It’s Only Been a Year?

Cathy has drifted off to sleep after Chris went off exploring in his Charlie McCarthy cosplay (I use only topical references) and she gets woken up in possibly the most frightening way–shaken and yelled at by an angry (and probably drunk? I mean, it’s a Christmas party) Corrine.  Cathy tells her mother where Chris has gone since they never lie to Momma, and, really, how much of a lie could she tell? There’s a finite number of places where Christopher could be hiding. I mean, he’s not Cory.


Too soon for you to show up, you mean. So Cathy tells Corrine that Chris is out wandering the halls and Corrine is less than thrilled with this information. She starts cursing under her breath and lays some guilt on her daughter, all “Oh I thought you two loved me, but you betrayed me and now I’m never going to let you out again!” which is…harsh stuff. Cathy points out that she and Chris did exactly what their mom asked–they were super quiet in the chest after all, and Momma can’t say that she’ll never let them out because she has to let them out eventually, right? About that. This awkward moment is interrupted by Chris’s return as he tries to sneak in all quiet-like and is alarmed to see their mom there waiting for him. Fun fact–this happened to me once in high school. Sat on my bed to take off my shoes all proud of myself for sneaking in and then in walked my mother. Secret agent I am not. ANYHOW, Corrine greets her son with a couple of rousing slaps to the face and threatens to whip him AND Cathy if he ever does this again (are the twins just sleeping right through all of this?) and Cathy is mightily freaked out by this side of her mother. Cathy starts to realize that her mom has been changing this whole time–she doesn’t come to visit as often anymore, she’s yelling and hitting them, she’s locked her children in an attic–but the situation defuses/gets weirder when Corrine comes back to herself and starts kissing all over Chris’s face and snuggling him against her bosom, apologizing all the while. Cathy makes sure to note that even at Chris’s age he must kinda like it a little and GOD CATHY STOP THAT.

Corrine tells them that she’s so so sorry and will never do it again, but that they can’t ruin everything now because things are starting to go their way again. The kids forgive her and try to find out what exactly’s going their way, but Corrine has to get back to the party and off she goes. What a night, man. After she leaves Chris and Cathy spoon for a while on one of the beds (these kids) and Cathy lets loose with a lot of her suspicions. Like how Corrine is always talking about how they need money to leave, but she’s always wearing fancy new clothes and tons of jewelry and how she waited until her father had bought her a TV so that she could pass it along, rather than buying one for the kids earlier, and while I think the TV thing is a little shaky, I tend to agree with Cathy on this one. Chris, naturally, defends Corrine, pointing out that if she’d bought them a TV right away they would have just mouldered away in front of it rather than making paper flowers in the attic and using their imaginations. I’m so sure that was your mom’s intention, Christopher. He notes that they’ve all changed since living there, but won’t explain when Cathy presses. She puts that aside for the time being and asks him to describe what he saw on his adventure, not leaving out a thing. So:

The house is huge, “like a hotel”, with fourteen rooms on their floor alone, and all of them are super decorated and full of expensive things. Chris watched the party from one of the landings for a while and saw their grandparents leaving, then had to hide behind a suit of armor (which large Virginia estates love) when he heard their mother and her date (Bart, it’s Bart, I’m calling him Bart, the kids keep acting like they don’t know that but they do) coming up the stairs. Bart wanted to see the fancy bed that Corrine has in her room (I’m so sure, Bart) and Chris glosses over what happened next, but Cathy can tell he’s doing that and makes him tell her that he saw Bart and Corrine making out. Cathy needs clarification that Bart got to second base like she saw their Dad do one time (CATHY) and Chris admits that he did. Ew, guys. So anyway Corrine told Bart about how her bedroom set used to be her grandmother’s, who was not the best woman, and that when Corrine moved back to the house her parents figured she was bad enough already, so she could just have her slutty grandma’s bed. THIS FAMILY.

ASIDE: I kind of like that we never get Original Corrine’s back story. There’s no tragic childhood, no sad marriage, nothing like that. Just: she married Garland, they had Malcolm, she had an affair, she left. Sucks, but it happens, and that is that. It’s no excuse for Malcolm’s weird obsession with her, but I honestly enjoy the relief of just your garden-variety “bad mom”. Now watch me have forgotten some factoid from Seeds of Yesterday or something.

And we’re back: Corrine and Bart moved on and Christopher continued exploring, eventually finding Corrine’s room (I guess she and Bart were gone already) and it’s 110 degrees of opulent bananas. The carpet is mauve and it’s so thick you sink to your ankles! There are 4-foot tall crystal lamps with black shades! An ivory chaise lounge (Noooo not another chaise lounge!) covered in rose velvet, “like something you’d see in a Roman orgy” like how do you know that Christopher, and, of course: the swan bed. Lemme let Chris take this one.

“In the center of the room, on a dais, was the fabulous swan bed! Oh! What a bed! [thanks for the commentary Little Nemo] …It has a sleek ivory head, turned in profile, and appears ready to plunge its head under the ruffled underside of a lifted wing….The designers arranged for the wingtip feathers to act as fingers, and they hold back the delicate, transparent draperies that are in all shades of pink and rose, and violet, and purple.”

That’s one hell of a bed, there, Corrine. The swan bed in the movie was SO disappointing, I am eagerly looking forward to the Lifetime one, if only to get a better swan bed. Cathy knows that Chris saw more than he’s telling her, but she lets it go and they say good night.

The next few months they basically watch TV all the time. No, really. It’s too cold to go in the attic so they sit around and watch TV all day. The twins love it and Cory is even happen to watch the static that comes on after the stations sign off, which is just the saddest thing. The television starts to give the kids a whole passel of issues: they’re paranoid about cleaning the room, about never having dandruff, things like that; and Cathy, about to turn 13, is terrified she’s going to wake up covered in acne. She also starts tweezing all of her underarm hair which, ouch, and Chris calls her out on it one day, noting in his know-it-all style that she can’t keep the hairs from coming. He also says they’re sexy, which CHRIS STOP. Cathy thinks that’s nuts, since hair isn’t sexy, boobs are, and y’know what? There’s a lot of awkward puberty stuff and gazing and Cathy not getting why Chris is wetting the bed (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH) so we all know it’s happening and we’re moving along.

The twins just want to watch TV and complain a lot that they can’t have the snacks that kids on TV have, and they want to know why Corrine doesn’t visit much anymore. Cathy doesn’t know what to tell them and it hurts her. She and Chris watch a lot of soap operas and decide that’s what growing up must be like. Cathy also notices that the twins aren’t comfortable with their mother when she does visit, instead they run to Cathy’s arms and sit with her whilst Corrine fusses over Christopher. The dynamics are definitely just getting weirder and weirder, huh? Cathy’s birthday comes and Corrine teaches her how to do crewel embroidery and I love embroidery y’all, but not READING ABOUT IT, so I wish some of that fabled FitA drama would hurry along and get here. (For all that this is an infamous book about scandalous things, there is a LOT of downtime in it) The twins’ birthday is next and we get a few bits of Corrine’s back story when she notices Cory’s musical talent. See, both of her brothers were musicians, which her father despised and considered weak, so her oldest brother Mal built himself a cabin in the mountains where he’d go to compose. And then one day he took a curve too fast on his motorcycle and died. Oh. That left second brother Joel, who was close to Mal (but not like the rest of this family) and left after his brother’s funeral, going off to Europe. Joel got a job with an orchestra, but then he died in a skiing accident, though his body was never found (DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNN).

Cathy’s like, wow this family sucks, and once Corrine leaves the kids all head upstairs immediately to get away from that cheerful cloud of family nonsense. She and Chris decide that they’re going to teach the twins to read, which results in some predictable screaming, and oh my god then it’s summer. This needs a montage, for serious. Corrine just brings up whatever books she can find in the library without regard for reading levels, so Cathy and Chris end up reading all sorts of stuff, namely a historical novel that gets them talking about whether nudity was sinful in the past too, and there’s some low-level weirdness about turning into men and women before Cathy broaches the subject of whether or not their mom sucks. The answer is yes, obviously, but Chris refuses to see that and defends her, claiming that she’s doing her best. Cathy realizes that Corrine is still all perfection in Chris’s eyes, even though at one point a whole week goes by before she comes up to see them. This visit she comes with the news that her father is very sick (though she doesn’t seem as glad about it as Cathy is) and tells them that he’ll be dead soon. Cathy is pretty ecstatic and goes around singing hymns of glee before Corrine reappears to say nope, he pulled through, sorry. And then she’s gone again. That’s a lot of stairs to hang out for a minute, Corrine. I would’ve thought you’d be too lazy. Cathy puts the twins to bed, since Corrine is never there to do it anymore, and marks another day off on their calendar. They’ve been in the attic for a year.

That’s the end of Part I of the book, so I’m gonna close this recap up there too. AND immediately start working on the next one because y’all deserve better, honestly. And the new movie! The new movie, guys!! I posted the trailer over on the Facebook page, but it looks like we lost that version, so here’s another one:

I’m pretty psyched about it, I won’t lie.

Coming up next time: Another time jump (seriously), and the REAL drama starts. You know what I’m talking about. Tar! Blood-drinking! Ballet! Oh this book. Here we go.



16 Comments Add yours

  1. ZOMG, I am so excited about the movie! I mean Kiernan Shipka as Cathy! Ellen Burstyn! I do hope you will review the movie!

    1. Megan says:

      I plan to!

  2. Amanda says:

    I’ve always felt that Cathy wouldn’t have been mixed up in a brother/sister thing if these set of circumstances hadn’t happened to her. Even in later years SPOILER she tries to make Chris get a grip and move on. But Chris? I don’t know, I think he would have been incesty either way. LOL

    I’d forgotten about the drinking blood part!

    1. Megan says:

      Yeah, Chris never really shows any interest in a woman who isn’t his mother or sister. Even the liaisons he does seem to have, whether at college or with that dancer in Cathy’s company, are seem designed primarily to make Cathy jealous. Or are just for sex/both.

  3. Jenny Brookes says:

    Chris needed therapy! But to be honest everything Cathy did seemed to have Chris in mind. Even while she was pushing him away she was constantly telling him how much she needed him and her refusal to let go of the past made it hard for him to move on. And Carrie too. Tho Carrie kinda got on my nerves a little. So you’re smaller than average? Get over it, there’s a lot of people out there a whole lot worse off. I never understood how she built her whole life around that? Maybe I’m being harsh? But as for the remake, is it a film or tv series? And will it be shown in England? Imdb doesn’t have much info.

    1. Megan says:

      That’s a good point about Cathy, I’d agree that even if she doesn’t exactly know it, she’s basing her life around Chris all the way, even when it comes to her other romances. I just feel for her, honestly, like when Paul’s just like “It’s inevitable! Get to it.” Ewwwww.

      I think a lot of Carrie’s stuff manifested as “Ohhh I’m so small!” when it was really “I think maybe I’m evil?”. She had so many issues.

      The new movie is a made-for-tv one that’s showing on Lifetime. I’m not sure if it’s being aired overseas, maybe they’ll put it online after it airs?

      1. Jenny Brookes says:

        Thanks Megan. I get what you’re saying about Carrie but sometimes I just wanted to shake her and tell her to grow a pair!
        I hope they do air it over here. Would love to see how they redo it cos, let’s be fair, the film was pretty pants and has been crying out to be done over. Properly. .. lol.

  4. I’m a little late to the party and just recently discovered this site. It’s quite addictive. V.C. Andrews books are one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The FITA movie looks pretty good by Lifetime standards. I hope you review it.

    You (and full house reviewed) even inspired me to start my own blog here. I’m doing recaps of A Song Of Ice and Fire aka Game Of Thrones books while buzzed off of cheap wine. It’s called a song of in my cups. Sorry for the shameless plug 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the great blog. I would recommend the Dawn series next. I know their all ghost written, but Phillip Cutler might be the creepiest character in Andrewsland. Emily Booth is pretty hilariously creepy too!

    1. Megan says:

      Thank you for reading! I do plan to recap the new movie, I’m hoping they put it online so that I can take screen caps.

      UGH PHILIP CUTLER. He’s so terrible. Your blog sounds hilarious! I love ASOIAF, so I look forward to reading your recaps!

    2. Jenny Brookes says:

      Oh my god Philip cutler has to be the weirdest character in all of the books. Chris was at least nice and fairly honorable but Philip was just out and out nutty. One date and it drives him to spend the rest of his life lusting after not only his sister but also his niece! Andrew neiderman go and sit in the corner and think about the monster you created!

  5. Dafne Gutierrez says:

    Love your review :3 but I just thought of this- I know Cathy always had a flair for the dramatic; being a ballet enthusiast and dancer. BUT, what if the sitcoms they watched all day long also influenced her? Think about it- sitcoms are usually drama filled with the characters making crazy decisions (in the eyes of their respective time eras). What if from all the ly saw and learned (ex. Underarm hair is not sexy!), Cathy learned to make the decision most people wouldn’t? I mean in teen dramas the girl like older guys, many times, right? So maybe the tv played a larger part to their mental development than we gave it D: *gasp*

    Just a thought 🙂

    1. Megan says:

      Oh I definitely think so. Cathy mentions watching tons of soap operas, and between that and the plots of the ballets and the fairy tales…I think her idea of reality is pretty screwed up. And I don’t think that’s super abnormal–except that she never grows out of it.

  6. Deitra Pawley says:

    Two more weeks until the movie so psyched this is the first VC Andrews book I ever read .

    1. Megan says:

      I have a personal countdown, I cannot lie.

      1. Jenny says:

        We do get the lifetime channel over here so I’m really hoping we get it. Is it being done as a tv movie or a mini series?

      2. Megan says:

        It’s just a one-off movie, not a full mini-series, although that would be AMAZING!

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