Flowers in the Attic – A Review

I remember when I got this book and mentioned it to a few people, those who had read it said that it was a great read and asked that I not look up anything about the story beforehand. This wasn’t too difficult for me, I like a brief description of book but hate it when you read book blurbs that give away big parts of the story line. And in all honesty, I am so glad I decided not to look into anything.

Flowers in the Attic VA

It follows the story of the Dollaganger family, a seemingly perfect family living an idyllic life, but when the head of the family, Mr Dollaganger, dies in a car accident, his wife realises that they will not be able to continue living their current lifestyle and makes the decision to move back home and live with her parents from whom she has been estranged for many years. In the cover of darkness Mrs Dollaganger makes her way to Foxworth Hall, where the majority of the book takes place, with her children Chris, Cathy, Cory and Carrie.

What happens next? Well I certainly wasn’t expecting it. I’ve never been a believer of literature being banned, however even I found some level of understanding of why this was banned. As time passes, it’s clear that Children are prisoners in a house where the only people who know about that is their mother Corrine and their Grandmother Olivia. Olivia visits daily bringing scraps of food and reminding them of the punishments they will receive if they are caught doing anything “sinful” as time passes, not to mention physically abusing the children. As time passes Corrine visits the children less and less, instead living her life and going on shopping trips and out for fancy meals and parties.

Being the eldest of the children Chris and Cathy adopt pseudo-parental roles to the younger two children, and find ways to keep them entertained and unafraid. Pretty soon the close living quarters and the passing of time, means that Chris and Cathy begin to discover their bodies changing, and the act of living like parents to the two younger children, psychologically makes the act of playing mum and dad less of an act and more of a belief.

I won’t spoil some of the major plot points, but needless to say this book covers some pretty dark subject matters, at times events that took place made my stomach turn. All in all, the characters, though interesting, just left me wanting to know more about what motivated their behaviour and I felt the ending was a little too easy. It was an easy read that builds alot of unease but there were just some things that didn’t sit well with me.

Star Rating out of 5: 3.5

I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, but if you’ve read them all and feel that I will gain anything more from the story, please let me know as I will pick up the next in the series. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book, or the series so please be sure to comment below.

Happy reading.

G.
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The Music Box – Part 1

I’ve been wanting to get back into writing short stories again for a while. Let me know your thoughts.

The rain pelts against the office window and I can see the trees outside on the piazza swaying in the wind. I take my glasses off and rub the bridge of my nose, I was used to last minute deadlines and working odd hours, but looking at the clock in the corner of the computer screen I can see that it’s almost midnight.

I stretch my arms above my head and reach for my cup to find that the coffee inside has gone cold, a regular occurrence when I find myself getting absorbed in my research. This is, hopefully, going to be one of my first major articles for the website. It isn’t often junior writers get this opportunity but I think my editor Joanna could hear my passion for the subject matter and the rough bit of research I’d found had piqued her interest enough that she was allowing me to dig into it more and write a piece.

I look at the microform print outs scattered next to me on my desk, and pull one towards me. It shows the picture of Elizabeth Brown with her mother Anna Brown. Anna has her hand on her daughters shoulder, her face warm, the girl is smiling and holds a doll in one hand, the white dress she is wearing making her look even more angelic. I put my glasses on and read.

B&W

“Police were alerted to the house after an elderly widower who lives nearby heard “blood-curdling” screams coming from the property. Police had to break the door and soon located the screams coming from upstairs. They found Mrs Elizabeth Brown in a state of hysteria, hands covered in blood, pointing at the open door of her daughters’ bed chamber. When entering the room Officer Cook claims he heard the sound of a music box but the sight that awaited him made him feel nauseous. Eight year old Elizabeth Brown was on the floor her legs were twisted at an odd angle, clearly broken in several places and her throat had been cut, her left hand was reaching towards the music box. Police are investigating the case but as Mrs Brown, the only witness and suspect, is currently in hospital in a state of shock, they are unable to carry out any further questioning at this time.”

It’s the earliest dated reference to the music box I have managed to find, the 20th September 1885. Most people would wonder what the music box has to do with, what is very clearly, an open and closed case of a mother murdering her child. But what if I was to tell you that my research shows that this same music box has been found at the scene of numerous tragedies over the years? What if I was to tell you that my research has led me to transcripts between a psychologist and Anna Brown where she claims to be innocent of her daughter’s death? A death she claims came about because of the music box? A statement she maintained was fact till the day she was hung almost a year later.

I rub the back of my neck and reach for my cup, before making my way through the quiet office to the kitchen.  I wait for the kettle to boil and get lost in thought, about all the things I have learnt so far, and all of the things I am yet to learn, yet to expose. There’s so much to this story that needs to be told. My reverie is broken by Patrick, the night shift security guard making his rounds.

“Working late again Ms. Brown?”

I nod my head and smile at him tiredly, thinking how I will work as late as many times as I need to, till the truth is found.

Would you like to read more of this? If so comment below. Thanks for reading.

G.
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