Posted by: Megan | April 2, 2012

Told Ya So

A quick note for the searchers who want the “OMG sex!” details of “when Chris and Cathy have sex in Flowers in the Attic“. (I don’t feel like bringing this up in a Search Term Post because, well…)

They don’t. He rapes her. She forgives him and yes, they do later begin a consensual sexual relationship (to a degree, but that’s all for later), but in Flowers in the Attic he rapes her.

So, yeah. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but there have been a LOT of searches along those lines lately and I guess today was my limit. So…okay.

How about a recap?

Beau and Ruby (with Pearl) head down to Cypress Woods to see Paul. When they get there, they find him joined by his sisters, who are happy to see Pearl but none too thrilled to see Beau and “Gisselle”. Paul, unsurprisingly, is drunk, and is speaking mostly in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-esque slurry sarcasm. Jeanne whisks Pearl away and Toby goes to make lunch arrangements, leaving Ruby and Beau with Paul. Paul starts rambling about dreams and fate and SWAMP mud

Sounds okay to me.

Seriously? I’m not a paragraph in! Shoo.

ANYWAY. Paul starts talking about Grandmere Catherine and how she used to say that if you swim against the tide, you drown (cheery old Grandma wisdom) and acts as though Ruby is really Gisselle and never knew her grandmother. Ruby begs him to knock it off and tell the truth, which naturally brings on a rant about how ironic it is that either Beau or Ruby would talk about the truth and it also give us this gem:

“What is the truth? Is it that love is a really a cruel sword we turn on ourselves, exquisite torment?”

Yes. Yes, that’s exactly it. He wants to know why Beau gets to be so lucky and Beau doesn’t really have an answer, he just reminds Paul that he made a promise to Ruby and he needs to keep it.  Beau offers to help Paul send Gisselle to a New Orleans hospital, but Paul refuses, again claiming that Gisselle is Ruby and that he takes his wedding vows seriously. That’s all Paul has to say, so he leaves them to go lie down, and then…and then…

HE ROLLS BACK DOWN THE STAIRS.

Hahahahahahaha oh I shouldn’t laugh at poor drunk Paul, but oh my stars he rolls down the stairs. Beau and the butler help him up to his room and Ruby cries for a while. Beau returns and they discuss again how they shouldn’t have let Paul be so involved. Well, it’s too bad guys, but you did. And now he’s drunk and crazy, so it’s just a marvelous plan you guys have going on there. Jeanne comes down with Pearl and is a little put out by how happy Pearl is to see “Gisselle”. She tells Beau and Ruby that she thinks that Pearl thinks that “Gisselle” is her mother and she just thinks it’s so sad that a little girl would make that kind of mistake. She starts to suggest that they leave Pearl with her, but Ruby cuts her off, explaining that they’re fine and have hired a nanny. Jeanne is clearly judging them for that, but they get interrupted by the appearance of Toby and lunch.

After lunch, the adults (sans Pearl and Paul) sit out on the terrace drinking coffee and Ruby asks if Gladys has been to the hospital to see, er…Ruby. She hasn’t, because as Toby explains, she just hates hospitals, which is why she had Paul at home. Mmm hmmm. Jeanne asks if they’re going to go and Ruby does her best Gisselle and notes that her sister is just lying there in a bed, so what’s the point? Jeanne starts to cry and Toby gets pissed. Smooooooooooooth, guys. Ruby hastily says that maybe they should go visit her and goes back in the house, followed by Beau. Ruby blames herself for everything, reminding Beau of that time she had the voodoo curse put on Gisselle. Beau’s tired of that noise, so he just asks if she wants to wait until Pearl wakes up or leave then. They decide to go then and collect Pearl on the way back. Before they leave, however, Ruby runs back to her old room to get her pouch of five-finger grass and the dime on a string that Nina once gave her.

They go to see Gisselle and Ruby cries some more and ties the dime around Gisselle’s ankle and puts the pouch under her pillow. Beau isn’t thrilled since he thinks people will get suspicious, but Ruby assures him that they’ll just think some of Grandmere’s friends did it. They swing back to Cypress Woods to get Pearl and Jeanne suggests, again, that they leave the baby with her. Ruby insists it’s no trouble and that she once promised her sister that she’d watch Pearl, and they get the heck out of Dodge before Jeanne can push it some more. Really, guys? Did you really not think that there’d ever be an issue with the custody of Pearl? As far as the world knows, you are Pearl’s non-biological uncle and her bitchy bitchy aunt. Why would anyone think you were the best choice of guardian next to, say, her sweet supposedly biological aunt who lives right near her father? Sigh. This is just the worst plan. Bridget on Ringer took over her sister’s life like two hours after her sister allegedly died and she still did a better job than this.

So they go home to New Orleans. Some time goes by, in which Ruby manages to alienate all of Gisselle’s old friends, and spends most of her days taking care of Pearl and painting. Whenever she calls to talk to Paul, he’s unavailable, so she gets the increasingly bitchy Toby who also brings up the fact that she thinks that Pearl should be returned to Paul. (Y’all really never thought this would be an issue?) Ruby whines some more to Beau about spiders’ webs and fate and blah blah blah YOU DID THIS TO YOURSELF. IF YOU’D JUST GOTTEN DIVORCES THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ISSUE.

Well, it wouldn’t be our Ruby’s life if something majorly dramatic didn’t happen right about now, so here it is. She’s up painting in her studio one day when the butler comes to tell her that she has a visitor and before Ruby can find out who it is, he busts into the room. It’s Bruce! Good old Bruce. He smells of gin! He’s unshaven! His collar is undone! His tie is stained! Hell, at least he still has a tie on. That is some classy drunkery. He immediately starts making fun of Ruby, assuming that she’s Gisselle pretending to have her sister’s talent. She tries to get rid of him, but oh no, he wants to have his say. He tries to blackmail her by reminding her of the time that he slept with Gisselle, but Ruby tells him that Beau knows all about it and it’s an empty threat. And then, he notices that the paint on the canvas is still wet. And even drunk, Bruce can put two and two together and realizes that she’s Ruby. Ruby starts to freak out and then Beau rushes in and starts wrangling Bruce out. Bruce thinks that this is all some insurance scam and threatens to tell everyone, which Beau just laughs at and throws him out.

 Ruby is justifiably freaked out, but Beau tries to calm her down, telling her that no one is going to believe old drunk Bruce

Exactly this will happen if he tries to tell anyone.

but Ruby isn’t so sure and she starts to get ever more anxious and paranoid. Oh and apparently they still have a portrait of Daphne up in the house and Ruby can feel it smirking at her. Am I really to believe that Gisselle wouldn’t have hosted a burning party for that? Come on.

More time passes and Beau seems to be right–if Bruce says anything, no one believes him. Gisselle’s condition stays the same, but Paul gets worse and worse, even sleeping in Ruby and Grandmere’s old shack some nights. Jeanne tries to guilt “Gisselle” into coming to visit her sister, but Ruby says it’s too hard for her. Jeanne is also starting to get pretty insistent about the Pearl situation, though she admits that Gladys seems to agree with “Gisselle” for now, and Paul won’t discuss it. Ruby gets painter’s block after what happened with Bruce (Oh noooooo). And then…oh lord. And then one day, Ruby gets another visitor.

It’s Louis! (yaaaaaay?) We get some recap about who Louis is and it takes right up to him walking into the room for Ruby to remember that she has to pretend to be Gisselle. My GOD this is the worst plan. She and Louis make polite conversation about “Ruby’s” condition and we hear a little about how popular Louis was as a performer in Europe. He’s brought along some tickets to his New Orleans show for Beau and Gisselle. He’ll be playing Ruby’s Symphony at the concert. Of course he will. He manages to get in a dig about how he thought Beau was Ruby’s boyfriend, not Gisselle’s, and how he’d hoped for something with Ruby, but she had been in love with Beau. Is this at all appropriate conversation, Louis? God. Oh and we find out that his grandmother recently died and that after her death his cousin retired and a nice lady now runs Greenwood, so someday they can send Pearl there. Oh I’m so sure. As he’s leaving, Louis hopes that Gisselle and Beau will attend the concert, noting, in a whisper, that he’s sure she’ll recognize the music. Oops. Ruby’s like, “Oh riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, you were blind when you met me”, but he doesn’t want details, just to let her know that he knows. And then he leaves. Well, that was pointless. No, really, it was. It comes up later that Louis knew that she was Ruby, but not in a way that helps at all.

Beau doesn’t think that they should go to the concert, since Gisselle wouldn’t, but Ruby has had it up to HERE with doing things like Gisselle would. Well then maybe you shouldn’t have TAKEN OVER HER LIFE, RUBY. Ruby’s tired of acting like a worthless spoiled brat, and when Beau laughs and agrees that’s what Gisselle was, Ruby’s all “Why’d you MARRY her then??” and Beau’s all “You KNOW why, it was so I could pretend she was YOU” and then he sulks away and oh god I hate them both so much. Whatever, they make up and go to the concert and blah dee blee they go and it’s amazing and then the next morning Jeanne calls to tell them that Gisselle is dead.

Damn.

They go down to Cypress Woods for the funeral and Paul is drunk the whole time and refuses to even see them, claiming that it’s too hard for him to look at “Gisselle”. The funeral is very crowded and everyone is grief-stricken, which just drives Ruby’s guilt even harder. She’s not good at this faking her death stuff. They leave shortly after the funeral, but receive a phone call a few days later from a creepy-voiced Gladys Tate who tells them that Paul is missing and it’s all their fault. Turns out that Paul told his mother all about the switch and he went into the canals in a pirogue the night before and hasn’t come back. Gladys is convinced that Ruby bewitched Paul the way that Gabrielle bewitched Octavious and she promises that she won’t let Paul suffer without Ruby suffering twice as much. Beau is more concerned with Gladys knowing the truth than he is about Paul being missing, but at Ruby’s insistence they head down to Cypress Woods to help search.

Jeanne and Toby (who haven’t been told the truth) are less than thrilled to see the Andreas, and are dubious that they’re going to be at all helpful. Well, so would I. Ruby insists that her sister told her all about some of Ruby and Paul’s favorite places and that she’s sure she’d be able to get them there. James (Jeanne’s husband) agrees to take them out in his boat. Beau gets freaked out by every owl and snake he sees, so that’s funny anyway. Ruby manages to guide them to a secret little pond where she and Paul used to hang out, and sure enough, there’s Paul’s boat, and…ooops. Paul. He’s dead too.

The Andreas leave that night, since the Tates clearly don’t want or need them at Cypress Woods. Ruby is immediately overcome with guilt, blaming herself for everything. Well…Beau insists she’s not to blame and that Paul brought this on himself. Well…Ruby finally gets herself out of bed and plays with Pearl for a little while, and as she’s heading down to make plans for lunch, she gets a call from Toby. Toby doesn’t want to hear Ruby’s condolences, she wants to pass along the message from Gladys that Beau and Gisselle are not wanted at Paul’s funeral. And when Ruby tries to argue, Toby drops the other bomb: They’re also sending a car with a lawyer and a nanny in it, to pick up Pearl and take her home to Cypress Woods. Gladys has decided that Paul’s daughter belongs with her grandparents and not her aunt and uncle, so Pearl is to be ready to go by 3pm. Ruby is in shock but manages to tell Toby that it’s not going to happen and she can tell her mother that she KNOWS why. Toby’s unimpressed, and tells her that the car will be there at 3. Ruby calls Beau, who comes home immediately and tries to reassure Ruby. Ruby rather sensibly points out that she and Gisselle were born in a shack so there are no birth certificates, no blood work, nothing to prove that she’s not Gisselle and they’ve done such a good job of hiding it (HAVE you?) that they have no way out. Beau’s still insisting that it’s going to be fine. Y’all, I did tell you that this was going to happen. The car comes at three and Beau refuses to hand over Pearl, telling the lawyer that Pearl is his and his wife’s daughter, and she’s not going anywhere. The lawyer is heartily confused, but leaves. It’s not over, of course, as the car returns later, with a policeman in tow. They’ve brought official paperwork this time, and Beau is forced to realize that they don’t have a choice. And as Ruby fights and Pearl cries, Pearl is taken to Gladys Tate. OMG WHAT WILL HAPPEN??

Okay guys, this is the home stretch! The next recap will conclude All That Glitters. I have to admit, I’m not overly enthusiastic about Hidden Jewel because Pearl is dull as paint, but I will do it because I love you guys.

Coming up next: Court battles! Um…yeah, that’s really it.

RIP Gisselle Landry Dumas Andreas, you were amazing, if not without terrible flaws.

RIP Paul Tate, you…were lousy.

Oh, and stay tuned for a special post right after this one!

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Responses

  1. Hahahaha. Oh I love your recaps.

    • Aww, thank you!!

  2. Paul Tate was lousy and creepy and irredeemable. Just like everyone else in these books. Ha.

    • Exactly! Good riddance, I do say.

  3. I remember reading this book so many years ago, and even then having the hardest time feeling bad for this sorry lot of humans. Goodness gracious. Awesome recap.

    • Thanks! Yeah, it’s really hard to feel their pain when they’ve brought pretty much every part of it on themselves.

  4. Even when I read this book years ago, I remember thinking Ruby and co were a bunch of dumb@sses. Seriously people, seriously? Too bad Pearl had to stay with the stupid.

    And I love your recaps. They’re hilarious and great. 😀

    • It is so true. I mean, plenty of the other heroines make lots and lots of mistakes, but they seldom have problems that COULD HAVE BEEN SO EASILY SOLVED. I love how everyone was suddenly so Catholic/so afraid of scandal when it came to divorces, but not when it came to sham marriages/illegitimate children/incestuous relationships.

      Thank you for reading!

  5. Thank you for this amazing recap! Poor Paul was lousy, but I always felt a little sorry for him, possibly out of annoyance for Ruby’s inextinguishable love for that douchey coward Beau.

    I mean, come on! “I only married your sister so I can pretend it’s you I’m bonking”? That would sweep any girl off her feet, right??…

    • Yeah, Beau’s whole thing with Gisselle was extremely problematic, and it was made worse by how much he seemingly blamed both sisters for his decision. “Oh Ruby, I love you really, but you went and married Paul! Oh Gisselle, you are a horrible, shallow bitch, but I’ll pretend to love you because you were always around, lookin’ like Ruby and stuff.” Ugh. Paul was just so…desperate. There just wasn’t any reason for his obsession with Ruby, which just made it all the worse. He was just really, really into her? Not good enough.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. I just had a thought. What you should do is recap Hidden Jewel in a single post. Not much happens, why not? It’ll probably be funnier that way.

    • Hahahaha, that’s actually a really good idea.

  7. That’s a brilliant idea about recapping “Hidden Jewel” in one post. Nothing much does happen. Pearl is such a bland “heroine” and her “story” is equally as bland (Yes I like my sarcastic quotation marks :). And yet I didn’t want to gouge her eyes out as badly as Annie from the Casteel series so she had that going for her.

    • I just started rereading Hidden Jewel to make notes and OH MY GOD it’s even worse than I remembered.

      Oh lord, Annie. Just…Annie.

  8. Ahahahahahaha!!!!!!! That cow pic makes the whole post!!!!!

    Blah Ruby, reading these recaps makes me remember how much you annoy me.

    • It’s pretty much my favorite macro. I was so excited to get to use it!

  9. I remember getting really irritated with Jeanne and Toby for going all ‘Yes, we THOUGHT you’d hire a nanny, Gisselle.’ Um, Mrs Flemming? Ring a bell? Hel-LO!

    • I KNOW. When Ruby gets a nanny, it’s because she needs the time and space to do her precious artwork, but when Gisselle does it, she’s a selfish cow. UGH Jeanne and Toby.

  10. I’d never heard the name Toby given to a female until I read tbis book. I always thought of Toby as being a boy’s name. Maybe it was short for like Tabitha or something? That’s the only explaination I can come up with. It had to be a nickname because,it just seems weird to name a girl Toby.

    • I remember that in French class in the eighth grade I asked my teacher (who was French) if Toby was a common girls’ name in France/French cultures SPECIFICALLY because of Toby Tate, haha. I believe he said it was, but who knows if he was right? (I DON’T think I mentioned it was because of a V.C. Andrews book though)

      Thank you for reading!!


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