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Flowers (Children) in the Attic: "My Stepfather" (Part 3)

Maggie Mae

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TW: anti-feminist behavior, discussion of rape. 

They go out onto the roof. Apparently Corrine has not yet brought them cigarettes and cheap wine, so they cry into each others arms. This night is described a "night for lovers." Whatever that means. 

Cathy blames herself because this book was written in the 70s and takes place in the 80s, though, she does say "he didn't mean to." Which is something, I guess. Cathy worries to herself about giving birth to a deformed baby or an idiot. (Nice.) 

Chris assures her the odds are against a baby. It was one time. There wont' be another. It was her first time. He says he didn't "mean to rape her," though he's kind enough to tell her that he's been tempted plenty of times. He'd turn it off by going into the attic or the bathroom and "putting his nose in a book." Uh huh. 

Cathy claims she could have stopped him if she wanted to, and reiterates that it's her fault too. She thinks to herself how it is her fault, how she shouldn't have been wearing "skimpy little see through garments around a brother who had all a man's strong physical needs" and how "she shouldn't have kissed Momma's handsome young husband" and on and on. Cathy. It's not your fault. 

Cathy goes on about the night being peculiar and fate and destiny (the concept, not the person who posts on FJ). There's some scene setting. It's cold on the roof, and we're reminded that it's early September and the leaves are falling. (This is the south, right? Is that accurate?) 

Paragraph on top of paragraph describing each other, feelings, loins, leaves, and music. 

Chris says that they have $396.44, they don't have winter coats or boots, and the twins are so weakened that they will catch cold. The parents believe that the maids are stealing, and he worries that Momma will suspect it's Cathy. He thinks that stealing all the jewelry is a good idea, in one sweep, and just go. Cathy is all "duh, I said that AGES ago" but only to herself because she's a good little princess in the Patriarchy. 

Cathy worries for half a second about her mom missing them, before she moves on to thinking about an owl she hears in the distance, and the fog rising. She ends this bit with "All we could see in the murky-gray and cold, damp clouds was that single great eye of God - Shining up there in the moon." I don't get it. I guess she means the moon? 

***

She wakes up and stands over Chris and Cory. Chris is crying and she names his tears because this book is ridiculous. I'm reminded of the quintessential early 90's film staring Ricki Lake "Cry Baby" with a girl crying into a jar.

She tells him she loves him, and calls him Christopher Doll. 

The reader is reminded that she knows him right down to his "bone marrow." She says: 

Quote

And so it had come to pass, just as the grandmother predicted. Devil's issue. Created by evil sown in the wrong soil, shooting up new plants to repeat the sins of the fathers. 

And the mothers. 

And this chapter is DONE. Three more chapters. We're on page 359 of 411, so it can't be that much longer before I can move on. Or I could watch the film.  

Let me know in the comments if there are typos or things I should fix! I'm rushing through this at the end of a long work day. 

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FloraDoraDolly

Posted

The film ends differently than the book. At least the 1987 film does. (This chapter, for example, is not in it.)

I don't know about the newer movie because I haven't seen it.

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SassyPantswithASideofClass

Posted

Thank you for the recap! Sorry for slightly stalking your blog for the newest recaps! Love your insight on this book. Are you going to do the rest of the series? (I think there's like 5 books?)

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Maggie Mae

Posted

3 hours ago, SassyPantswithASideofClass said:

Thank you for the recap! Sorry for slightly stalking your blog for the newest recaps! Love your insight on this book. Are you going to do the rest of the series? (I think there's like 5 books?)

I haven't decided yet. @HerNameIsBuffy can you make me a poll? (or give me polling permissions? 😁)

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AliceInFundyland

Posted

Oh @Maggie Mae I feel like subjecting you to five more books of this would be torture. You may lose your zest for life.

You should watch the original movie for pop culture continuity though.

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