Friday, May 3, 2013

Darn it, Bob....

Bob, over at Candy Coated Razor Blades, posted about psycho old biddies the other day, and closed it out with Louise Fletcher's scenery chewing in Flowers in the Attic.

Which of course, inspired me to rewatch the horrible horrible movie again, and then look up the entire Dollenganger saga by VC Andrews. (Although technically, I'm pretty sure some of the later books were done by her ghostwriter.)

Because, seriously, that cookie is made of WIN!

Anyway, I last read most of the series in 8th grade. (I never did finish the prequel, Garden of Shadows. Of course, after 5 books of this crap, I was done by the end.)

For those who have never endured Ms. Andrews (or Andrew Neiderman, the estate's ghostwriter), the series starts with Cathy and her siblings moving to her grandparents' estate following the death of her father and the catastrophic financial crisis this entails for her poor mother. 

Problem being that A) Grandmother doesn't like children, and B) Grandfather won't give Momma money if she had kids. This necessitates locking 4 young children in a small room with access to the attic. For several years. Because Mom eventually forgets about them. But Grandmother doesn't. Oh no. Grandmother is like Pepperidge Farm. She remembers. And heaven forbid the little devil spawn do anything Grandmother doesn't like. And she doesn't like a lot of things. At one point, Grandmother starves the children because Cathy won't cut her hair. Then she drugs Cathy and puts tar in her hair to make her cut it. This allows for my first exposure to watersports in fiction as her older brother Chris tries uric acid as a tar removal system. 

Speaking of Chris, as brother and sister enter puberty, guess which brother and sister start exploring sexual desire together? Oh yes, incest. And the worst part? They keep sleeping together for the rest of the series. 

Anyway, to make a very long story short, they escape after the youngest brother dies from arsenic poisoning in the cookies Grandmother brings them to eat. All of which leads to 4 more books of Chris and Cathy alternately loving and hating each other, trying to ruin their mother's life, being locked in a basment with said mother while the building burns, one of Cathy's children getting crushed by a large building during a ballet version of Sampson and Delilah... It's trashy, gothic, and hard to put down. And particularly as a teen, quite exciting.

Any rate, a real review should go up this weekend, as I'm about done with the book I'm reading.