as needed. Cathy knows that her twin sibs were smaller at birth, five pounds each, with Carrie having an ounce on Cory.  Cathy is bawling her eyes out into her brother's chest and hating her mother for ruining her children's lives, while simultaneously comparing the twins to plants and trembling in her brother's embrace. She decides that once they are FREE they will catch up. Oh, Cathy,  you are so naive.  She wonders if it is money or love that makes the world go round.  Let's ask Liza Or perhaps Meryl J-Lo? LMM That's the act break, folks. Stay tuned for part two. It's gonna be good long.   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "To Find a Friend"

This installment of the bestest ever book series opens with a scintillating passage.  Isn't that just the definition of scintillating? Clever, skillful writing.  Chris yells "What the hell is going on now?" which is another one of Grandmother's rules. The rules that have been conveniently been forgotten as they watch TV. I don't see them staring at books they can't read for five hours a day, anymore.  Cory is upset because one of the mousetraps has worked, and there is a mouse who is chewing off his own foot. Mice are SO gross. I mean, they are cute when the have the little white bodies and are on TV, but actual mice in houses are always weird brown lumps that scurry around and are gross. The first time I had one in my house I literally jumped on a chair, like a weirdo from a 60s movie. It was instinctual. But, of course, Cory wants Cathy to save the mouse. Cory has never had a pet before. Cory, sweetie, at this point, you ARE a pet. You are locked into a room and your mother takes you out once in a while to look at and play with, and then she puts you away when she grows bored. Maybe VC Andrews is a better writer than I give her credit for?  All punctuation errors in the previous quote are as written in the book. And, no, he doesn't have everything money can buy.  He doesn't have healthcare! Just like millions of Americans.  We get a page and a half of Chris and Cathy's efforts to macgyver a solution to save the mouse. Unlike The Lost World: Jurassic Park, they did not set the wild animal's leg with gum. Which is a much more interesting book than this, though not without it's problems. One of which was setting an infant T-Rex's leg with chewing gum. This scene made it into the film, though the characters were changed.  Carrie interrupts often to yell at Cathy and hit Chris. Discipline, Carrie, discipline.  Speaking of discipline, Grandmother has entered the battle room again. This time they are all still in their nightclothes, no ropes to conceal their bodies from each other. They have unwashed faces, tousled hair, and BARE FEET OMG.  Speaking of "shoes in the house" I ended up reading a "spirited discussion" this morning on Reddit. It went about as well as that conversation topic went over here. How weirdly privileged are we (people in general) to have so much emotional attachment around shoes?  It gets worse! The beds aren't made. They left clothes laying on chairs! Chris is in the bathroom with Carrie!  What about the failure of the Grandmother to provide adequate places for their clothes? Or, you know, beds for four children instead of just two?  Carrie's eyes go wide.  (Carrie's eyes are BLUE because apparently BLUE eyes are best in VC's World.)  Chris picks up the terrified 6-8 year old and shoves her in Cathy's lap, saying he's going to look for a birdcage for the mouse. Grandmother remains silent.  Grandmother purses her lips and looks at Cory with stone-cold eyes. She tells him that a pet like that suits him.  It takes two weeks to win over the mouse's affection. (Taming him, if you will.) I'm still a bit grossed out by it. By a bit, I mean They talk about the damn mouse some more, Carrie yells about it being in the dollhouse. No sign of their mother.   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic:"One Rainy Afternoon"

One Rainy Afternoon (Page 269 Kindle)  This stock photo makes me laugh. Completely unrelated to anything happening in the book.  He keeps coming up in my searches, and I was going to write a story about him, but I'm feeling uninspired. I suppose I still can. I'm going to call him "Gary." Gary is a mans-man, he's not a beta soy boy cuck, he likes to forge metal and drive a truck. He's the guy that Donald Trump aspires to be, despite his disproportionately small hands. After Gary makes a metal ring, he flexes his muscles and ... I can never be a 4Chan porn writer. I'm looking at this photo like "you are unsafe! Put a shirt on! Put eye protection on! Why is that forge just a random pile of burning ash? Where are your gloves? Are there kids running around making those chalk marks? What even is the giant circle of metal?  Right. Back to the book. Chris is holding open the tapestries, which are heavy. Please take them down and wash them in a washing machine, Concrete Boobs. As you can tell, it's raining. Chris is waiting for the four o'clock train. Cathy is sitting "cross-legged" on the bed she shares with Carrie. I actually wonder if "cross-legged" was in the original edition, or if the common 70s term for that position got switched. If someone is editing 37 year old books for non-offensive language, then we should definitely be concerned with 35 year old allegations of sexual assault.  Cathy is scrapbooking. She's scrapbooking her wedding, to be exact.  Pre-Pinterest life must have been hard. Cutting and pasting with scissors and glue. Eww. No Thank You. Her life is mapped out. Career, husband, children when retired. This is a side note so she can describe her future bathroom. She lives in an attic with three siblings so I'll let her have this dream. Which, after looking up "emerald glass" I may actually share. Her description of the bathroom leads into a long description of how she will smell and how she will feel getting out of the tub without anyone bothering her. It's almost touching, if a bit dramatic and self-centered. I suppose she's allowed to be a little selfish, she's been raising her siblings for literally years by now.  She tries to talk to Chris about escape. He's gripping the curtains and angry. Her impulse is to run and kiss him, and cuddle his head on her breast. Dear god, you have to get out of this room. Momma's been ghosting them for two months. They talk about where she would go if anywhere. This is a conversation I've had a lot in my life. Cathy would like to go somewhere warm, like a sunny beach, which she describes in excruciating detail, because no one has ever been to a beach before. I'd go to Hawaii, specifically the same VRBO we were in before. Except I can't, because it's now literally a pile of lava rocks. Next option would be to find a very similar place but not in the lava flow zone, buy it, and stay there forever and forget about the rest of the US, while still reaping the small benefits of being a citizen with a passport that can go most places? I don't know, maybe Belize or Mexico or Canada? I would love to live in a warm place but I also like the cold. Chris wants to surf and describes it oddly.  She tells him to get away from the windows and he throws a hissy fit, which includes whining about the food. Cathy says that it's not worth it to suffer like this for money. Chris's face is red and he yells at her about his education and how if they run away he'll never be an MD, and how the only jobs he can get to support them would be "fruit-picker," dishwasher, short-order cook. (Is that the same as a line cook?) He's in a tight spot, but duh, if you don't leave the attic you'll never get into med school. Also, you'll never get in because you missed 4 years of secondary ed that you can never get back. Cathy yells back that she can work too, and she tries to helpmeet him.  Chris, being a neckbeard, questions what she can do in a way that I am reading as "what can a girl with no skills do?" But before the fight heats up, duh duhnnnn dum! Grandmother enters the battle  room. He refuses to move from the window and berates his elder for calling him boy. Concrete Boobs tells Christopher that she HATES the name Christopher! SHOCKING. She's spitting out some plot points.  Stress can cause illness, but to say that your daughter caused her father's heart disease is a bit much. There are genetic markers and besides, Corrine is the victim here! She's the one groomed by her creepy uncle Christopher.  Chris points out that they are not to blame for their parents sins. Concrete Boobs retorts that they ARE to blame for what they did. He wonders what is sinful about being locked in this room. He yells at her, Cathy tells him to stop, Concrete Boobs (CB) slams the door as she leaves. Chris tells her that they can hide from her in the attic as she's scared of the stairwell. (Did this come up before? I'm sure it must have. I know it came up when they were arguing over Cathy's hair, but do we know why CB is scared of the stairwell? Is it normal for grown people to be scared of stairs? Is she a horse?) Grandmother comes back with a switch. I bet none of you saw that coming.  She grabs Chris's arm and hisses that if he hides in the attic, no one will eat for a week! Oh, and she'll whip Cathy as well.  We cut to a calendar. Chris will be 17 in a month. He is small, compared to the huge frame of O'le Concrete Boobs. The twins are clinging to each other. Grandmother drags Chris into the bathroom, where she demands that he strips and lean over the bathtub. Carrie pleads for Cathy to make CB stop. Carrie, it's time you understood power.  Cathy monologues about how they are "like one" and blah blah blah. She screamed everytime the whip hit. How soundproofed is this room? Cathy keeps screaming as Chris comes out of the bathroom in a towel swathed around his hips. Cory bites Grandmother's leg, she kicks Cory, Cathy is told to go into the bathroom and strip, and Cathy goes with:  "I'm going to get even one day, old woman."  "There's going to come a day when you are going to be the helpless one, and I'm going to hold the whip in my hands. And there's going to be food in the kitchen that you are never going to eat, for, as you incessantly say, God sees everything, and he as his way of working justice, an eye for an eye is his way, Grandmother!"   Grandmother with the knife slashed mouth says "Never speak to me again!" which is not what I call great grandparenting. Then again, your daughter was groomed by an older uncle whom she married so maybe it's not just a Grandparent Fail. The twins are screaming, Cathy's curled up trying to protect her breasts (I think VC or the editor just wanted to squeeze in yet another use of the word "breasts")  After calling CB a monster, Cathy is knocked unconscious, soap opera style.  In real life, this generally means a brain injury, but this is fiction, so she'll be fine. Concussions, lingering effects of malnutrition, being stunted educationally and socially, eh, they'll all be fine as long as Chris goes to Med School. I don't think I'd be comfortable with my doctor being married to his sister. but that's me. She wakes up from being knocked on conscious in yet another grandmother fail, and she cleans up Chris' back while he cleans her cuts and bruises. Sleeping Beauty just happens to be playing on the record player in the attic, which does not drift into the rest of the house at all.  They are in the same bed, on their sides, under a sheet, with their eyes locked. Caressing each other softly. Singing (?) and kissing, and talking about how it's wrong. There is bitter laughter. It's gross. Gross language, lots of swelling and turmoil. Then there is the forced Sleeping Beauty Aurora metaphor.  Next Chapter: "To Find a Friend" Will they get out of the attic? (no) Will they meet a housekeeper who promises false hope? (no.) Where are the twins? (who knows, probably in tupperware.) 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "A Taste of Heaven" (Part 2)

Oh boy, here we go again. To distract myself from the rage inducing political nonsense that is going on (We have SERIOUS issues in the US, and it's not just guns and the economy and Trump, it's a serious undercurrent of anti-intellectual propaganda and ridiculousness) I have decided, once again, to reduce my blood pressure by laughing at the absurdity of a novel about incest. Fun fact: My local newspaper won't let me use the word "incest" in the comment section, which is really fun when trying to explain what the Hyde Amendment actually does and does not do.  I digress. Guess where our heroes, Cathy and Chris are? If you guessed "the attic" I think you might be wrong. They are in the bedroom adjacent to the attic. Attic-adjacent. Chris is on his bed, staring at his sister. He apologizes for forgetting that she is so weak in the arms. Ass. That is not an apology, dick.  "The night lamp was burning with a rosy glow over in the corner." Their eyes met. So she met his eyes, as he was already staring at her. Where are the twins? This is terrible writing, are the twins just sleeping through all of this in separate beds? Who is beating them into submission, they should be trying to stay up late and yelling "you aren't my mom" at Cathy. Has VC Andrews met a six year old? (eight year old? It's been a week, I can't remember.)  Cathy is not sorry that they went out. Good. Go out again, this time with your siblings. Or don't. Just leave them. She continues to badger Chris with questions about their mother.  She's been gone over a month, never stayed away so long before. I think that might contradict what I just read. They discuss having children and how Cathy will never lock them away. Chris reminds her she doesn't want children. She says the most absurd thing:  Feminism has come so far in so many ways. Cathy - if you don't want kids, don't have them! If you do, have them! But don't do it for a man unless you also want to spend your days wiping spit and being touched by sticky hands and hearing screams for a year. Of course, perhaps you'll just go into debt like your mother and get yourself a nanny to raise them. Or die young, in a tragic accident, leaving your daughter alone to carry on your legacy. Who knows? Anything can happen when you are nothing more than a dream.  Chris tells her she's pretty and he knew she'd change her mind. Dick.  She thinks for a few paragraphs and we move on to the next chapter. Which should be good, it's called "One Rainy Afternoon." Enticing!  So much of this chapter could be condensed. If she wanted to show that they tried to leave and realized why it wasn't a great idea, fine. But having her nearly be unable to get back up isn't the way - she could still figure out a way to get the twins down (or have them climb down too, they are 6 or 8 not toddlers) and if they are leaving forever, it doesn't matter if they can't get back up.  The conversations could have all been shortened and combined into one, at the lake.  I do think that even though it was written in 79, setting it earlier makes sense. These kids weren't accustomed to modern tech, so they would be docile for a while with a TV. Me, I'd be going nuts if I was stuck with antenne tv only and no internet. Times sure have changed!  I really want to see the original film. It looks so soapy.   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "A Taste of Heaven" (Part 1)

This chapter is called "A Taste of Heaven." And that's all I have to say about that. Make your own jokes about heaven.  Cathy & Chris climb down the rope ladder. It's night, the moon is out. It takes less than ten minutes for her to climb down. She gets down and he hugs her close. Boundaries, Chris.  All the rooms of Foxworth Hall are dark, but the "servant's quarters" are bright yellow. I have written several snarky paragraphs about this but they might be taken wrong. Regardless, we have enough staff that lives on site that there are dedicated "quarters" for the "servants."  (Seriously, though, is this a former plantation or just a rich person's mansion? I don't know enough about southeast USA and will rectify that soon.)  Wooo Reference that I don't get at all! Is it The Simpsons? (no, because this book was published in 1979, and The Simpsons didn't come out until the late 80s early 90s, I still remember it being "controversial") Is it a reference to a certain Scottish Tragedy? I don't know.  Chris knows the way to the swimming hole because Momma had told them about it once, several years ago.  They cross over a bridge, holding hands, and they find the water at 10:30. This is NOT safe. I am 100% pro open water swimming, I think all kids should be exposed to swimming early, and I think it's a wonderful tool, especially in states with massive amounts of water, like anything on a coast, or Minnesota, or anything bordering a Great Lake, or ... well, people need water to survive so almost all cities are on some sort of river, lake, or coast. Its a method of transportation and fresh water is crucial to survival.   Fun Historical Fact: The Aleuts came from the Aleutian Islands, which is a chain of islands that stretch from the Alaskan Peninsula to Russia. They are windy, cold, and it rains all the time. Some of them have no fresh water. I can't imagine living in the "traditional" way of several families per subterranean home.  Anyway, so first the Russians invaded and made them all be Russian Orthodox, then the US came and was like "we need this land" and then the Japanese came and took some as POWs in WWII. Others were "relocated" to a cannery in Southeast Alaska, 30 miles from where we held our Nazi POWs. Guess who was treated nicer?  Back on topic!  Cathy says they have to swim in their underwear, but she doesn't own a bra. They dive in (in the DARK, which is dangerous, nor do they know anything about this body of water never having swam in it before). Chris jumps off some rocks and hits his head, is knocked unconscious and drowns. Oh, nope, he dives in, pretends to drown, swims under the water and pulls Cathy under. NO HORSEPLAY. STOP IT. DON'T MAKE ME USE MY WHISTLE. They splash around and sing at each other. Suddenly Cathy is tired and Chris has to help her out of the water, delicate flower that she is. They look at the stars and the fireflies. Cathy asks him questions about the fireflies and is astounded that he doesn't know everything. GAG.  k C&C realize that they are the same age as their parents when their parents met and fell in love. Chris's voice is hoarse. He tells Cathy that he used to see pretty girls at school and "fall in love" with her, but then realize that they were often stupid. Did they then dump you for a "chad?"  Cathy asks him if SHE is stupid and he *shudder* touches her hair and tells her no. He also tells her she's great, and then calls her "silly girl." They discuss their mother, while looking at "Polaris, the north star."  He becomes irritable at Cathy's incessant questioning about his feelings toward his mother. Yeah, Cathy, you are his little sister and you are together 24-7. Not that it's any excuse for him to be mean to you. She starts to question him about dating and claims that a girl of her age (14) is actually one year older than him (17). She also calls him "Mr Big Brain" which I don't think is normally how siblings communicate but I don't know for sure. He finally admits that he's mad as hell at his mother, and he misses having "a man" to talk about having feelings or whatever with. It's OK, Chris, you can miss your father. You can even say "I miss dad." Because it doesn't seem like anyone really cares about the death of their father anymore.  He's also upset that Cathy's hair is taking so long to grow back, for some (pervy) reason.  Cathy's white PJ pants are clinging to her and Chris's white jockey shorts are clinging to him. Seriously. We went from "i miss my dad" (without saying it) to "I miss your hair" to "our wet clothes are white and clinging to us." I think VC Andrews could have done quite well churning out romance novels.  They head back to Foxworth, and Cathy suggests making slings to carry the twins (who have to be almost 8 by now) and running away. Only, OH NO. Cathy slips on her way up. She's having a lot harder of a time going up than going down. I occasionally dabble in rock climbing and I think I have the opposite problem. Downclimbing is harder for me. But I also have not been starved. Nor have I ever started at the top, down climbed, and then climbed back up. I imagine the second leg would be much more difficult that way.  Couldn't they sneak into the house through the door?  Disable the lock? Overpower Ole Cement Boobs, grab the kids and flee? Or, you know, leave them there. Maybe since they are smaller, Momma can write it off as "oh, look at my twins, just one pregnancy, not even Christopher Sr's kids, I sinned, sorry!" Or make up something? I mean, if Momma really cared, she would have concocted some story where she found out that Christopher the Elder Brother/Uncle was sterile but she wanted kids so she cheated or they adopted or something. Anything other than "let's lock em in the attic!" PARTY. Maybe what's her name in Florida was inspired by this book.  Sorry, that was dark.  Anyway, so Cathy is swinging free "held only by weak hands" because she's a ballerina and therefore petite and weak except ballerinas have to be STRONG so why is she floundering around like a wet noodle?  She screams, and I'm picturing Lois Lane in Superman. Chris yells down to her. HOW HAS NO ONE WOKEN UP YET? I understand that this is an older house and it's much larger than the Jonbenet Ramsey home in Colorado but COME ON.  She's crying and climbing and shockingly the narrator of this book doesn't fall off of her homemade sheet rope. Chris grabs her in "a tight embrace" and she's actually happy to be back inside.  End of Act 1 I have no idea what is going on there, but it didn't happen in the book. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Growing Up, Growing Wiser" (Part 2)

I quit yesterday with one page left in this chapter. I had no idea. I would have finished had I known. No matter. We'll finish it now. To recap yesterday's work:  The impossibly blonde and beautiful blue-eyed bimbo Cathy and her hunk of burning love brother Christopher (hereby known as Chris, to avoid mix-ups with his father, also called Christopher.) play monopoly after being starved in an attic for several weeks while baby-sitting their younger siblings. Who are also very blonde and attractive and now consider Chris and Cathy their parents. This isn't weird, because Christopher married Corrine and he is actually her older half-brother/uncle. Christopher died in a car wreck, Michael Bay style. Check out the first entry in this series if you'd like to refresh your memory on that plot line (no, don't, I just told you. It was maybe one paragraph and shared through dialogue. The writer needed to save space for the riveting tale of Monopoly in Part Two). I will spare you the details of the Monopoly. Turns out it's just as boring to read about as it is to play.  So on the last page of the first chapter of part two, Chris whispers in Cathy's ear at night. It's late August and he would like to go swimming. Well, so would I. I can't imagine how gross that attic must be, late August, Virginia. Heat rises. Central Air is not a thing yet. It's also the attic and a small room that attaches to the attic on the top floor of the Foxworth Mansion. Cathy is sulky because she lost at Monopoly. Not because she was recently starved and kept in an attic while going through puberty with her older brother and twin younger siblings. Nope, she's sour because of monopoly. Not because her mother abandoned her, her friends are all in Pennsylvania, and her Grandmother poured hot tar in her hair (impossibly) while she was sleeping.  Chris is like "hey, I made a ladder so we can get out in case of fire." (I don't think it's foreshadowing. I think it's something that the ghostwriter decided to roll with). Cathy protests, he's like "we're stronger now and have to practice" They talk about leaving a note for the twins, who may or may not be able to read.  We learn that there are eight (8) chimneys on the roof. Chris has made a ladder out of sheets. There is no description of where the sheets came from. Magic sheets, I guess.  Chris explains to her how to climb down the rope he made, because in 1950, if girls took gym, their uteruses would fall out.  The final line of the chapter:  DUM DUM DUHHHHHN.  What will happen next? Will they decide to run away and contact a LEO to retrieve their siblings and put them in foster care? Did foster care exist in the 1950s? Will they happen across a kindly stranger in a cabin in the woods who is also a witch who wants to eat children? Will they get caught? Find out next time! 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Growing Up, Growing Wiser"

PART TWO.  Apparently, I don't have enough to do at work, so I'm back. Or I just really like the external validation I get from the compliments of my snarky recaps of a book that was written around the time that Brett Kavanaugh was sexually assaulting teenage girls. BTW, I really do enjoy compliments on my typo-riddled column, or articles, or whatever you think these should be classified as.  Part Two starts off with a quote from The Song of Solomon, verse two, chapter 17. For those of you who are familiar with this particular scroll, it's weird, its sexual, and its supposedly an allegory of the relationship between God and and Israel, or the Church and Christ, depending on your denomination. Personally, I think it was a rough draft of an early romantic novel that got mixed in with real scrolls. Her neck is like the Tower of David, she smells of Lebanon. Real steamy stuff. Blow on my garden, my breasts are like fawns. Seriously, most repressed kids in religious schools know all about the Song of Songs. I think VC Andrews found the one verse that doesn't really work with her text. I mean, she could have gone with His arms are rods of gold, set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory, decorated with lapis lazuli.His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. Maybe I'll recap Song of Songs in the future. It has no real plot, though. Chapter 1 of Part Two is called "Growing Up, Growing Wiser." We'll see.  Another year passed. That's is. Another year passed. Mother comes less. (Are we still doing phrasing?) Every night they  mark off the date in a calendar. How old is everyone now? Oh, no worries. They have three calendars full. So they've been living in an attic for three years. Three years without school, without friends, without proper cleaning (they are washing clothes and sheets in the bathroom!).  Cathy and Chris are immodest, because "grandmother's wrath had not yet materialized" ... then why are they so willing to stay in the attic? I'd think at some point they would just slip up and go downstairs because of an emergency. That's what kids do! They get hurt and they go find their mom.  It's not that difficult. Really. Ask the Maxwells.  Cathy finds a time when she's alone to inspect her body in the mirror. If anyone read Madonna's memoirs, her account of looking at her pussy is much more fun. Cathy is a weirdo.  Her brother is spying on her! Oh, god.  Who is the target audience for this? Middle aged women? Teenage girls? Teen boys? My grandmother? I have no idea.  They stare at each other for several paragraphs of absolutely ridiculous writing. There is trembling. There is copious use of a thesaurus. There are metaphors.  There are rippling sensations and Chris uses the mirror to get the full view. I regret my lunch, because fries are never good when vomiting. Cathy reaches for her dress and Chris is like "no, don't." There is more trembling.  I bet no one here can guess what happens next.  (cue the music)  It's Grandmother! I bet you never saw that coming. And she is pissed. "Sinners!"  Oooh Chris is standing up the Grandmother. It's about time. But, like many many men in the US, he decided to take out his anger and embarrassment on the nearest young woman, who happens to be his sister.  Leave. Leave the room, Cathy. Climb out the attic, signal a servant, shimmy down the chimney, figure it out. Check the door every single time. Make a rope out of sheets. Maybe you'll get paralyzed, ala Pollyanna, but at least save your sister and brother. Start dropping notes out the windows; do something. Playing pretty princess in a tower is just pathetic.  Grandmother comes back with scissors.  The choice is theirs: No food or milk for an entire week, or Cathy's hair.  Chris is holding a chair, threatening the Grandmother. Just hit her with it and get out the door! Grandmother ups the ante by threatening two weeks without food if Cathy hides or locks herself in the bathroom. Then decides to make Chris do the shearing. She'll be back.  Who thinks of this kind of torment?  Cathy has nightmares that night. And she wakes up, feeling drugged, and her hair is gone. Chris finds "a small red prick" on her arm and tells her to stop screaming. Shut. Up. Scream all you want, Cathy. If someone has injected you with who knows what and shaved your head, you deserve to scream. Oh, and she didn't cut the hair, she poured tar on her head. While she shared a bed with her little sister. And Chris is telling her not to scream and upset the twins. Fuck that. Scream. Make a scene. Let the cleaning staff know that you are being abused, next Friday. Stop hiding away.  I'm a bit confused about how she's not suffering from burns, but whatever. Carrie wakes up and insults her sister's new hairstyle. And cries and cries, and everyone tries to calm her down.  Chris and Cathy try to wash her hair. In the middle of him deciding he needs to go try out some chemical compound from his chemistry set, he also has to pee. And we are "treated" to this:   Cathy is disturbed that he also suggests that she "go" in the water as well, hoping that the ammonia might unglue the hair. The twins come in while she poetically contemplates her nightmarish day and I wonder if I missed something in my reading because I can't tell if he peed on her or not.  She lies to the twins. I don't know how I feel about that. Nothing is normal in their life, and I get they want to protect them, but at the same time, this is not normal. Don't normalize it. It's wrong.  Carrie's response to being told to go away is "don't you like me no more?" and Cathy corrects her grammar. Therapy and school! ASAP.  Cathy's hair is thinner and platinum now. Chris brushes it. Her hair "gleams" and feels like "gossamer silk" Chris sleeps in a chair propped up against the door, holding the scissors. He should keep those scissors, he might need a weapon.  They ate the crackers. Cathy cuts her hair. The grandmother doesn't come. They ran out of food, clean linens, towels, soap, and toothpaste. The toilet overflows because they are using paper from old books. Then they used old clothes from the attic to mop up the filth from the toilet.  After who knows how long, Chris feeds his siblings blood from his wrist.  Cathy finally decides that she hates her mother for doing this to them.  After two weeks, or so, they head up to the attic to find a way out. They debate on eating some mice. For some reason, they went full vampire before eating the mice, which seems unreal to me. While christopher is going to get spices for the raw mice (and I gag in my office), Cathy blathers on for several paragraphs. I'm bored. I just got out of an extremely boring two hour meeting and now I'm bored in a very different way. Maybe I should write a book on the types of boredom. The first, being the "i can not stay awake while you discuss the same thing again that I really don't care about" the second being "I have so much money that I go to Russia and ask prostitutes to pee on me because I've done just about everything I can imagine in my tiny brain" and then there is "I'm reading a book written before I was born and it's got a semi-interesting plot but the worst writing I've ever imagined, outside of a random canadian who pretended to be a Serbian guard on the internet"  Guess what! They don't have to eat the mice! Christopher comes back with a basket which contains the following: vegetable soup, milk, sandwiches, and (dum dum duhhhh) powdered donuts!  Since I moved out of the city and into a community with a community well, I've learned more about arsenic than I ever thought I would need to know. It's naturally forming and really common. Get your wells tested! Most wells will have some, at least in my area. But there's a limit to how much is acceptable, and how much is lethal.  Do we ever find out where they got the poison and is it arsenic? There are so many types of arsenic.  Cathy has decided that Chris and herself are the genuine parents of Carrie and Cory. That's not how it works, Cathy.  So they head back downstairs, and she immediately goes for the mirror. It's gone! OH NO SHE CANT LOOK AT HERSELF. And low and behold, ALL THE MIRRORS ARE GONE. It's a tragedy, way more traumatic than literally drinking your brothers blood.  HOLY SHITSNACKS  I feel gross just typing that.  There's more. And a reminder that they had friends.  Then Chris reminds her that she came home filthy dirty and chewing on tar to make her teeth whiter. OK. I guess maybe she didn't mean it in a racist way but I'm not totally sure. Gross.  Chris talks about playing monopoly and the loser has to wash everyone's underwear in the bathtub. Ugh. It was the 50s. I have no idea when washing machines were invented, but it's a very useful appliance.  They lose the twins and find them behind the tv. IDK.  Cathy forfeits the Monopoly game and goes upstairs to dance. What a remarkable recovery from starvation.  And then we get several paragraphs about monopoly and it's an act break and I'm done with this entry. 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Black Mirror Episodes Ranked from Worst to Best 19-11

If you don't know about Black Mirror yet (and you are into TV shows that make you feel depressed about the future, bleak about technology, and occasionally just meh about humanity) then get yourself to Netflix ASAP. If you DO know about Black Mirror and haven't seen it, congratulations! You might still have hope for the future!  That being said, some episodes are better than others. I'm here to try and rank them according to my rather arbitrary standards. SPOILERS. (Also, this is really difficult, as I REALLY like almost all of the episodes, but for different reasons/in different ways.)  19. "The Entire History of You" (Season 1, Episode 3) This episode resonated with a lot of people. Just not me. It's actually the only episode I never finished. It's also the only episode I've started watching over 5 times. The technology is frightening before they even get into how it could be misused (if that's what happens.) The idea of an implant that records everything I do? No thank you. I don't need to replay awkward moments on a screen, I do that in my head too much as it is. I believe that my biggest complaint about this episode, thought, is that I just didn't find it entertaining. The characters and their drama weren't interesting to me. I need a real conflict.  18. "Playtest" (Season 3, Episode 2)   I enjoyed this one. The one and only time I watched it. It was scary and draining and then just utterly pointless and somewhat devastating. I didn't find the "twist" ending to be all that original. It comes it at number 18 because it rarely comes up when talking about Black Mirror, and I had completely forgotten about it until I looked up the list of episodes.  I don't know if it was just too good or I'm a wimp but I found it scary enough that I don't want to ever rewatch it.  17. "Metalhead" (Season 4, Episode 5)  I wanted to like this one, especially after reading a large amount of comments of whiny people who hate black & white. I thought the monochrome made sense (and kept it from being OTT with the gore). But the story felt incomplete and lacked depth. It was a very well done episode and it was entertaining. It just lacked any sort of explanation for the collapse of civilization, where the dogs came from, or even if civilization is collapsed, really. Is it just an Amazon warehouse that Bella is trying to break into? Do the dogs work for someone?  Visually it was interesting and it was basically an action film with not a lot of depth.  16. "Men Against Fire" (Season 3, Episode 5) I should probably swap this one with "Playtest", but that sounds like work. This is a story of genocide and propaganda. The thing is, we don't need the technology in the episode to convince soldiers to kill civilians. This is also not a new concept in science fiction. Many, many, many works have been written about dehumanizing people so that soldiers can fight the unending wars and a select few people can profit. Maybe it was too close to modern day, maybe it just seemed like heavy handed social commentary on war, but this episode just didn't do it for me.  15. "The Waldo Moment." (Season 2, Episode 3.)  This is one of the least popular episodes. The first time I watched it, I couldn't quite see why it got so much hate.   Tried to watch it again and it just didn't hold up. The idea of a cartoon character winning a popular election hits a little too close but is also unrealistic at the same time. Perhaps it's because I'm American, but the commentary on populist politics was just uncomfortable. Maybe if they had made this episode a bit more fun to watch? Make the comedian actually funny? Explain why he's depressed? I just didn't really feel a connection with the main character & Waldo doesn't seem to be something that could be popular both in the UK and the USA. The future is weird.   14." Hated in the Nation" (Season 3, Episode 6) I've finally reached the point in this pointless exercise of ranking episodes from a somewhat popular TV show where it's more difficult to think about what I didn't like. This was an excellent episode and I feel bad that it's so far down the list. Yes, it was about 15 minutes too long and somewhat predictable. It was still better than a lot of tv shows that I watch.  This episode touched on very real issues - colony collapse and social media harassment.  Of course humans found a solution to the colony collapse - instead of saving the bees, we just made drones that looked like bees. Pretty cool idea. Not sure what the antagonist was trying to do with all of the murders, though. He obviously was trying to prove a point, but I guess the real question is why? And what did he hope the outcome would be? Or is he just a neckbeardy guy who was angry and wanted to kill people and didn't really have a reason but thought this would make him sympathetic? I do not know.   13."Crocodile" (Season 4, Episode 3)  I love the setting of Crocodile. Obviously filmed in Iceland, this was a basic slasher horror story in a beautiful setting, with a pretty white woman knocking down minorities (and a white male) left and right. The idea of a world with no lies is not new. The idea of constant surveillance is not new.  It was emotionally draining to watch and I probably won't watch it again. The only reason I marked this one higher than Hated in the Nation is because I love Iceland and thought it was visually spectacular. The "twist" at the end was kind of dumb, although I'd like to see how pets process images. My guess is that the guinea pig probably wouldn't be very good evidence, but I'm not a guinea pig expert.  12. "The National Anthem" (Season 1, Episode 1)  This was the first episode I ever watched. I had NO idea what I was going into. I had only hear that Black Mirror was highly popular, dark, and from the UK. It was also on Netflix. Watching this episode was fun, entertaining, and the social commentary was on point. When it ended and I moved on to the next episode, I was confused. I thought it was going to be an ongoing show about UK politics, and the characters I'd invested in. I was disappointed.  That being said, I will never watch this episode again and when I tell people about Black MIrror, I tell them to skip this one. Mostly because I don't want people to judge me on this one episode. Furthermore, it's hard to explain to someone in a professional environment water cooler moment why the show is awesome but please skip the first one and/or never mention it again. Also, no I can't tell you why. Let's talk about Game of Thrones some more.  11. "White Bear" (Season 2, Episode 2)  I loved this episode the first time I watched it. It was interesting, the social commentary was good. I am an advocate for prison reform and I can get on my soap box about prisons with very little notice or preparation. I can also be judgemental about the US and the cultural need for revenge and hate vs reform and compassion. Sometimes the murderer is a victim as well. There are terrible people out there with no remorse over killing, but sometimes it's a defense mechanism and sometimes it's survival, and sometimes it's just bad situations. Sometimes criminals convicted of crimes are innocent. We'd have fewer prisons if we could engineer a change in our culture that values education over "jobs." It's also the "make money fast and spend it on dumb shit" culture - but I digress. The idea of doing something like this to a prisoner is torture - or is it? If she can't remember, is it torture? Do they do this until she finally dies of exhaustion? Does she get a break? This theme ties in to the season 4 episode "Black Museum."  However, this episode wasn't that interesting on the rewatch. The twist actually took me by surprise the first time. On rewatch the flaws of the episode bring it down a bit, as it's harder to be sympathetic to someone who murdered a child. Or filmed why the child was murdered. I wish they would have gotten more into Victoria's motives. Was she brainwashed by the boyfriend? Did she enjoy the torture? Did she need money or stability? I am a person who likes to know motives, which is probably why I'm so fascinated and frustrated by unsolved mysteries.   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "The Long Winter, and Spring, and Summer"

The Long Winter, and Spring, and Summer. Pages 215-230 (Kindle).  If I make it through these 15 pages, we will be done with Part 1 of this book!  Recap: Cathy and her siblings are trapped in an attic. I believe they are literally locked it, but they are also emotionally trapped. Their mother is a piece of gold-digging trash, and their grandmother would punish the Maxwells for having too much fun. On Christmas, the downstairs people had a party while the children upstairs skulked around and spied on their rich relatives.  The children are cold. They are watching ungodly amounts of television. Cathy compares her life to that of "invalids, sick people, and old people" because they eat, bathe, and dress daily to sit down and watch tv.  I'd make a joke about Americans, but come to think about it, most of us do other things besides TV. Even the "invalid, sick, and old" people. For one, there is the internet.  It's so cold that they huddle in the bedroom, not going into the attic. Cathy claims that the TV is teaching them how to spell and pronounce difficult words. Sesame Street doesn't debut until 1969, so I don't know what they are watching that teaches them how to spell. Was there a predecessor? I do not know. I am, however, remembering watching Sesame Street and being so confused as to why no one would teach me how to make a "2" the same way that Kermit did. Also, Kermit is my favorite and I think his investigative work contributes to my love of journalism. (Real journalism, not 24 hour cable news or list bait stuff.)  Cathy's 13th birthday is coming up in April, so she examines her skin daily to check for acne. I get the impression that they are having difficulty distinguishing advertisements from documentaries.  Both Chris and Cathy have reached puberty and are "growing hair where we hadn't had hair before." Cathy plucks the "funny looking, crispy, amber-colored hair" with tweezers whenever she can, but she notices that they keep coming.  Chris catches her one day with her arm raised and asks her what she is doing. She "likes her body nice and neat" and he tells her to think of the hair as sexy. This could be a somewhat charming scene, but it's creepy. He ruined it. And then she ruins it some more by saying that "big bosoms were sexy, not crinkly, wiry hair." And then goes on about how she has "hard little apples" poking out of her chest. And her brother looks at them quite often.  I need a shower.  I should have waited on the shower.  Shockingly, she's also seeing stains on the boys sheets. And he tells her they are nocturnal emissions, she doesn't believe him. She tells him to go to a doctor so that Cory doesn't catch whatever is wrong with him. Chris tells her that he heard older boys talk in the locker room and it's all normal. I thought he was a doctor and was reading books about this kind of thing? She claims it's too messy to be normal.  I find it too weird to be having these dreams in the bed with your brother, and then making your sister wash the sheets. Also, poor Duggar girls.  Chris warns her that her time to mess up the sheets is coming, and he's noticed that she's developing and should talk to their mother about it. Why is he such a douche? I know he's the oldest sibling but ugh.  All of the kids are kind of each other's last nerve, which is understandable as they have been locked in a room together for months. Carrie talks constantly and freaks out if you tell her to stop. The grandmother gets upset if the beds are messed up so they can't sit on the beds. Cory fiddles with Tinker-Toys and doesn't make anything not noisy. The kids want everything they see on TV. Chris and Cathy watch soaps. My guess is All My Children because Days of Our Lives didn't come out until 1965. DooL would be my choice. I scheduled classes around it in college. I occasionally skipped lunch during high school and watched it in the band room or went home to catch it (Always watch on Fridays, they recap most of the week and leave you with a cliff hanger.) Marlena was possessed! Wait, secret island! Clones! ... Will Eric Brady finally reconnect with Nicole? He's the son of Roman and Marlena and his twin Sami is such a train wreck and then she's not! Maybe I should start going to the gym on my lunch so I can catch back up. I miss it.  In late March, Corrine comes in with a box. Chris takes the twins to the attic. I wonder when he cornered the mother to tell her to have the period talk with Cathy. Cathy wants to be a ballerina, not deal with periods. Don't we all, Cathy, don't we all. Corrine says there is nothing they can do. In 2017, there is! We've got Mirana and starvation. Two time tested ways to limit your period. Or you can take daily pills and just skip the sugar ones.  Corrine says that having babies is very rewarding. How, exactly, are these children rewarding to her? I get the impression she thinks of them as toys that she keeps in the attic and can go back to and play with when it's convenient for her. Corrine tells a very bitter story about how she didn't know anything about periods when she got hers for the first time.  Corrine ignores the twins when they come back from the attic. She "fondles, kisses, and fawns" over Chris.  *** The attic grows warmer, they take down the paper snowflakes that I forgot they made, they make spring flowers. Cathy turns 13. Cathy gets ice cream, cake, and some needlepoint kits. The twins get better gifts (IMO), ice cream, cake,  an accordion and piano.  There is no way the staff isn't noticing Corrine carrying objects upstairs that disappear and cartons of ice cream. Malcolm Foxworth Senior doesn't approve of men who play music and write poetry. One of her brothers was forced to work in a bank. Oh, the horrors of having to work a well paying job that gives you plenty of time to study music on the side. Malcolm Jr rebelled by buying a motorcycle and crashing it, falling hundreds of feet down a chasm and dying.  Her other brother, Joel, ran away during the funeral. He died in a skiing accident in Switzerland. They never found his body. When this happens on DOOL, you just know it's so they can recast the character later. Or the actor wants to go on vacation.  These stories disturb Chris and Cathy, as it seems as though men around their mother tend to die in tragic accidents. That's what happens when you are a character in a gothic romance novel, kids.  I'm not as familiar with this series as I am with the Casteels, but I'm certain that at some point, you'll both die in a tragic accident so one of your offspring can narrate a sequel. Sorry about the luck, Cathy.  Chris is annoyed because they've read every book in the attic. Maybe your mother should bring you more books. Compared to ice cream, televisions, and accordion, books are pretty easy to sneak in. Especially paperbacks. But then again, you'll be trusting that Corrine can read well enough to figure out something you might like and don't already have. Since they don't have anything new to read, they decide to teach the twins to read and write. They don't want to and Carrie throws a screaming fit. They are 6, btw, which is old enough to not act like this. But then again, they are being raised by a sister mom and a neckbeard brother.  Corrine is down to visiting once or twice a week. Classic.  *** It's summer. Oh, Corrine got the message about the books, and is now stealing books from downstairs and giving them to the children in the attic. She's not looking at titles or making any effort anymore. They read a historical novel that made them enjoy history more. Somehow this book gets them talking about being naked. Cathy is on her period, it's her second one, and she is crampy. He tells her that he likes this about her particular situation, and that if it makes her into a woman like their mother, he's all for it. Thanks, asshole. Also, stop being so fucking creepy.  Cathy asks again if she thinks its odd that they've been locked up for so long. Thank you, Cathy. Please keep pressing the issue. Throughout this conversation, which is finally actually relevant to the plot, he is breathing into her hair. I'm not even joking. "His face lowered into my hair" is a direct quote from Cathy. He pulls back when she mentions mother, then embraces her again. He has to believe. Apparently he's an optimist, not just a creepy teenage boy who wants to have sex with his mother. Seriously, dude, get a reddit account and friend that guy who supposedly actually had sex with his mom after he broke his arms. They love this stuff over there. He also mentions that there must be some reason they are in the attic and not at boarding school, which is, actually a good point. The grandmother has money too! Either one of them could sneak these kids off to boarding school! Or they could leave them in a fire station or sell them on an orphan train or put them in a cottage on the edge of the property.  *** Corrine is now visiting rarely and not on a regular basis. She tells them that Malcolm is close to death. And then she comes back and says that he is fine. It's August and they've been there for a year. They also did not mention the anniversary of their own father's death.  With that, Part 1 is DONE. We are halfway!   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Christopher's Exploration and Its Repercussions" Part 1

Christopher's Exploration and Its Repercussions: Pages 202 - 215 (Kindle)  At the end of the last chapter, Cathy climbs in bed with her sister, while Chris dresses up like Groucho Marx and goes exploring while a rip-roaring Gatsby party rages on in the Foxworth Mansion. We were treated to descriptions of how they had to pee, what the guests ate, and Cathy's inappropriate thoughts about her brother.  Said brother stared at his mom's boobs. If they hadn't been locked in a room together, they probably would have found someone else to creep on, right?  Anyhoo, we open to Cathy being shaken awake by her mother that she barely recognizes. Corrine demands answers to Christopher's whereabouts.  Cathy tells her that he went exploring; Corrine is very displeased. She shakes Cathy "like a rag doll" and tells her that they will never be allowed out again, for any reason. Cathy recognizes that they didn't betray her as much as Corrine betraying them. There is some staring and flowery language in regards to Corrine's anger, which I won't repeat here.  Oh, who am I kidding.  I'm aware that I am from a background that is less "Foxworth Hall" and more "Mousetrap Trailer Court" so I ask the question - When being yelled at by my mother, do I remember the scent of her perfume not matching the anger in the room? Or is it just that the odor from the family next door drowned out any "flowery perfume that goes ill with her demeanor?"   Chris enters stage left. Mother is displeased. His eyes do not light up at Corrine's appearance, as expected. Corrine slaps him across the face! Twice, once on each cheek and threatens to whip both him and Cathy if he ever does something like that again. Then she hugs him and apologizes. Cathy monologues (internally - I don't know if there's a word for several paragraphs of her thoughts) about how Mother has changed, she doesn't come every day, how she used to come twice a day (phrasing!) and Cathy is scared.  Corrine slips up and says that they can't mess anything up because things are going right for her, then she quickly corrects it to "us."  There is a lot of skeeziness about her breasts.  Cathy realizes that she has never felt her cheek against the softness of her breast.  OK.  MOTY leaves them as the clock strikes 1. It was their first Christmas in the Attic. Chris and Cathy cuddle in her bed, next to Carrie. She rests her head on his chest, saying that they smell different and Chris has lost weight.  Creepy Chris defends his precious Mum to Cathy. STFU with this mansplaining bullshit.  It goes on and on.  Cathy questions why they had to wait for a TV when she could have just bought one. He claims that they wouldn't have done anything but stared at it, but instead they learned stuff, like how to create a garden out of construction paper. (pretty sure we all learned how to make a paper flower well before 14, Chris.) Cathy claims that Mother has changed. Chris claims that Cathy has changed, but won't tell her how.  Cathy drops that subject, and demands that he tell her everything he saw while exploring the halls. Batten down the hatches and tighten up your bootstraps because it's about to get weird.  He begins by describing the house. Cathy demands he pretend that she is there and he locks eyes with her and tells her she was there. In a "weird voice." Thanks for the clarification. He felt her holding his hand. Anyway, so the house is big. He went down and looked at people and talks about perspective and yadda yadda yadda, long story short, he ends up hiding behind a suit of armor when Bart and Corrine come upstairs to make out. Bart wants to see the bed, which apparently is shaped like a swan and once belonged to a French courtesan. I don't know about you, but I definitely want my next bed to be previously used by a prostitute. Chris doesn't want to talk about what he saw. Cathy asks what a courtesan and he gives her a sanitized version of a "woman who does favours for nobility" which is absurd. She's 12, she knows what sex is.  So Corrine and Bart went up to her room for some kisses and talked about the swan bed, which I guess didn't belong to a courtesan, because I didn't read very closely and am slightly confused as to why it's even been brought up, but whatever. It was her Grandmother's bed and Corrine always wanted that suite but her parents told her no because religion. Chris gets upset about the idea of corruption, as he doesn't believe that Corrine is corrupted, and Daddy loved her and they were married, etc.  Chris then tells Cathy how he also found a trophy room. (Game hunting kind of trophy) There is a portrait of the Grandfather, Malcolm Neal Foxworth and he looks very much like their father, and was painted when their father was 5. He finds the room with the swan bed and it's AMAZING. (Supposedly) There is also a baby swan bed.  Cathy asks if it was better than their house in Gladstone, which was a ranch with eight rooms and two and a half baths. I'm not an expert on architecture, but would that style of home even existed in Pennsylvania in the 1950s? I thought the whole point of "ranch-style" was that they started in the sunbelt/out west where there was more land and moved eastward, mixing with Colonial style? How do you even get 8 bedrooms in a ranch style and not have it sprawl?  They go to sleep.     

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "The Christmas Party"

The Christmas Party - Pages 190- 202 (Kindle)  Somehow, I managed to miss the last page of the last chapter where Momma tells Christopher and Cathy they can hide and look at the party. Maybe I was too busy thinking about what Corrine could have done, instead of locking her children in an attic, asking the older ones to raise the little ones, and eventually poisoning them with arsenic donuts. When faced with a life changing situation such as being a widow, what would you do? A) ask your mother for a loan. B.) move back into your childhood home and pass your kids off as a staff members so they can go to school. C.) apply for welfare, sell everything you can, get a job, and create a loving but lower class home for your children or D.) lock your kids in the attic and go party.  If you picked D, you fit right into the world of VC Andrews!  So anyway, that night, she comes to get them. Cathy describes her mother as "so beautiful my heart swelled with pride and admiration, and with some envy too." Corrine's dress has "a skirt of flowing green chiffon" which is cut low to show off a lot of cleavage. "Her scent reminded me of a musky, perfumed garden on a moonlit night somewhere in the Orient." Chris stares at her (cleavage, probably) while Cathy "sighs wistfully."  They follow their mother down the hallway and are stuffed into a table with cabinet doors underneath. There's a mesh screen on the back, which allows them to look down at a "mammoth room, brilliantly lit with candles in the five tiers of three gigantic crystal and gold chandeliers suspended from a ceiling so high above we couldn't see it." They have electricity. I'm picturing candle wax dripping on heads and the Hogwarts ceiling that is enchanted to look like the sky. Harry Potter wasn't the best written book ever, but the world was fun. This world is not fun.  Cathy is enchanted and envious of the party. There are hundreds of people, dozens of "servants" and it's "Fancy, good golly-day!" She discusses the people with her brother. They talk about hairstyles and their clothing. They mostly watch their mother, though. She is dancing with a tall, handsome man with dark hair and a big moustache. Um, is he Magnum PI? Because I liked him when he was Monica's boyfriend on Friends. She should have married him instead of Chanandler Bong.  They also look at some food. There are three chefs cooking still (apparently in the party room?) and they are making what I think are crepes and stuffed sausages. Cathy and Christopher's mouths water. Apparently they eat sandwiches, soups, fried chicken, potato salad. Sometimes they find ice on their milk.  Magnum PI touches Corrine's breast and Cathy wonders why her mother doesn't slap him. Chris doesn't notice the body language like Cathy does. He's thinking about  "when mom inherits all the money, we can have parties like this." He's thinking about sending for his friends in Gladstone. At least he remembers that he once had friends in Pennsylvania.  The Grandmother's dress is red velvet, tight in the front and flowing in the back, and she's wearing an impressive amount of jewelry. They see their Grandfather (is it Maxwell?) for the first time. He looks like Christopher, their father. (And I suppose also Christopher Junior.)  Oh, yeah, his name is Maxwell. Maxwell Neal Foxworth.  "You couldn't help whom you fell in love with - cupid's arrows were ill aimed."  And that's when some random party goers give us some more background by coming into the table room and talking about the Foxworth secrets. Someone named Al, apparently had a thing for Corrine, but she only had eyes for her half-uncle Christopher. He thinks that they have to forgive her, as she's the only one left. The women, ever so classy, says "Three children...and only the despised, regretted one is left to inherit all of this."  Al:   I'm pretty sure he just said that to his wife or girlfriend. Rich people problems, am I right? Women are plums and you can just be like "I'd rather have her than you."  Albert Donne's companion calls him a slob and reminds him that he's stuck with her and that Corrine never looked at him. They wander off. More people come and go and the pre-teens need to leave but there are too many people. Finally they run back to the room, the twins are fine, they both have to pee. Christopher pushes Cathy down and runs into the bathroom first and locks the door. Then they discuss Bartholomew Winslow. Which is the most absurd name.  Chris mansplains people to Cathy. He also compares his mother to a flame, and men circling her like a moth. My 15 year old boyfriend (when I was 15, not now) once wrote me a poem that he claimed was his original work. It was actually lyrics to a popular hit song. I don't want to share which one. It's embarrassing. It's still less embarrassing than discussing all of the men who want to date your hot mom.  Chris decides that now is the best time to explore the house. He dresses up in some old clothes from the attic and apparently does a Groucho Marx impression.  He kisses her on the cheek.  There is a paragraph about her lovely new nightgown, which is "exquisitely made" and is white with blue ribbons and has smocking. Chris gives her the ole one over, she's pleased that her hair is gleaming. He seems impressed and dazzled. This is not normal, Cathy. You should not be trying to turn on your brother. And he should not be staring at his mother's breasts and your hair like that. Cathy decides that she is princess like. Cathy really needs a feminist mentor and an education.  The pretend to be a princess and a knight and he's going off to slay some dragons. Cathy climbs in bed with Carrie and thinks about Chris, boys, men, romance, and love. As she falls asleep she goes to touch her ring with the garnet stone given to her by her father, which she has outgrown. She's wearing it on a chain. Where did she get the chain?   

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Flowers in the Attic: "Holidays" Part 2

Holidays: Part 2 (Page 176)  I forgot to mention a very crucial plot point yesterday. Cathy asks for bananas and Mother refuses because her father doesn't care for them. Yup. Was there no editor at whatever publishing firm took on this mess?  It is now Christmas Eve and the children have been "living" at Foxworth Hall for 5 months. They still have not seen the entire house. To be fair, I'm certain that the staff hasn't seen the entire house, either. They are still saying grace before every meal, praying before bed, keeping their thoughts pure and innocent (except, you know, when they knowingly disobey the grandmother by sunbathing nude on some old mattresses and inspecting each other genitals.) Cathy believes that the meals they are provided are growing poorer in quality by the day. She doesn't actually address how they are not as great as before. We get pages of details about gifts and the mothers "filmy negligee" but for something like "how are the meals not good anymore" we get "they grow poorer and poorer by the day." Are they less substantial? Are they getting rotten fruit? Do they have to eat gruel and cold mush?  It doesn't matter because Cathy is upset about not being able to go Christmas Shopping. But she consoles herself by reminding herself that in the future she'll be rich, rich, rich! And then she'll be able to go into a store and buy anything she wants! (Except, you know what, Cathy? The high end stores will realize that their guests have unlimited money and start making ridiculous things like pre-mudded jeans, and you'll buy them and then the poors like me will laugh at you.)  Chris and Cathy have been making secret gifts for Momma and the twins. She's also secretly knitting a cap for Chris in the bathroom. Chris decides they need to make the grandmother a gift as well. Where are they getting the supplies for secret gifts? Our narrator describes the gift but doesn't actually say what it is, so I don't really know. Something about linen and a "stretcher frame" and me being uncrafty, I have no idea what they are doing.  Mother brings them a tree. Okay, so now I'm supposed to believe that she's sneaking in a tree and the staff doesn't notice, yet she can't smuggle out a 4 year old for a trip to the hospital?  They are given false promises of forgetting the time in the attic once they are in their own house in the future.  The mother sneaks into the room in the middle of the night to fill stockings and put gifts under the tree. They are given candy, and nuts, and fruit, and gum, and chocolate. Which, IIRC, the grandmother said NO CANDY EVER.  Carrie wants to know how Santa found them, which is, for once, an age appropriate question.  Cathy points out that Chris's movements remind her of her father (whom she was clearly in love with, making me question VC Andrew's relationship with her own parents) and cries a bit. Then she looks around some more, and cries because she believes that her mom is trying and cares and loves them. Ah, because gifts = love. She's ashamed for thinking mean thoughts. Chris tells her to get up. Shut up, Chris.  Santa's note told them to hide the candy from the grandmother. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WRAPPERS? That's how you get ants!  Cathy sits on the floor wearing a "stunning new robe of green velvet." They all got new robes. Did any of you get excited about new robes and pajamas when you were ... ever? I mean, I'd be happy for a new robe for Christmas, but excited? And to call a robe "stunning?"  The grandmother comes in. They finally tell us that the gift is a painting which they created a garden. 3D collage style, from materials found in the attic. I wonder what they destroyed to make silk butterflies.  Grandmother doesn't take the gift. Shocking. A lot of talk about the grandmother's cold eyes, her stone cold eyes. Grandmother's scornful eyes.  Cathy is hurt and flings it to the ground, and swears and stomps on it. Chris tries to save it and they decide that they tried and Grandmother doesn't try.  ***  It's still christmas. Momma comes up to the room next to the attic, and gives them a dollhouse. Well, she gives Cory and Carrie a dollhouse. And the description - Corrine's dialogue - is marvelous.  I'll let you make your own jokes about 5 year olds and their interest in wainscoting.  Christopher takes a book and tries to read it, squinting and holding it close. Cathy mentions that there is "a special kind of microscope he hopes to own someday." And how she "hopes to be the one to give it to him." Is it a special microscope so he can see his penis?  It just keeps going on and on about the stupid dollhouse. I don't care.  Mother says that it used to belong to her mother (I think that's the grandmother?) It was in a glass display case (which they call a glass box.) Finally, her father smashed the "glass box" and let Corrine play with it, as long as she doesn't break anything. Spoilers: she broke something. She was whipped for breaking a boy doll after she tried to take its clothes off.  Carrie likes the dollhouse and Cory is interested in it because Carrie is.  They are given tricycles and roller skates. WTF.  Oh, and a TV! But no DVD player. How is Comcast going to install their cable service without anyone knowing? Hope they can get a good antenna signal in the attic. Also, imagine all the quality daytime tv they get to watch now! Days of Our Lives, Maury Povich and his paternity testing, Price is Right, Jenny Jones, The People's Court, General Hospital... They are going to learn so much! Oh and maybe Sesame Street, this predates the HBO thing.  Mother also tells them that her father is having her put back in the will!  Because if there is one thing that 12 year old girls care about, it's contract law!  And then Mother tells them that there will be a party that night to reintroduce her to society. Ugh. What kind of weird-ass grownup debutante ball will this be? Oh, it's going to be a  "grand affair." Lovely. I'm sure your children look forward to you telling them about it. At least they don't have to perform, ala Sound of Music.  How the hell did she get the dollhouse upstairs without anyone noticing? Doesn't the staff wonder why she's always hiding in the attic?  I guess she could be putting it into long term storage, but what about the potted tree? Or the TV? TVs used to be a lot heavier.     

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Flowers in the Attic: "Holidays" Part 1

Holidays: Part 1  This chapter opens with two paragraphs of "symbolic" text about the amaryllis. Much like winter, Christmas and Thanksgiving are coming. They've been in the attic for 100 days. I feel claustrophobic just thinking about that. They don't even have a tv yet, much less the internet (not invented for civilian use as of the writing of this novel, nor when it takes place.) They also do not have video games. I mean, I could probably survive 100 days in an attic with relatively little fuss if you gave me electricity, wi-fi, food, water, a shower, and a place to work out. Hell, I'd probably use at least 30 of those days on a single game of Civilization. Add in The Sims v whatever, maybe WoW and reddit/FJ? I'm set. Also, please don't make me share space with my creepy neckbeard brother and some obnoxious twins who hate everything.  Bella Swan and her handsome brother Edward  Cathy and her "handsome" brother Christopher explain Thanksgiving to the twins in a very 80s way, that's to say, offensive. Cathy sets a table because their terrible mother made a promise (much like the Pilgrims did to the Native Americans, probably) to not murder  come to dinner with Thanksgiving food. She's late. Lots of excuses are given. The food is cold. Cathy and Chris love it anyway. The twins complain. These twins complain about everything. I'm almost rooting for the arsenic at this point. Give them some character other than "picky eaters" and "complainers." Has VC Andrews met a 4 year old? They are terrible but not all the time. Sometimes they fall asleep. Sometimes they fart on you and laugh about it and then you laugh because it's hilarious when they laugh. Sometimes they do cartwheels and hurt themselves or fill the vacuum with shampoo.  Cathy congratulates herself on setting a table like a good proper housewife and describes the china, which I find quite boring. I suppose if she was real and lived, Cathy would be old enough to be my grandmother, so fair enough that her biggest thrill right now is a china pattern. She is complimented by her mother about the table setting, so she feels bad for mother and all the terrible awful problems she had sneaking away from her nice meal to feed her four children whom she locked in an attic. Poor mother, she has it so hard, she's just not smart enough to realize that she could, in fact, take her children and move to california or new york or back to Pennsylvania. 
  It's not your fault, Cathy.  The twins don't know what gravy is, and Chris says something about Eskimos loving cold food, which is absurdly weird and offensive. Also that Eskimos are Indians which is also not true. And Indians are a part of Thanksgiving Day traditions, which I guess is true but also Native Americans aren't super cool with that. But whatever, this book is old. Neckbeard continues to lecture his family about "Indians" and how they "trekked over from Asia, and some liked ice and snow so much they stayed on, while others had better sense, and moved on down." Now, we often joke about people staying in the arctic, but the thing is, they had it really good. The winters are harsh, but the summers are mild and full of berry picking and bear hunting and whale hunting and caribou hunting. Food is plentiful in the far north, or it was.  We've got so much fish in our streams that we can fish while bears fish. It's not the hellscape that people make it out to be. I can see why native americans made it their home. We don't have very many natural disasters to worry about, other than volcanos and earthquakes. But whatever, Chris is a judgemental asshole rapist, what can you expect? Also he is shoving food into his mouth and being very gross about it. Closing his eyes and whatnot.  The twins won't because the food is cold and lumpy. Also they are 4.  Cathy goes to clear the table and she's super excited when her brother decides to help. He even kisses her on the cheeks.  He's your 15 year old brother, not a man. And thanksgiving dinner is not gourmet. Any idiot can set their house on fire deep frying a turkey.  After Turkey Day, the twins get sick with a cold. Cathy is over dramatic about it. Maybe I'm harsh. She's, what, 12? 12 year olds are dramatic. She's mad because she can't get a minute with her mom without the grandmother hanging about. The thermometer read 103.6 and the "mother" want to take them to a doctor/hospital. Grandmother disagrees, saying that children run high fevers. True, but you should do something. IV fluids, alcohol bath, aspirin, something. Christopher believes it's a flu virus, not a cold. Not that there is a huge difference in the treatment of the two afflictions.  They survive but are not as rambunctious. It's 19 days of being sick, as well. Right in the middle of holiday season, so I'm certain the mother was out at functions, doing the party circuit. Cathy wants her to sneak them out. Instead Mother brings them vitamins. Cathy points out that they  need to get out of that house.  Chris yells at her for  yelling at the mother. Because he's a giant turd.  Apparently he's been given a polaroid camera and a watch for his birthday. Two things he probably doesn't need as he's trapped in an attic where time doesn't matter.  That's it for this entry!         

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Flowers in the Attic: "To Make a Garden Grow" Part 2

To Make a Garden Grow: Chapter 8, Part 2 I'm back.  It's been two months in the attic. It's almost been two months since I last posted on this blog. This was not intentional.  Cathy waxes non poetically about love, truth, and faith. Her grandfather is still alive. They watch the summer turn into fall from their window seats in the mansion's attic. Christopher is unreasonably positive while she shares her pessimistic and self-involved thoughts with us. We are treated to a discussion about how boring Christopher and Cathy found American history class but they miss it. Probably because they haven't left the same two rooms in two months. Still, I'm kind of offended by Christopher's dialogue here: "I thought school a bore, too, and history a dull subject, particularly American history." Maybe they had terrible teachers. But I'm thinking that they are just boring people who only care about superficial things like money, makeup, and status. I do wonder how deeply VC Andrews thought about these characters. Is Christopher her idea of an ideal mate? Does she prize beauty and money over intelligence?  Cathy has decided that she wants to be a prima ballerina. From my seat at my desk in 2017, this seems unlikely as she's missing out on quite a bit of training by being locked into an attic. Christopher tells her she must practice for 5-6 hours a day, and he will attach a barre in the attic. Where he found a barre, I do not know. She runs out of this conversation crying about how she's not smart. Ok, so that might be a believable part of being a teenage girl. Her siblings try to make her feel better as she sobs on a bed.  Momma comes back and gives her some ballet stuff. Costumes and leotards and toe shoes. (Dear god, I hope her pre-attic instructor had already transitioned her to toe shoes. And how did they fit them?) Do some research, VC. She was also gifted records of "ballet music". She cries.  Her mother has also ordered her a costume from Swan Lake which has not yet arrived. So she gets three costumes in exchange for freedom.  Cathy mentions that the record player is hooked up to a dozen extension cords which makes me cringe a bit. Maybe they can escape if the place catches on fire. She also doesn't have a mirror, so on top of not having an instructor, she's not able to self correct except by feel. Cathy is going to have a hard time unlearning bad habits that she's reinforcing in the attic. IMO, of course. My guess is that VC Andrews believes that Cathy will not have any bad habits, because she is perfect and Chris is perfect and everyone is perfect except for the horrible mother & grandmother. I think they are all terrible.  Cathy dances. Chris watches her with 'the oddest expression on his face' and she remembers that he is turning 15 soon. God, he's so gross and creepy. Someone get him a fedora, mt dew, cheetos, and a laptop already.  She tries to get him to dance with her, and he refuses saying the most absurd thing. "Ballet dancing is not for me. But I'd like to learn to waltz - if the music is Strauss." Yup. He's 15. Shouldn't he be out LARPING or something?  So she puts on Strauss - which I guess was a joke because it's the only waltz they have. And they dance. She says he is clumsy.  Cathy is given the swan lake costume. it's wrapped in "giant-sized slippery-satin white box with a violet ribbon" - what the hell are they doing with all of this trash? Does it just go into the attic?  Christopher doesn't want to learn the Charleston. He just wants to dance with a girl in his arms. Fair enough. She monologues:    She somehow has an Elvis record and puts on Hound Dog. She "gyrates her hips" and whines some more, ending with "no one is ever going to love you." And Chris repeats that back "Then no girl is ever going to love me." Which is weird and manipulative and creepy and my god you are in an attic and why is your mother such a bitch? And for some reason, this makes Cathy like him more. GAG.    Same chapter and yet another act. They change the flowers in the attic to go with the season. Chris reads and paints a lot. C&C like to "lay" side-by-side on an old mattress for hours on end, talking and making plans for the future. His plans involve falling in love with the most beautiful, sexy woman, who is brilliant, understanding, charming, witty, and fun. She's also a good devoted wife and mother who is a perfect housekeeper, submissive, and understanding when she loses all of their money on the stock market. Oddly specific for a 15 year old. When I was 15 I just wanted to marry Kurt Cobain. Who'd been dead for several years. As a back up, I hoped to marry any number of generic 90s alternative rock singers and lead guitarists. Never a bassist.  Cathy wonders why her brothers wife has no flaws and worries that she won't be able to be a wife to someone like Christopher. This is the wrong question, Cathy. Someone needs to tell you that you are more than a future wife and mother. However, this leads to a discussion about how Chris thinks that their mother has no flaws whatsoever.  I can think of at least one flaw.  Cathy wants to marry and settle down after being a prima ballerina for years. She doesn't know what kind of man, other than Christopher or her Father. She wants beautiful children. She wants him to be brilliant so she can respect him. She expects to be offered a diamond engagement ring. She will play games before accepting the engagement and if she beats him, she'll say no.  Yet another act, same chapter that I started in July.  The twins stop asking to go outside. Chris and Cathy find more old mattresses. They put them in front of the eastern window that they open, taking off their clothes and sunbathing naked. They told the mom, who told them to never tell grandmother. The twins play naked like babies. Cathy reads Wuthering heights.  Yet another discussion of genitals and how Cathy believes that her parts are much neater than Chris's. I swear, this book gave me a complex when I was a pre-teen about the size of my labia. Someone get these kids some national geographics and the internet, already. Chris doesn't need the internet, though, as he's now bombarding Cathy with Bird Facts. Which she did not subscribe to, yet somehow are being given to her in the 1950s version of text messaging.  The next act isn't even an entire page. They stop sunbathing as it's cold now. They claim Arctic Cold, but aren't they in Virginia? I guess they in the mountains though, plus adapting to climates is a thing. I'm still going to laugh at them if they ever get to the arctic. I've experienced -60F, it's not fun. (Actually it was kind of fun. I didn't live there and I got to leave after a week with stories.) My guess is that the attic wasn't insulated, so they got really cold and momma suddenly is concerned about a fire so they can't have a space heater. Somehow momma sneaks them more new clothes. Does no one look at the finances for this house? Does the staff not question the extra trash? I'm guessing that there is at least one housekeeper who suspects something but is keeping quiet because she's a single mom and needs this job and her suspicions aren't close to the actual truth.  In the next act, they play hide-and-seek. Cathy thinks "innovative" is a big word. Cory ends up trapped in a trunk and nearly dies. He wants his mom. They decide that Cathy is his mom now. Chris smashes every lock on every trunk and every wardrobe. They all sit in a chair together and Cathy sees them in the mirror, looking like younger versions of their parents. And i've made it to page 161! 250 pages to go!    Link to previous recap "To Make a Garden Grow: Chapter 8, Part 1"

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Flowers in the Attic: "To Make a Garden Grow"

To Make a Garden Grow: Chapter 8, Part 1.  I'm on page 127 for those reading along. (I don't recommend it at all.)  Cathy refers to Christopher as "my cheerful optimist," Which is weird. Christopher also states that "any day could see him gone. That is the way of heart disease. A clot could break free and find its way to his heart or lung and snuff him out like a candle." I stand by my previous assessment that Christopher Jr is a neckbeard.  Chris Jr orders her to have more determination to placate the twins and themselves, and be more creative and entertaining.  So they put on plays using the old clothing in the attic, which, for once, is a time honored tradition and age appropriate game. After a page or so of description of the moldy, smelly, old clothing and the play, Cathy trips and falls and Carrie demands to eat. Cory's hair has grown out and he wants to swing in the outside garden again. Poor kid. I know how this ends for him and it's not a happy story.  Christopher tries to make the best of it (after all, he's Cathy's cheerful optimist!) by using large words to the 5 year old Cory about "bring[ing] about a metamorphosis and turn[ing] the ugly caterpillar into a brilliant soaring butterfly." They decide to decorate the garden and ask the mother for supplies. The "mother" sneaks up mops, pails, brooms (how?), scrub brushes, and boxes of "soap powder" (?) Mother actually helps with the cleaning of the attic!  Cathy, in fact, is "marveled" that her mother knows how to clean! In Gladstone, they had a maid who came twice a week to "do all the hard, dreary things that would redden Momma's hands and break her fingernails." Oh poor momma! She has to CLEAN like a pauper.  I'm afraid that if Christopher the Half-brother and Uncle of Corrine had stayed alive in Gladstone, his children would have grown up to be damaged in a different way. Chris would remain as neckbeardy and arrogant, but it would be excused because he's attractive. Cathy would grow up to be just as much as a dingbat as her mother. The twins ... Probably similar.  Back to the cleaning of the attic! Riveting stuff! They swept up buckets of dead spiders and other insects. They saw droppings of mice and rats. Once it was clean, Momma brought plants and a Christmas amaryllis. Cathy realizes that she doesn't want to be in the attic at Christmas. Momma says they will bring it with them. Don't listen to her! She's a liar!  Momma also tells her kids who are locked into an attic that she is going to a movie that night but she'll bring them raisins. She's going with a friend she grew up with, who happens to have two brothers. It's a musical.  Every chapter has this * * * breaking it up into different acts. It's weird and old fashioned.  In act 2, which is very short, we learn that the mother is bringing them paper, coloring books, and other craft supplies. They use this to make paper flowers for the attic.  In act 3, Cathy describes her mother. She's still beautiful and radiant and healthy and has lots of shoes and jewelry. She's also unable to type without looking at charts of which key is which. It's really not. that. difficult. Get it together. You have 4 children to take care of.  We are treated to this:  Yes, men take typing. Momma explains that some are journalists, writers, or have some other good reason. She says "good reason." as though there are bad reasons for someone wanting to learn how to type. Anyway, so Mrs Brady is divorced and apparently likes to flirt with the younger men. AND to make this even worse, momma complains about the man that Mrs Brady is interested in as being 'too short' and how she could pick him up and carry him over the threshold. They all laugh because obviously short people are hilarious and no man who is 5'2 is worth anything at all.  Chris is upset that the idea of remarriage has even occurred to momma.  Act 4 of this chapter.  Cathy complains about the quality of art that the twins are turning out. Chris calls it "modern art" because obviously non-traditional art styles are hilarious too. Also they are 5 and still working on coordination.  Momma comes up and admires their work. She then brings them some sequins and beads.  Carrie tattles on Cathy for forgetting about lunch on occasion. What 4 year old cares that much about food?  Cathy wonders why momma needs to wear so much jewelry to secretarial school. Momma says that the kids need to make animals for the garden. Momma introduces Cathy to the concept of books. Is Cathy 12 or 8? I swear I knew all about "how to draw" books by the time I was 8.  Chris goes for a realism approach, while Cathy decorates her animals with polka dots & plaids.  Cory made a snail that Cathy quickly insults in her head while simultaneously giving him praise. Christopher, being the horrible person that he is, brings down the room by correcting their language and boring them all to death with some information about taxonomy. He's 5, Chris. He doesn't care that it's a member of the mollusc, nor what traits make it a mollusc or how it feeds. I took zoology in college and I don't even care that much. It's a cardboard cutout of a snail. Let him have his moment.  (Actually I do care but only because I find invertebrates to be somewhat fascinating; especially the nautilus which lives in the deep sea. However I wouldn't bore a 5 year old with that knowledge.) Carrie is working on something, which Cathy describes as a "purple thing" and that her method is "slapdash." Carrie "ruthlessly" stabs at her paper. Apparently it's a worm. Be nice to your bad-at-crafts sister, Cathy. It's not her fault. Crafts are boring.  Momma, at least, tells Carrie that the worm is gorgeous. She's a little more critical to Cory. Cathy then "ruins it" (come on, Cathy, you didn't ruin it, Your shitty mother has locked you in an attic) by asking her about school. Momma is not doing well at school. Or she quit as she doesn't have answers to "how fast can you type" and how fast can you take "dictation" (?) Cathy is told to be patient.  Act.. I don't know. It's another act. Just split it up into smaller chapters!  On Fridays they have to erase their existence from the room,  so Cathy strips the sheets (do they ever wash the sheets?), rolls them up, puts the bedspreads (quilts?) over the mattress covers. Chris puts away the toys. Grandmother brings them food and orders them into the attic. Cathy has wiped way fingerprints and shined the mahogany. Grandmother uses the vacuum bag to make everything dull again. They can hear the maids cleaning up, and are scared that they will be discovered. BE DISCOVERED. What is the worst thing that can happen if you are discovered? OMG YOU WILL BE A POOR.  I'm seriously wondering what damage this book did to me. Did it affect my psyche in some way? Is it part of the fire that burns in me to eliminate social classes? There is so much classicism in the USA and it's heavily tied into racism, but it's also so easily overlooked. I mean, you can dismiss it all you want, and I know it's not a popular issue around here, but ... ugh. Come on world, get better.  Carrie was given new ruffled panties and enjoyed showing them off. She decides she also wants to be a ballerina. Stop worrying about skipping lunch, then, Carrie. I know, she's five. But jesus, this kid is annoying. Oh, she falls and hurts herself and changes her mind.  And yet another * * *  Where did the grass go? God took it to Heaven. Daddy likes to mow the lawn.  Apparently the Grandmother likes to try and catch them doing something "unholy" or "wicked." The kids are smart enough to realize that while Grandmother likes to open the door as silently as possible and watch them through a crack, she doesn't go up into the attic.  Momma has a new expensive looking green suit and a new hairstyle. This is VITALLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION.  Oh, and Grandmother has claustrophobia, which is described as "an emotional affliction" Cathy is surprised to hear that Grandmother was once young and small. Oh, and she probably isn't claustrophobic, because it sounds more like PTSD and small spaces are a trigger, but who's being neckbeard now?  We get our first "Good Golly" in two chapters! It comes as a criticism from Cathy about how "even the rich had to be stingy." How do you think rich people stay rich? They make their neighbors buy their fine fabrics by the bolt! Or they run for president so they can use their connections to stay in power and have foreign contracts. Or they start a war as president so their friends can sign government contracts to build helicopters.  Cathy runs into the grandmother while trying to get to the bathroom. Literally. Grandmother yells at her and asks a bunch of strange questions about what she is doing and why. Then it gets really strange. Grandmother wants to know why Cathy is waiting on Christopher; why he can't get his own water for painting.  In response, Grandmother smiles sarcastically (I'm picturing a Cersei smirk) and tells her to ask Christopher, as the male of the species is born knowing everything.  Grandmother brings back a plant for them and gives it to them unwarmly.  AND YET ANOTHER ACT in this chapter. WILL IT END?  Spoilers: Not for a really long time. I'm going to leave this non-proof-read blog here and come back to it later.  Questions to ponder: Will they get out of the attic soon? (no.) Was grandmother showing a softer side? (I honestly don't know / remember.) Is "momma" a crazy bitch? (yes.) If you were trapped in an attic with your siblings, would you be able to hide and not get caught? Or would you all get caught because someone threw a temper tantrum over lunch vs arts & crafts? What would the "servants" do if they did suspect that there were children living in the attic? When will the people of the US wake up and demand Universal Base Income & Universal Health care? Automation IS coming and we are going to lose jobs but be more productive (or something.) I have actual, non-interesting work to do. I'll try to get the rest of this chapter done this week but it might be a week.     Links to previous recaps  Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy" "The Road to Riches" "The Grandmother's House" "The Attic" "The Wrath of God" "Momma's Story" "Minutes Like Hours" 

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "Minutes Like Hours"

Minutes Like Hours: Page 112 of 411 (Kindle Version)  Jesus. I'm on page 112. I now understand why Fred Clark's Left Behind Fridays have been going on for years.  Just like this book.  We get a paragraph of melodramatic teenage thoughts that lead me to believe that I could have been a much better writer had I not ever read such pondering about time.  Then we get a paragraph of "what Chris thinks" about the same thing she was just thinking about.  Momma comes to see them. She brings them games. So now they kids have a stack of board games, including the absolute worst game ever invented, Monopoly. Fun fact: Monopoly was originally created to help show how certain economic principles work. Also, the house rule about free parking sucks and should be abolished.  The twins aren't interested in games, or toys.  For some reason, the kids wake up at the same time every day, despite not having an alarm clock. They do have wristwatches, though.  More logistics about how they go to the bathroom and get dressed. I'd wonder if perhaps the "All the days dragged by" was some sort of literary device to help you understand that the book is dragging because the kids are locked into a room with the same routine; but i don't know if VC is that smart.  The grandmother quizzes them about the bible, they repeat back verses much like an internet atheist. However, you'd think that asking kids to repeat verses from Job is just asking for trouble. If she told me to recite a verse, I think I might go directly to Ezekiel 23:20. Then again, Grandmother has a whip and she's not afraid to use it.  The mother shows up at 6 pm every evening with gifts, books, games. Does she ever remove broken items, trash, etc?  Momma worries about how she's getting fat. Because that's what your children who are locked into an attic care about. How you aren't getting your daily run in because you bring food to your imprisoned children.  The kids go to the attic and break a piano trying to tune it and listen to old records on a Victrola (records are these things we listened to music and audio recordings on before tapes, which came before CDS. You can still find CDs for sale sometimes. It was much less convenient than an MP3 but the sound quality was amazing and it's all probably  nostalgia for me.)  Carrie is a brat.  The kids take lots of baths because they are bored.  They mock the grandmother, which is dangerous because you never know where she might be lurking.   Cathy starts calling the twins "our twins" which is bizarre and sad. As they are the primary caregiver now, the twins are exhibiting learned helplessness at times with temper tantrums more suited to 3-year-old toddlers rather than 5-year-old children who should be in school, Carrie will only wear ruffled lace panties, which I'm not sure is information we need, nor does it develop the character in any meaningful way.   We also get our first glimpse at the reality of living in a room with kids not long out of diapers. Carrie gets diarrhea from fruit, Cory has a temperamental bladder. Cory is frequently peeing in a blue vase and Cathy is washing out lacy ruffled panties. Gross.  They try to explain why they are imprisoned to the twins and it's just sad.  Halfway through the chapter Momma didn't show up on a Sunday until the evening. She came in dressed for sailing, tan, bragging about how she's made plans for the afternoon, though she was kind enough to cut them short so she could see her children for five minutes before dinner. Her brothers taught her to sail. Which is pretty contradictory to the original claims that nothing fun was allowed in the Foxworth Ancestral Home.  Cathy grows a tiny bit of a backbone and pushes back and asks why. Until Chris comes down and tells her to stop shouting at "our mother." He's such an ass. He kisses up to her a bit, complimenting her on her outfit and hugging her. Cathy shouts a bit, tells her she has to tell her father about them, that she wants to go sailing. Momma does the dramatic thing and sinks weakly into a chair.  And then she confesses that she hasn't been honest. Well, shut the front door, I did NOT see that coming. The letter that was written before they moved to Foxworth had a note from the grandfather. The grandfather said that he was glad that Christopher the Elder was dead and the only good thing about the marriage was that it hadn't created any Devil's Issue. (WTF?) Mother Olivia made plans for the concealment of the children that Grandfather didn't read. Cathy compares Chris to their father in the middle of this.  Anyway, it takes over a page for mamma to come out and say that she plans on keeping the kids in the attic until Grandfather dies. Mother of the Year, might as well ship that right off to Foxworth.  Links to previous recaps  Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy" "The Road to Riches" "The Grandmother's House" "The Attic" "The Wrath of God" "Momma's Story"

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: Momma's Story

Chapter 6: Momma's Story  The Grandmother (yes, Cathy refers to her captor as "the grandmother" which is somewhat awkward, but I suppose it makes sense.) has left the room. Momma is still half naked and Cathy's "heart fluttered madly" as she watched her mother button up her blouse. Momma, unsurprisingly, downplays the abuse. Momma says that she should have warned the children that the grandparents are fanatically religious.  "Momma" then details her upbringing. It's all very boilerplate fundie; they (she has two older brothers) were forced to go to church even if sick. Normal pleasure were sinful. No swimming, because bathing suits expose too much. No card games or gambling. No dancing, no fun. Basically, it was Maxhell. Only with violence and money. Lots and lots of money. Apparently grandfather tithed very well, and basically owns the church.  All that is well and good, and somehow the very bland descriptions of "no fun" has captivated Cathy whose "eyes widened" and is spellbound. Even the twins are "spellbound" while 'momma' talks about religion. Has VC Andrews met a 5 year old?  Corrine continues to detail her past. "A beautiful young man came to live" His father was Corrine's grandfather, Garland, Christopher Foxworth. His mother, Alicia was only 16 when she married Garland (who was 55, and we are going to gloss right over that, aren't we?) Half of his estate (Garland's estate) should have gone to the three year old son of Alicia. But Malcolm, Corrine's father, contested it and kicked Alicia and her son out. They moved away. She remarried (this is important, why?) and died of breast cancer. Christopher then went to live at Foxworth (he was allowed back, why?) and his real name is Garland Christopher Foxworth the Fourth.  Corrine grew up with two older brothers. One day she hears that her mysterious half-uncle is coming to live at Foxworth Hall. She wants to make a good impression at 14 and decides to "prepare herself" by primping. She put on her best clothing, bathed, curled her hair. She also claims that 14 is an age when "a girl just begins to feel her power over men." Gross.  As an aside, when I was somewhere between 8 and 14 I was watching Baywatch, and I think the Beach Boys guest starred and for some reason there was a music video of "California Girls" or whatever that song is called. I remember watching it and thinking how gross it is that these old men are fantasizing over stereotypes. I never did figure out if I was a "northern girl" "East Coast Girl" or a "Midwest Farmer's Daughter" ... So I clearly did not get my "power" I just felt objectified. But, I also realized that different people like different things. Just like I didn't find David Hasselhoff to be super attractive, my cousins often argued over which baywatch babe was the best looking. It was not Pamela Anderson, btw.  Back to VC Andrews.  Momma is going on about how Christopher was poor and impressed by the great display of wealth and how her home was "exceptional" and how Chris was poor and his eyes lit up and bla bla bla.  Fortunately she is not going to share the details of her romance with Chris. I mean, she IS talking to her children. NO ONE wants to hear the details of their parents romance. She's shared enough.  For some reason, her parents sent Chris off to Yale. I mean, earlier, he was cast out of the house so he couldn't challenge their inheritance, but by all means, let's educate him and let him live here. Corrine isn't all concerned about his, though, she's yammering on about how her father thought of her as "his" and she would never get out and no one was good enough.  They educated him after Corrine's older brothers died tragically in accidents. (Of course.) So basically they decided that Corrine, being female, wasn't fit to inherit and the other heirs were gone, so why not?  This also leads me to believe that there was no reason for her to lock the kids in the attic (we knew that.) There are no other heirs. Her brothers are dead. Her half-uncle husband is dead. She could have just been a normal human who, when faced with the death of her husband, filed claims on his life insurance, sold the things of value, downsized the house, filed for welfare and social security for the dependents, got a job, and waited out her parents eventual death.  For some stupid reason, they had to hide the fact that Chris had a master's degree from Yale when they went out in the world.  And Cathy's take away is:    Corrine then tries to reassure the kids that they are not "deformed or mentally retarded" (hello, 1980s vocabulary!) It's several paragraphs of how perfect Cathy and Chris Jr are, along with some cheerleading. "Who are you?" "The Dresden Dolls!"  Momma claims that she will go enroll in business school to learn how to be a secretary. Man, I don't know why anyone needs to go to school to learn how to type and file, but then again, we go through admins like the Duggars go through tater-tot-casserole.  Corrine:  You are so dumb, Corrine. She leaves, going on and on about how she too is a prisoner, only of circumstances. That they need to keep to the rules. She'll bring them toys and games.  The kids go to bed. It's hot and there is no breeze. Cathy wants to be called "Catherine Doll" as her stage name in the future.  They discuss how they didn't get the ice cream they were promised as the chapter ends.      Links to previous recaps  Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy" "The Road to Riches" "The Grandmother's House" "The Attic" "The Wrath of God"

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

 

Flowers in the Attic: "The Wrath of God"

Chapter 5: The Wrath of God Momma's back! I know it's been, like, an entire week or two since the last chapter.  So I forgive everyone for forgetting that's been an ENTIRE DAY of not seeing their primary caregiver. If you, like me, had forgotten how long it had been, VC Andrews reminds you in the first sentence. "Momma came into our room this first night..."  "Momma" is tight-limbed and stiff-jointed. She's 33, so she's actually younger than me. I do not have 4 children locked in my hypothetical attic, so I'm winning in that aspect!  Cathy claims that the twins "thoughtlessly" run to hug Momma. She also goes on and on about her feelings while Momma just cries. Cathy isn't yet aware of how much her mother is an all over terrible human, so she thinks that Momma is crying for her. The twins complain about Cathy and Chris. Carrie is annoying.  Grandmother yells at Corrine to get Carrie to shut up, as Carrie has melted down into full blown temper tantrum. Grandmother grabs Carrie by the hair, Cory starts kicking Grandmother. There is some delightful description. "Quick as a cat he pounced on the grandmother!" and we get another "Good-golly day!" from Cathy. Seriously, if you can find a copy of this book without paying for it, I highly recommend it, if only for the overly dramatic writing about every minute detail. I thought I could handle extra details. I love A Song of Ice and Fire and even enjoyed reading about who is eating what and where. This, though, is something different.  Two pages to share that the Grandmother slapped Cory and yelled at Corrie to shut them up and that only Christopher the Elder knew how to handle the meltdowns.  Eventually something other than whining temper tantrum throwing children and the fallout that ensued happens and we find out that Corrine can't or won't leave Foxworth Hall with them. We also see that Grandmother has whipped Corrine. Thirty-three times, one for each year of her life, then fifteen more for each year of living in sin with Christopher Sr. Grandfather ordered the punishment and Grandmother carried it out. There's some shouting about Children from the Devil! Evil from the moment of conception!  Cathy "flounders in a maelstrom of uncertainty, aching inside, not know who she is" She wants to whip grandmother back.  Chris is angry, as he loved his mother best. K.  Links to previous recaps  Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy" "The Road to Riches" "The Grandmother's House" "The Attic"

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "The Attic"

Chapter 4: The Attic 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.  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.  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.  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:  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."  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:  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  Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy" "The Road to Riches" "The Grandmother's House"

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae

Flowers in the Attic: "The Grandmother's House"

Chapter 3: The Grandmother's House My dad's funeral is tomorrow. I've got my own VC Andrews world going on, with lots of family secrets coming out. No one has been locked into an attic and poisoned with arsenic donuts though. And, instead of a 200 year old house with a name, I'm in the armpit of the midwest in a 100 year old farm house that may or may not burn down at any moment due to bad wiring and 50 years of DIY "upgrades." Think antique tractors in the yard, chickens, several barns full of "stuff" (i think people just move items out there for "storage" and forget about them. lots of rusty metal.) Me and Cathy, we are basically the same. I mean, she has a narcissistic mother, and I have a mother who keeps telling me she loves me. She has several siblings and I once imagined I had a sibling. She's heir to a fortune and I'm allowed to keep my dad's military flag. Alas, on to the recap!  We find out from Cathy that Cory and Christopher have curly hair. Seriously, the first page is a description of their hair and the room. Cathy also claims that her brother Christopher is "all boy" which is a phrase that makes my eye twitch.  The room is cluttered and dark, with four lamps and an "Oriental red rug."  Cathy is talking about a picture of hell, by the way.  Christopher: Because preteen boys know Spanish romantic painters.  We get a little bit of character development for the twins. Carrie is opinionated. She talks a lot. Cory is a listener.  Grandmother shows up with a tray of food. She decides that in the future she'll use a picnic basket. She tells the children to make the food last all day. The breakfast food is, surprisingly, for breakfast. The sandwiches and soup are for lunch, and the dinner is for dinner. It's fried chicken, potato salad, and string beans, if you cared. I'm concerned about a mayonnaise based "salad" sitting around all day. Unless they make it differently in Virginia.  Actually, my mom makes a hot potato salad that she called "german potato salad" that has no mayo and is actually really good. I think it has vinegar and mustard? I have no idea. I'll look for a recipe later.   The children are told the fruit is for dessert and if they are silent and good the grandmother might bring ice cream and cake or cookies. "No candy, ever."  Grandmother gives them a list of rules. Before she pulls a literal list out of a "dress pocket," (Which, whaaaaaaaaaaaat??? I have, like, two dresses with pockets. Was this common and then in the 90s the male fashion designers who hate women decided to kill the dress pocket? Assholes.) she reminds them to "be modest in the bathroom."  Several paragraphs about getting dressed and Cory peeing into a vase later, Christopher says:  Carrie complains about the food. She wants cold cereal with raisins, not "no hot, lumpy, bumpy food that's greasy." She did not meet the grandmother the night before, obviously.  Chris reads the rules. They are typed in all caps, according to Cathy. As follows (paraphrased) FULLY DRESSED AT ALL TIMES DO NOT TAKE THE LORDS NAME IN VAIN, ALWAYS SAY GRACE. HE IS WATCHING NEVER OPEN THE DRAPERIES NEVER SPEAK TO ME UNLESS I SPEAK FIRST  YOU WILL KEEP THIS ROOM NEAT AND ORDERLY, ALWAYS WITH THE BEDS MADE NEVER TO BE IDLE. DEVOTE 5 HOURS EACH DAY TO STUDYING AND USE THE REMAINDER OF YOUR TIME TO DEVELOP YOUR ABILITIES IN SOME MEANINGFUL WAY. IF YOU HAVE ANY SKILLS YOU WILL SEEK TO IMPROVE THEM, IF YOU HAVE NO ABILITIES OR TALENTS OR SKILLS YOU WILL READ THE BIBLE. IF YOU CAN NOT READ YOU WILL SIT AND STARE AT THE BIBLE AND TRY TO ABSORB THROUGH THE PURITY OF YOUR THOUGHTS THE MEANING OF THE LORD AND HIS WAYS.  YOU WILL CLEAN YOUR TEETH AFTER BREAKFAST EACH DAY AND BEFORE RETIRING EACH NIGHT IF I CATCH BOYS AND GIRLS USING THE BATHROOM AT THE SAME TIME I WILL, QUITE RELENTLESSLY PEEL THE SKINS FROM YOUR BACKS YOU WILL BE MODEST AND DISCREET AT ALL TIMES YOU WILL NOT HANDLE OR PLAY WITH THE PRIVATE PARTS OF YOUR BODIES NOR LOOK AT THEM OR THINK ABOUT THEM YOU WILL NOT ALLOW WICKED THOUGHTS IN YOUR MID YOU WILL NOT LOOK AT MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX UNLESS IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN READ WILL TAKE TURNS READING ALOUD FROM THE BIBLE DAILY BATHE DAILY, CLEAN THE TUB LEARN ONE QUOTE FROM THE BIBLE A DAY YOU WILL EAT ALL OF THE FOOD  YOU WILL NOT STRIDE ABOUT IN THE BEDROOM WEARING ONLY NIGHTCLOTHES. AT ALL TIMESS WEAR A ROBE OVER NIGHTCLOTHES STAND AT ATTENTION WHEN I ENTER YOUR ROOM  DO NOT LOOK AT ME OR THINK OF ME WITH DISRESPECT YOU WILL NOT JUMP, YELL, SHOUT, OR SPEAK IN LOUD VOICES. NEVER WEAR HARD SOLED SHOES YOU WILL NOT WASTE TOILET TISSUE OR SOAP. IF YOU OVERFLOW THE TOILET YOU WILL CLEAN IT. IF YOU BREAK IT, YOU'LL USE THE CHAMBERPOTS AND YOUR MOM WILL EMPTY THEM THE BOYS WILL WASH THEIR OWN CLOTHES IN THE BATHTUB, AS WILL THE GIRLS. MOTHER WILL TAKE CARE OF THE BED LINENS AND TOWELS. IF YOU SOIL THE BED, YOU WILL BE THRASHED.  Through out the reading of the rules, the children comfort each other and Cathy sighs and has melodramatic thoughts. At the end, Grandmother gives yet another warning about not deceiving her, mocking her, joking about her, etc. Also they are never to mention their father's name or refer to him. Which seems kind of difficult, considering that Christopher is named after Christopher, but whatever. I really wish VC Andrews had chosen names that weren't so similar.  They wonder if they will be locked up for a long, long time. If only they knew.  So this chapter was shorter and more interesting than the previous one, though Cathy is overly dramatic, and the prose is ... not great. I'd forgotten about all the religion, somehow. I mean, I remember the horrible things that were done, because of greed, and fear of incest, but I'd forgotten about the religious motivation. The children are still full of hope - or at least Cathy is. Talking about being free, and their grandfather's love, and how it's going to be better.  Christopher reminds them that they still have their mother. And then the chapter is over.  Links to previous recaps 
Prologue and "Good-Bye Daddy"
"The Road to Riches"  

Maggie Mae

Maggie Mae



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