Friday, June 11, 2010

As Retold by Sadako: Flowers in the Attic

Hey fans of terrible writing. For my recap of this book, I decided I needed a special guest star. Or should I say special ghost star? Please welcome author and incest advocate V.C. Andrews, here to do some selected readings from her book Flowers in the Attic.

V.C. Andrews: "There was once a wonderful family of blonde haired, blue eyed people. The Dollangangers. Cathy, her older brother Chris, the young twins, Cory and Carrie, and their parents Corrine and Christopher. They were all so beautiful and doll-like that their friends called them the Doll family."

Sadako: "And here I thought such people only existed in LladrĂ³."

V.C. Andrews: "The family patriarch dies in a car accident when Cathy is twelve. Since Cathy's parents bought everything on credit, all the property in their lovely five bedroom house will be repossessed."

Sadako: "Even the plastic on the furniture?"

V.C. Andrews: "But it turns out that Cathy's mother has a rich family who cut Corrine out of the will. The plan is to get back in the will because conveniently, Cathy's grandfather is old and dying. There is a catch."

Sadako: "Does it involve wearing hideous masks all evening in New Orleans? Sweet. I've got my Ann Coulter mask and my grand high witch one!"

V.C. Andrews: "Grandfather doesn't know that Corrine had children so until he puts her back in the will, they need to live in the attic. Their grandmother does know about them and helps keep the kids hidden. She is evil and hideous and has a stiff bosom. She also makes the children read the Bible all day long. She's incredibly cruel and, worst of all, hates incest. "

Sadako: "Dastardly. For no reason at all?"

V.C. Andrews: "Oh, well, it turns out that Cathy's mother, Corrine, was related to Cathy's father. He was her half uncle who came to live with the family when he was older. They couldn't help themselves and fell in love and were disowned."

Sadako: "Corrine never thought about, you know, getting a job, rather than putting her kids through hell?"

V.C. Andrews: "She's too frightfully pretty and terrible at typing to do anything silly like getting a job. She does her best, though, bringing the children food and presents. As the years of living in an attic pass, the children cope as best they can. Cathy turns into a beautiful young woman. She has large perky breasts, a beautiful physique, gorgeous blonde tresses..."

Sadako: "And rickety, Vitamin-D deficient legs?"

V.C. Andrews: "But Grandmother is old and hates nudity and sin. One day she sees Cathy watching herself naked in the bedroom."

Grandmother: "Sinners! You think you look pretty? You think those new young curves are attractive? How many times have you allowed your brother to use your body?"

V.C. Andrews: "Grandmother tells Cathy that she must cut off her hair. Christopher and Cathy run upstairs into the separate attic and hide. Grandmother is claustrophobic and can't follow. So Grandmother threatens to starve them out, but Cathy's older brother tells them they must hold out. Days go by and the children grow weaker. Especially the young twins. Chris slits his wrists to give the twins sustenance but it's not enough. Escape is necessary."

Sadako: "Plus Cathy and Chris are probably running low on nipple clamps and other mindless torture devices."

V.C. Andrews: "Cathy and Chris decide to escape by climbing out the attic window. Chris finds four dead mice in a trap and tells Cathy that they must eat them for strength. The prospect of eating mice is grim."

Sadako: "At least they don't have to do anything really serious, though. Like cutting a pretty girl's hair."

V.C. Andrews: "But when Chris goes down to get salt and pepper to season the dead mice, he sees that Grandmother has brought them a huge picnic basket."

Sadako: "Tell Chris to save those mice. You never know when you're going to need a disgustingly novel plot twist up in that attic."

V.C. Andrews: "Along with the food, Grandmother had included four powdered doughnuts. Even though she never gave them anything sweet for fear of cavities. But the children decide to eat them, giving the bulk of the sweet food to the twins."

Sadako: "Taking uncharacteristically sweet food from a hag who screams at the thought of uncovered table legs? I like the way they think."

V.C. Andrews: "Later, Momma returns. She has presents, and she's also gotten married to a lawyer, and she's not sure how to tell him she has secret family members in the attic."

Sadako: "That's why her engagement gift to him should have been the annotated Jane Eyre."

V.C. Andrews: "Cathy's had enough. Although Chris and Cathy have grown more and more beautiful in their years in the attic, Cory and Carrie have barely grown at all and are quite weak and sunlight deprived. Cathy sarcastically screams at her mother."

Cathy: "Look at us, Momma! Look especially long on your two youngest. Their full cheeks don't look gaunt, do they? Their hair isn't dull, is it? Their eyes--they're not dark and hollowed out, are they? Do you see how much they've grown, how healthily they thrive?"

Sadako: "Do you see? Do you see how stilted the prose of your eldest daughter has grown?"

V.C. Andrews: "Momma is angry and leaves in a huff. Chris and Cathy plan to escape now. They manage to fashion a key out of a bar of soap and use it to escape to steal money and jewelry from their mother's bedroom. They'll escape one day. But one day, Christopher sees Cathy performing ballet. He's overcome and holds her down and--"

Sadako: "He commits rape?"

V.C. Andrews: "I'd put it more like...His burgeoning sexuality takes a hold of him. But Cathy knows it wasn't his fault. He apologizes afterward, but so does Cathy."

Cathy: "No, Chris. It wasn't your fault. I'm to blame, too. I let you do it. If I'd wanted to stop you, all I had to do was hurl myself out the window to my death or eat one of the Krispy Cyanides."

V.C. Andrews: "After all, she does have such beautiful blonde hair, it's not really his fault."

Sadako: "And eyes so blue they'd drive a Toni Morrison character to suicide."

V.C. Andrews: "Then one day Cory becomes ever so sick and is taken to hospital. It turns out he died and John does some delving into his encyclopedias and the children realize it was arsenic poisoning from the deadly doughnuts."

Sadako: "Between the fake key and the medical knowledge, is Christopher going to grow up to be a sex addicted MacGuyver?"

V.C. Andrews: "The children decide to make a clean sweep of all their mother's jewels before escaping. But her mother and her new rich husband have cleared out. And while trying to do some thieving, Chris overhears the butler and the maid."

Butler: "How about a little of the old in out in out?"

Maid: "Yes. But I feel suddenly compelled to talk about our masters and betters right now. Isn't it a pity that the old man is dead? And that his daughter got everything in the end and cleared off?"

Butler: "I'd like to whisper sweet nothings into your ear involving what I'd like to do to your bodice. But instead I'm going to add that wasn't it interesting how the old man worked it into his will that if it was ever discovered that his daughter had produced children that she'd lose all her money after the fact? Even though to the best of our knowledge she never had children?"

V.C. Andrews: "Cathy, Christopher and Carrie escape the house on a train. Who knows what the future will bring for these three brave, beautiful children? God only knows."

Sadako: "Only God. And Andrew Neiderman."