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

Maggie Mae

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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: 

Quote

Chris, someday I'm going to dance in the arms of a husband who loves me, and if he really wants a baby, then I might agree to have one.

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. 

Spoiler

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clueliss

Posted

When I read this circa 1979/80 I felt it outdated and may have mentally set it in the late 50s or 60s

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AnywhereButHere

Posted

Walking by the book display at my Stop & Shop at lunch today, and saw this. It looks like it was just published this year. V.C. Andrews still titillating and corrupting tweens and teens 30 years on! :pb_lol:

3041B718-E04E-4568-A39A-A17E5308A7DD.jpeg

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

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(or have them climb down too, they are 6 or 8 not toddlers)

I don't think mine could have made it down three stories at that age, and certainly not Cory and Carrie who are so malnourished that their growth is stunted.  

But I'm still super pissy at Ms. Andrews over the last chapter.  Leaving them alone while C and C just went out to look at each other in another setting was such a stupid plot point.

I don't recall who the actress who plays Corrine is but I remember seeing the original movie thinking they did a terrible job casting.  She is an attractive woman, but not the OMG so stunning of Corrine.  Heather Graham fit the Corrine type much better, I thought.

And the grandmother in the original was too attractive, not nearly austere enough.

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Maggie Mae

Posted

3 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

I don't think mine could have made it down three stories at that age, and certainly not Cory and Carrie who are so malnourished that their growth is stunted.  

I have no idea, but you'd think that Chris being Mr Wizard and Wise Beyond His Years, could rig up some sort of harness so they could belay themselves down. Chris goes down first, Cathy straps them in, one at a time, then Cathy climbs down. Of course, they would then need to have an actual rope and some rings and a way to get up and down quickly. Or strap them to their backs somehow. Maybe there's a backpack somewhere in the giant attic of deus ex machinas. Just stuff 'em in. 

Otherwise, just have them not even try to leave. It's just a dumb plot point to have them leave to go swimming and then go back in without being caught. And it's kind of against human nature - they got out once, why not go out again? After a week of being inside, most people would forget about how hard it was to get back up, especially since she did make it all the way. 

3 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

I don't recall who the actress who plays Corrine is but I remember seeing the original movie thinking they did a terrible job casting.  She is an attractive woman, but not the OMG so stunning of Corrine.  Heather Graham fit the Corrine type much better, I thought.

Heather Graham looks the part much more, and she can pull off the selfish & materialist & dumb & manipulative character really well. I don't think she's actually a terrible person, in real life, either. 

3 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

And the grandmother in the original was too attractive, not nearly austere enough.

They just look like 80s soap stars. It could be the staging. It's probably the staging. 

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

2 minutes ago, Maggie Mae said:

I have no idea, but you'd think that Chris being Mr Wizard and Wise Beyond His Years, could rig up some sort of harness so they could belay themselves down. Chris goes down first, Cathy straps them in, one at a time, then Cathy climbs down. Of course, they would then need to have an actual rope and some rings and a way to get up and down quickly. Or strap them to their backs somehow. Maybe there's a backpack somewhere in the giant attic of deus ex machinas. Just stuff 'em in. 

That's what I would do, and hope they'd freeze in fear until we hit the ground rather than freak out and fight the harness.

As much as I love young Carrie the truth screamer if it were me...I'd yell 'not it' fast when it came to who gets to carry her down.  Cory would be a much safer bet.

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WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo?

Posted

22 minutes ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

And the grandmother in the original was too attractive, not nearly austere enough.

Well, it looks like Louise Fletcher, (aka Nurse Ratched, Kai Winn, and various other villains) played the grandmother. I can see why she would get the role, given her background of playing nasty villains so well. 

22 hours ago, clueliss said:

When I read this circa 1979/80 I felt it outdated and may have mentally set it in the late 50s or 60s

I don't own a copy of the book, so I can't look it up, but I remember a line in the beginning of the book that sets it in the 50s or 60s. Something about how when Cathy was growing up in the 50s, life was always fun, easy, and terrific before Daddy died. Plus, the twins like to watch The Mickey Mouse Club and I Love Lucy when they get the tv set. Granted, those could easily be reruns, but it fits the era.

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HerNameIsBuffy

Posted

2 minutes ago, WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo? said:

Well, it looks like Louise Fletcher, (aka Nurse Ratched, Kai Winn, and various other villains) played the grandmother. I can see why she would get the role, given her background of playing nasty villains so well. 

I don't own a copy of the book, so I can't look it up, but I remember a line in the beginning of the book that sets it in the 50s or 60s. Something about how when Cathy was growing up in the 50s, life was always fun, easy, and terrific before Daddy died. Plus, the twins like to watch The Mickey Mouse Club and I Love Lucy when they get the tv set. Granted, those could easily be reruns, but it fits the era.

It was definitely set in the 50's...they didn't specify a year that I recall but definitely was the 50s when they went into the attic.  

One reason I was sooo disappointing with the dress in the Lifetime movies.  I hate the color green but that chiffon velvet number that clung and floated around her has always stuck in my mind.  High glamour of a decade where women wore hats and white gloves to even go shopping.  

Another change that made no sense....and for me that particular dress was integral.  It was a dress you can see being so memorable Cathy could describe from memory years later.  The nice but unremarkable beige number Corrine wore in the movie wouldn't have been.

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AliceInFundyland

Posted

I found Louise Fletcher sufficiently terrifying. That was fifth grade me. We watched it at a slumber party. The group needed to turn it off. I was not happy about that. I had to go rent it later. (Around this time I had a buddy on my street who would watch horror movies with me and eat bags of candy. It was a good time. We made decisions based on the covers of the video box.)

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18 hours ago, HerNameIsBuffy said:

I don't think mine could have made it down three stories at that age, and certainly not Cory and Carrie who are so malnourished that their growth is stunted.  

But I'm still super pissy at Ms. Andrews over the last chapter.  Leaving them alone while C and C just went out to look at each other in another setting was such a stupid plot point.

I don't recall who the actress who plays Corrine is but I remember seeing the original movie thinking they did a terrible job casting.  She is an attractive woman, but not the OMG so stunning of Corrine.  Heather Graham fit the Corrine type much better, I thought.

And the grandmother in the original was too attractive, not nearly austere enough.

Victoria Tennant played Corrine in movie.I didn't like how they only hinted at the incest,not that I wanted it to be so graphic,like the Lifetime channel did.In the movie ,I didn't like how they wrapped everything up,no chance of a sequel..when Corrine gets hung up on her dress.

Also ,did you know it was VC Andrews dream to be in a movie or TV?She got her wish,She was the maid washing the windows.

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FloraDoraDolly

Posted

Re: time period. At some point in either Flowers or Petals, it says that Cory died in 1960.

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