Hi everyone! Apologies for the unexpected hiatus, I had the flu a few weeks ago and it threw things off for much longer than it warranted. So now:
You know what always makes for a strong relationship foundation? Revenge.
Also, being a complete asshole. (Bart)
Here’s the thing, y’all: I think I hate Bart. Do I like any of the male characters in this book?! We all know how I feel about Christopher. And then there’s Paul. Julian. And now Bart too. Huh.
I like Jory. There is that.
Cathy goes back to Virginia after Carrie’s death and starts roaming all over town hoping to casually bump into Bart, looking fabulous. When it finally works, he offers his condolences for her sister’s death and is far less weirded out than he should be when she tells him to ask his wife what killed Carrie.
S U B T L E
Turns out that Corrine has been crying over Carrie’s obituary but refusing to explain why, and Bart also has all of the blackmail letters that Cathy sent throughout Europe. And he thinks maybe Cathy is a long-lost Foxworth cousin? Maybe? Since she and Corrine look so much alike? Wow, Bart.
They snipe at each other some more and Cathy eventually chickens out and lies that she, Chris, and Carrie were Malcolm’s illegitimate children, and that Chris and Carrie weren’t part of her schemes. Y’all, they snipe at each other so much. Cathy calls Bart emasculated because he lets Corrine control him. Bart calls Cathy a tease and a bitch. Then they walk through the woods and suddenly it’s all meaningful glances and sad conversations about how much he and Corrine wanted children, but how she’s lost her way due to the money she inherited. He’s also very fond of forcing kisses (and other things) onto Cathy and I think we’re supposed to think (as Cathy thinks at times) that this is manly and sexy. Ehhhhhhh.
That “Ehhhhhh” was originally an “Egggggg” before I noticed, let’s all start saying “Egggggg”.
Chris comes to visit for the weekend and full-out asks Cathy if she’s in Virginia to take Bart from Corrine and they argue about it (she tries to play it off!) like she isn’t fairly transparent, particularly to Christopher. He wants to move in with her and Jory, but Cathy refuses. Oh, and she’s teaching Jory to dance and it’s adorable. Cathy goes running after Chris leaves and Bart shows up, also running, and helps Cathy when she injures her bad knee again. They snipe SOME MORE and then make dinner plans! Sigh. Bart comes over and Cathy is dressed to the nines and has prepared a fancy meal, and while they’re dancing after dinner they have a surprisingly honest conversation. Cathy confesses that she’s scared and lonely and Bart tells her that he wants to be with her and be a father to Jory and that he doesn’t even know if he loves Corrine anymore. This sends Cathy into a panic, since there’s no good breaking up a broken marriage, and she tells Bart to go home. And he assaults her. She tells him to get out or she’ll call the police, and Bart laughs and tells her that he knows she liked it (oh and he mentions here that he also sometimes assaults Corrine), tells Cathy that he’ll be back the following night (and requests a menu!) and leaves. AND THEN JORY COMES IN AND TELLS CATHY HE’S SCARED BECAUSE SHE’S CRYING.
Set Bart Winslow on fire.
The next day there’s a sweet scene with Cathy and Jory where he tells her that a classmate of his was slapped for accidentally touching his mother’s breast, and Cathy is like “It’s just a part of my body” and Jory is happy that his mom isn’t a monster. Oh and Bart sent 3 dozen roses to Cathy that morning, which she kept because Jory liked them, and then Bart follows her from the post office to ask how she liked them because he’s scum, and then he sends Cathy a fancy rose made of diamonds, which she dismisses since it was bought with Corrine’s money. And also because Bart is garbage.
Bart shows up for dinner that night with some plagarized Elizabeth Barrett Browning for Cathy and has the absolute gall to be shocked that she’s in jeans and a sweater and has given him leftover beanies and weenies for dinner. Then he asks if she’s one of those “despicable liberated women” and I float slowly away to the moon, fueled entirely by rage and he tells her that she made him rape her and I self-destruct. He’s offended that he sent her all those presents and she couldn’t even comb her hair! AND THEN THEY HAVE SEX.
Cathy has a sad dream about Julian and Chris and Paul, and wakes up in tears blaming her mother for starting all of this. Part 1 of her plan is over, and Part 2 starts when Cathy knows for certain that she’s pregnant with Bart’s child. And also, Cathy thinks, there’s the Grandmother to deal with.
Next time: She deals with.
One Comment Add yours
Glad you’re feeling better! I first read this book at age 12 or so (when I was much too young and impressionable to be reading it). The two dinner scenes with Bart always stood out in my memory, but for some reason I remembered Cathy wearing sweatpants, not jeans (but it seems unlikely that she’d have a pair of either one in her closet … doesn’t she live exclusively in ballet practice costumes and sexy evening gowns??). I don’t understand what we’re supposed to make of his yelling at her for not grooming herself and then wanting to have sex with her anyway. Is this supposed to mean he loves her for her, not her looks? And why the hell does she want to sleep with him? Has she convinced herself that she loves him too, or is she just so hell-bent on getting revenge on Corinne that she’s willing to continue the mission even after being assaulted? And if it’s the latter, why the sweats and beanie-weenies? So confused (and nauseated)….