“For I think of us more as flowers in the attic. Paper flowers. Born so brightly colored, and fading duller through all those long, grim, dreary, nightmarish days when we were held prisoners of hope, and kept captives by greed.’ (location 33-38)
So apparently every teenager in the US has read Flowers in the Attic. I’ve never heard of it. But when Heather suggested a group read over at insatiable booksluts, I thought it sounded interesting and decided to join. I didn’t know much about what I was getting myself into except that it was something about a group of kids being locked in the attic and about some really nasty grandparents.
So after reading the first part of the book, I can easily see why this has been so popular among teenagers – I would definitely have loved it if I had read it some twenty years ago. This is the story of a beautiful and lovely family. Two loving parents, the teenagers Chris and Cathy and then the twins, Cory and Carrie.
But tragedy strikes and their father is killed in a tragic accident: ‘According to the accounts, which we’ve recorded, there was a motorist driving a blue Ford weaving in and out of the left and lane, apparently drunk, and he crashed head-on into your husband’s car. But it seems your husband must have seen the accident coming, for he swerved to avoid a head-on collision, but a piece of machinery had fallen from another car, or truck, and this kept him from copleting his correct defense driving maneuver, which would have saved his life. But as it was, your husband’s much heavier car turned over several times, and still he might have survived, but an oncoming truck, unable to stop, crashed into his car, and again the Cadillac spun over … and the … it caught on fire.’ (location 223-30) And then it caught on fire. Indeed it did.
This leaves the mother to care for the children on her own and since she has no skills, she decides to go back to the parents who disinherited her fifteen years earlier. She drags the kids along, forces them to leave most of their toys behind and doesn’t exactly tell them the reality of the house, they are going to.
Of course, no words could have prepared the children for the reality of their grandparent’s home. Or house rather, there’s not much home about it. The children are forced to stay in one room and are allowed to play in the attic. Their grandmother are a cold and cruel woman who reveals to the children that their parents were in fact related and because of that, in her opinion, the children should never have been born. And she gives the children a list of insane rules they are supposed to follow if they know what’s best for them. And she forces their mother to show them what happens if they don’t – she’s whipped their mother. Thirty-three lashes, one for each year she has lived, and then fifteen lashes, one for each year she lived with the children’s father.
So this is where we are. The children are stuck in a room in a house where they are not wanted. The mother is being whipped by the grandmother and the grandfather is lying in a bed, supposed to die soon.
This is definitely an engaging read. It’s not the best writing I’ve ever read, but it is very entertaining and creepy. I have a pretty good idea about what’s going to happen but I’m still looking very much forward to reading it.
I’ve actually read this – back in the days when it first came out! A colleague at work raved about it and several other Virginia Andrews books and persuaded me to read it! Alas I thought it was terrible! But I have to admit I was the only one – everybody else at the time thought it was wonderful!
I think it’s one of those books where you have to value the story more than the writing. The story is engaging, I think, but the writing is … rather terrible.
I’ve never read this book. After reading your review…I don’t know if I could handle it. I would probably end up throwing it across the room or something.
Oh, and this is just the first part. It gets much much worse as you read along!
Gah. I don’t even want to think about it! >.<
I’m so glad you’re reading along. Even though I’ve read the book before, it was so many years ago that I don’t remember much at all about it. I almost feel like I’m reading it for the first time.
How about the grandmother’s list of rules? They are scary and hilarious at the same time. I just…yeah.
That list… She’s one of those people who almost forces you to do bad by trying to prevent it in such an over-the-top way!
Yep! They never would have thought of half that crap if she hadn’t brought it up.
Nope. She gave them all the ‘right’ ideas…
Oooh I would have been tempted to join if I had known. It’s too late now. I’ve had this on my piles for ages.
Oh you can still join. We’ve just read the first part and have three parts more to go. And it’s a fast, easy and engaging read!
I read this in high school and was completely enthralled- the taboo aspect is incredibly appealing when you’re sixteen… and thirty.