This installment of the bestest ever book series opens with a scintillating passage.
Somebody was screaming on the attic stairs! I bolted awake and looked around to see who was missing. Cory!
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?
As far as I knew, Cory had just about everything money could buy except a pet, his freedom and the great outdoors.
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.