Well, now that the Lifetime movie has aired (man, I hope it's streaming somewhere SOON) and they've already got the sequel in the works, I figure that it's FINALLY time for me to return to the Dollanganger saga.
I can only hope that I'll make it through semi-unscathed... though that seems unlikely, given that it's taken me FIVE YEARS to get over the trauma of reading the first book in the series.
So, let's just dive right in, then.
p3: Cathy's narration continues to amaze. The book begins:
How young we were the day we escaped. How exuberantly alive we should have felt to be freed, at last, from such a grim, lonely and stifling place. [But?] How pitifully delighted we should have been to be riding on a bus that rumbled slowly southward. [BUT?] But if we felt joy, [DID YOU?] we didn't show it. We sat, all three, pale, silent, staring out the windows, very frightened by all we saw.
Okay, yes. Yes, it makes sense that they'd be scared. But I very much hope that Cathy becomes less of a miseryguts in this installment.
Their nerves! Are growing frazzled! Because the bus driver, shockingly enough, occasionally STOPS THE BUS TO PICK UP PASSENGERS, including a "huge black woman" who took lots of time to carry all of her parcels on board! The nerve.
Cathy continues to exhibit unfortunate romantic feelings towards her rapist brother AND her dead father. AT THE SAME TIME, EVEN: His straight and finely shaped nose had just taken on the strength and maturity that promised to make him all that our father had been—the type of man to make every woman's heart flutter when he looked her way, or even when he didn't. HIS NOSE. IT IS MATURE.
That was the first page. I think we're in for a bumpy ride.
p4: Oh, nice. Chris made a point of bringing his guitar with them when they escaped. I look forward to some original love songs dedicated to Cathy. Like this one, sung to the tune of Clementine: "Oh, my Cathy, oh sweet Cathy / I raped you, it's true/ but because you're my sister/ it meant I love you, times two." WOW. I'm... oddly proud of that. Oh, right. Back to the book. I think they're still on the bus.
Oh, dear. Now he's singing Oh, Susannah. I bet all of the other passengers on the bus hate them: We looked at each other and felt sad with the memories the tune brought back. Like one we were, he and I. I couldn't bear to look at him for too long, for fear I would cry. The rhyming just MAKES it, Cathy. Keep it up.
In case anyone cares, it's November 1960. Chris is seventeen, Cathy is fifteen, Carrie is eight (but looks three), Cory is dead, and I'm still on page four.
p6: Annnnnd she barfs again. A mean passenger is being a jerk, but then the "huge black woman" comes to the rescue! She is mute, but reassures the kids via pen and paper that LUCKILY, her son is a doctor!
p7: Despite her kindness to them, Cathy continues to describe her body with words like "mammoth" and her movements with words like "waddling". Which is annoying.
The bus driver is hemming and hawing about going off route, but I'm pretty sure that having a little kid—a little kid who looks like she's three—die on the bus would be worse for the company, publicity-wise, than being late to its destination.
p9: Um. The doctor—Paul Sheffield—TOTALLY checked Cathy out. May I remind you that she is fifteen? Gross.
p10: Cathy is rather happy about getting a rise—SO TO SPEAK, HAR HAR—out of the doctor. Also, she just told him that A) they're runaways and that B) they're planning to "hock stuff" to get by. Because he's a doctor, and therefore trustworthy... and she knows this because CHRIS WANTS TO BE A DOCTOR. Excellent logic, Cathy.
p11: Even though Chris was all disapproving about Cathy being a blabbermouth, he just gave the doctor THEIR REAL NAMES. What is WITH them?
p14-16: And now the floodgates have opened, and we're rehashing the entire plot of the first book. IN DETAIL.
p17: Despite the ridiculosity of their story—Cathy includes the method of poisoning, even—the doctor is convinced by their "expensive clothes, [their] watches, and [the] sneakers on [their] feet, [their] pale skin and the haunted look in [their] eyes". And so he invites them to live with him. OF COURSE HE DOES.
p19: Chris is concerned that the doctor will suspect the true nature of the relationship he has with Cathy. "There's nothing to suspect. It's over," I answered, but I didn't meet his eyes, guessing, even then, that it would never be over. FORESHADOWING!
p20: Yep. It foreshadowed was was about to happen on the NEXT PAGE. Fast-forward version: Sibling make-out session leads to more THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN declarations and lots of tears. I have a sneaking suspicion that this scene will play out again at some point. And then again, and again, and again some more.
p21: Doctor Sketchy-McLechy is thinking of making the C3 his wards. Won't that make his romantic designs on Cathy problematic?
p22: Chris told me I was silly to think a doctor of forty would get any erotic pleasure from looking at a girl of my age. AHAHAHA, Chris, you moron. Most people would say the same about an older brother looking at his little sister... how's that working out for you, buddy?
The descriptions of Henrietta Beech (the lady from the bus) continue to be terrible: Her smile shone big and wide when I came in, lighting up a moon face with skin as slick as oiled rubber. What. The. Hell. With the apron tied about her middle she resembled nothing more than a rolled up goosedown comforter, waddling about speechless. What. The. Hell. Squared.
p24-25: "I really don't like the way he keeps looking at you, Cathy. His eyes follow you about all the time. Here you are, so available, and men his age find girls your age irresistible." MAKE UP YOUR MIND, CHRIS. Meanwhile, Cathy is developing The Hots for Doctor Paul, but it's more like 90% fascination with having sexual power over him, 10% actual interest.
p26-29: In order to become C3's legal guardian, Doctor Paul has to get permission from their mother. THIS OUGHT TO BE FUN.
p31: Um. Carrie is so small that only toddler clothes fit her, and the Doctor's solution is to BUY A SEWING MACHINE SO THAT CATHY CAN MAKE CLOTHES FOR HER. Nevermind the fact that Cathy doesn't know how to sew. Or that she has no interesting in learning how.
p32-33: In a shocking coincidence, it turns out that Momma's new husband grew up in the next town over. Cathy is now even more determined to ENACT REVENGE UPON HER. And now Henny has her sewing buttons on Doctor Paul's shirts. I FORESEE A SCENE IN WHICH HE WALKS IN ON HER WHILE SHE'S DOING SO, AND HE GETS ALL WEIRD.
p34: Due to years of malnutrition and arsenic poisoning, poor old Carrie has an "overlarge head".
Also, Momma didn't show up at the hearing, and C3 are all sad, because it proves to them how little she cares. Yes, because the years in the attic—not to mention the doughnuts—hadn't already proved that.
p35: Cathy begins planning her revenge: This very Christmas I would send her a card, and sign it with this, "From the four Dresden dolls you didn't want," and I had to change that to "The three alive Dresden dolls you didn't want, plus the dead one you carried away and never brought back." Wow. That Cathy. She's got a way with words.
But wait, THERE'S MORE. She goes off on a tangent in which she parallels her life story to that of Snow White, and wraps up with this: All along I knew who was the witch. And that was the saddest part of being me. At the next Kidlitcon, I feel that we need to do DRAMATIC READINGS from this series. ARE YOU WITH ME?
p36: More making out leads to more NEVER AGAINS. And that's the end of Part One.
p41: Due to Christopher's impassioned speech, Cathy suddenly has an audition with a ballet company. Never mind that she hasn't had formal lessons since Before The Attic, or that Christopher knows jack about ballet.
p43: "You look . . . so divine," I said in a tight voice. "I see candy in your eyes and the crown jewels of England too." BARF. "No—that's what I am seeing in your eyes, Cathy. You're so very beautiful in that white nightgown. I love you in white nightgowns with blue satin ribbons. I love the way your hair spreads like a fan, and you turn your cheek so it rests on a satin pillow." DOUBLE BARF.
p44: "How beautiful your breasts are," he said with a low sigh, leaning to nuzzle them. "I remember when you began to grow. You were so shy about them, always wanting to wear loose sweaters so I couldn't see. Why were you ashamed?" BECAUSE YOU'RE HER BROTHER, YOU TOOL.
p44-46: Errr... they get hot and heavy and head up to Cathy and Carrie's room—because Chris' room is too close to Paul's and Carrie "can sleep through a war"—but The Sex is derailed when Chris discovers that Cathy has been hording food under her bed. And then she tells him that there'll be no sex for him unless he gives up his dream of becoming a doctor and stays with her forever and always. Ag.
p49: She's at her ballet audition, and things are going swimmingly (of course)... and suddenly she's, like, HEMORRHAGING BLOOD and she wakes up in the hospital.
p50: Of course she's accepted into the ballet company.
p51: But now it looks like Doctor Paul has SUSPICIONS about Chris & Cathy's relationship.
Ugh, Carrie continues to be just horrible. Like, push-her-down-the-stairs horrible. Lots of screaming and tantrums and whatnot. And I'd love to find out where she picked up her fascinating dialect: "Don't want no private ole school for funny lookin' lil' girls!"
p54-57: Now Carrie and Chris are both away at school, leaving Cathy at home alone with Doctor Paul. I WONDER HOW THIS WILL PLAY OUT.
Also, while Cathy's Electra complex has come up a few times, it turns out that Chris has some Oedipal issues to complement it: "Cathy, you're awfully pretty. Maybe too pretty. I look at you and see our mother all over again, the way you move your hands, and the way you tilt your head to the side." Rad.
p57: OKAY, IT HAS LITERALLY TAKEN LESS THEN 24 HOURS FOR CATHY AND DOCTOR PAUL TO GET ALL GRODILY ROMANTIC. LIKE, THEY WENT HOME AND CHANGED INTO SEXY PAJAMAS AND NOW THERE IS CHEEK (FACE, THANKFULLY) STROKING GOING ON.
p58: Oh, good. Now he's going the I-clearly-want-to-bone-but-I'm-going-to-be-a-jerk-to-push-you-away route. Yes, I just said 'bone'. Also, he refers to her sexy pajamas as 'flimsy', and pretty much just called her a trollop, but HE WAS THE ONE WHO PICKED THEM OUT AND BOUGHT THEM FOR HER. Way to send mixed messages, Doctor Paul.
"A fig for respect! I'm not any different than other men. A doctor isn't infallible, Catherine."
"Why are you calling me Catherine?"
"Why shouldn't I call you Catherine? It's your name, and it sounds more grown up than Cathy."
OH MY GOD, DOCTOR PAUL IS TOM CRUISE.
"You're a witch. In a second you change from a naive girl into a seductive, provocative woman—a woman who seems to know what she's doing when she lays her hand on my face." Yep. Blame the fifteen-year-old who you've been eyeballing for months, who's swanning around in the see-through nightie that YOU BOUGHT HER.
And now he's demanding to know what the deal is with her and Chris.
p59: HE JUST GRABBED HER AND PULLED HER INTO HIS LAP.
p60: Man, for a dude who is this girl's legal guardian, who is twenty-five years older than her, and who is currently FORCING HER TO SIT IN HIS LAP, he is being AWFULLY JUDGEMENTAL about some minor incest.
Um. There is breast fondling going on right now, and he's acting like it's her fault. I mean, she DID rip her robe open, but he's the one who stuck his hand up her nightgown. THIS GUY IS SUCH A DIRTBAG. Also, NO WONDER SHE'S SUCH A DISASTER ABOUT SEX AND LOVE AND ROMANCE. BOTH OF THE DUDES SHE'S BEEN INVOLVED WITH HAVE DONE THE THIS-IS-DIRTY-AND-WRONG-BUT-I WANT-IT-BUT-IT'S-YOUR-FAULT-BECAUSE-YOU'RE-SO-HOT THING.
"What the hell are you doing sitting on my lap half naked? Why did you let me do what I did?"
OH MY GOD I HOPE HE DIES BY THE END OF THIS BOOK.
p61: And now Cathy is all, I LOVE YOU, and YOU CAN TAKE ME WHENEVER YOU WANT ME. Ag.
Yes, she's still sitting in his lap.
p63: GAH. KISSING. THEY ARE KISSING. I BARF.
"What kind of little devil are you to let me handle you intimately and kiss you? You are very beautiful, Catherine, but you are only a child."
I love that he doesn't mention the fact that he's the supposed adult in the room. Drop dead, Doctor Paul.
"If I so much as lay a hand on you again, I want you to scream for help. If no one is here, then run to your room, or pick up something and bash me over the head."
Yes, Doctor Paul. You could put all of the responsibility for not hooking up with your fifteen-year-old ward on said ward... OR YOU COULD JUST USE SOME GD SELF-RESTRAINT.
"Don't tempt me too much, Catherine—for your own good."
I hate you.
p64-65: Ballet, blahdiblah. Cathy continues to be AMAZING at it, and I suspect that Julian The Hotshot Ballet Dude is about to become another "love" interest.
Um. As he just grabbed her boob, now I KNOW that he's going to be a love interest. SIGH.
p66: Yikes. Now Cathy is actively flirting with Paul.
And very deliberately emulating her mother.
p68: In asking why Cathy doesn't want to run away to New York with him, Julian asks: "Why? I won't rape you." No, Julian, IT'S NOT AT ALL SKETCHY THAT THAT WAS YOUR FIRST THOUGHT. All of the guys in this book should be set on fire.
p69: So now, of course, she's going out on a date with him.
He drove to a very elegant restaurant where colored lights churned and rock music played. Yep. Sounds elegant, all right.
p70: Julian puts the moves on her, she rebuffs him, he blames her for being someone who "tantalizes but won't come through". Seeing a trend here? EVERY GUY IN HER LIFE BLAMES HER FOR HIS OWN ATTRACTION TO HER. BLERG.
p71: "Cathy, I don't want to say and do anything wrong with you. I want to make you the best thing that's ever happened to me." UGH. God forbid that someone want to be the best thing that's ever happened to HER.
p73: Less-than-brilliantly, she goes out with Julian again. And then he goes for The Sex, and she rebuffs, and he calls her a "tease", and she cries, and he twists her arm behind her back and gets all ranty. ...and then the scene changes, so I dunno what happened after that. It's a sad state of affairs when the new love interest is so terrible that he makes Doctor Paul look good by comparison. Ag.
p74: Cathy is now planning on breaking up her mother's marriage. Super.
p75-76: And now it's two in the morning and Paul's not in his room (who knows what would have happened if he'd been there when she checked, ag), but then she finds him downstairs and freaks out because he has a job and isn't always at her beck-and-call and over the course of these pages she compares him to BOTH of her parents. Which, as she wants to sex him up, is gross.
p77: Annnnnd more cheek stroking.
p78: Another excellent line for a dramatic reading: "She said nothing to let us know our grandfather had died, and kept right on letting us stay locked up—for nine long, long months—and in those long months we were eating poisoned doughnuts!"
Now she's in his lap again, BUT IT'S OKAY, because he comforts her "as a father would, with little kisses and kind, stroking hands." YEP. TOTALLY NOT SKETCHY.
p79-82: Doctor Paul's backstory. He married his childhood sweetheart. She was scared of The Sex, so he raped her occasionally until she got pregnant. Turns out, she survived sexual abuse at the hands of her cousin when she was a small child. So, like the fine, upstanding man that he was, he stopped raping her and started having affairs instead. One of his ladies got pregnant, but he knew it couldn't be his because A) she was on the pill and B) she was boinking other dudes. (<--I'd like to point out that neither line of reasoning is remotely logical.) So then he told his wife about the affair (that one, anyway), and she flipped out and killed herself and their three-year-old son. The end.
p83: BONUS: His wife got the idea after watching Medea on television.
p86: April, 1961. Cathy turns sixteen.
p90: And then Chris and Julian get in a fight over her at her surprise birthday party and Julian storms out while yelling, "May all your birthdays be hell on earth!" Gosh, Cathy, he's a KEEPER. You should TOTALLY keep dating him.
p93: "...Lorraine DuVal, my best friend..." Yeah, your best friend who we've never heard of before one of your many suitors turned from you to her.
p94-110: A brief rundown of Carrie's short stint at school: Bullying and hazing and a broken leg, OH MY.
p110-111: Cathy has reached Emily Thorne-ish heights in her revenge obsession: she's keeping a scrapbook of every society column that mentions her mother. I'm pretty ready for that storyline to kick in.
Oh, goody, she actually SENT a note to her mother. She signed it:
Not yours anymore,
The doctor doll,
The ballerina doll,
The praying-to-grow-taller doll, [there has been so much about Carrie's overlarge head that I wish she'd gone with that]
And the dead doll.
p112: Okay, this make-out-with-Chris-and-then-freak-out-about-it thing is getting old.
Also getting old: Chris' bizarre continuing love for their murderous mother.
On the bright side, Carrie's cast is off, and her legs are still the same length! PHEW! And now she's going to public school.
p113: Shocker, despite her "pretty face and sensational hair", Carrie has no friends. Cathy blames all of Carrie's social problems on the size of her head. I rather suspect it has more to do with her being almost entirely unlikable, though.
p114: Just so you know, I'm not including all of the examples of insanely wooden dialogue, because then I'd end up transcribing the entire book. But I can't pass this one up: "She stared at me with those big blue haunted eyes and I saw her disappointment. I had failed her. I could tell from the way she ambled off with her shoulders drooping and her head hung so low. Her hopes must have ridden high when those cruel kids at her school chided her about finding a 'stretching machine.'" HERE'S A THOUGHT, DOCTOR PAUL: WHY NOT CONTACT THE SCHOOL ABOUT THE BULLYING??
p115: I'd thought once we were free of Foxworth Hall and I was almost an adult, life would lead me down a clear and straight path to fame, fortune and happiness. Holy cow, Cathy. You'd think that with the childhood you had, you'd have revised your expectations about what life is like. Then again, you got taken in by the first rich guy who you talked to after The Escape, and snagged a spot with a premiere ballet company because your brother-lover said you were a good dancer. So, except for the years in that attic and the fact that EVERY SINGLE GUY YOU KNOW IS SOME SHADE OF RAPEY, you do seem to be weirdly charmed.
p116: Cathy is continuing to send hate mail to her mother. I WANT A REUNION. BRING IT ON, ANDREWS.
Apparently Cathy's family was part of the Roanoke disappearance? And so was Bart's (<--Evil Mom's Young Rich Husband, in case you've lost track.) Or something?
p117: HER MOTHER IS IN TOWN. I REPEAT, HER MOTHER IS IN TOWN. CATHY HAS JUST SPOTTED HER ON THE SIDEWALK AND IS DEBATING ABOUT SPITTING IN HER FACE. FURTHER BULLETINS AS EVENTS WARRANT.
BART IS DESCRIBED AS HAVING "VIRILE, PANTHERLIKE HANDSOMENESS". THAT IS ALL.
p118: And, other than going home and throwing a tantrum, Cathy does nothing. How surprising.
p119: Wait, Chris is at DUKE? How the crap did he get in THERE? I guess he must have written one hell of an admissions essay.
p120: Doctor Paul is late coming home ON HIS BIRTHDAY, and Cathy goes full-bore fishwife on him.
p122: "I've got a yearning to walk in the garden by moonlight. Do you ever have yearnings like that?" Oh, gag me, Doctor Paul. Also, he grew a moustache for Cathy. And apparently stands in the doorway of her practice room all of the time and watches her dance. BECAUSE IT WASN'T CREEPY ENOUGH WHEN IT WAS HER BROTHER DOING IT.
p124: "A man likes to take care of the woman he loves and his children. A man likes to be leaned on, looked up to, respected. An aggressive, domineering woman is one of God's most fearsome creatures." I hate you, Doctor Paul.
p125: Happy birthday, Doctor Paul! Forty-two years young, and boinking your seventeen-year-old ward! YOUR FAMILY WOULD BE SO PROUD!
"Hot juices spurted forth..." Ewww.
p128: For Christmas, Cathy asks to go back to Foxworth Hall to find Cory's grave. SEASON'S GREETINGS, Y'ALL!!
p132: After reading the word 'sensational' for what felt like the fifth time, I just did a search using Amazon's Look Inside feature... and it popped up nineteen times. So no, I'm not imagining Andrews' love for it.
p134-138: After her first starring role, Cathy agrees to go to New York with Julian. And he's leching all over her IN FRONT OF CHRIS AND DOCTOR PAUL. Classy moves, all around.
January 1963. Cathy graduates high school and heads off to New York with Julian. Bad idea, Cathy.
p138-150: Five minutes after getting to New York, Cathy is a star.
Post-ballet performance, Cathy and Doctor Paul get All Het Up dancing to a "jungle beat" (no comment), check into a hotel as a married couple, Doctor Paul proposes, she says yes, and then their boink their brains out. Shocker of shocks, they decide to keep the engagement a secret.
p151: Julian puts the moves on Cathy AGAIN, she rebuffs him AGAIN, so he drives like a crazy person all over the city, and then chucks her out of his car—bleeding from a head wound, no less—into the rain. ADDING INSULT TO INJURY, HE STEALS HER PURSE.
p153-154: THEN, she finally gets home and proceeds to have an ACTUAL BRAWL with her roommate Yolanda, who is apparently Doing The Deed with Christopher. Which, of course, sends Cathy off of the deep end.
p155-156: Julian—while wearing only a towel—throws Cathy on a bed, straddles her, and yells about how he'll kill any man that comes between them, and that he'll kill her, too. And then, to prove what a Good Guy he is, he gives her her purse back. HE'S A KEEPER, CATHY. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CONTINUE HANGING OUT WITH HIM.
p157: Still sending hate mail.
Seriously, Cathy: WHY WOULD YOU LET JULIAN INTO YOUR APARTMENT?
p158: The company is going to London, she tells him she's engaged, and then he screams, "Goddamn you to hell for leading me on!" Which... yeah. I'm not sure how her rebuffing his advances fifty-seven times equals 'leading him on', but whatever.
p160: Chris wrote Cathy a poem for Christmas, and it is AMAZING:
I give you gold with a diamond you can barely see,
But the gem would be castle-sized if it expressed all I feel for thee.
I give you gold because it endures, and love like the eternal sea.
I THINK I MIGHT NEED A TATTOO OF IT, IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL.
162: CHRIS CATCHES CATHY COMING OUT OF PAUL'S BEDROOM! HE THROWS HER A LOOK OF "OUTRAGED DISGUST"!
p164-165: Cathy finds herself standing next to her mother at a department store. No, there is no confrontation. Just more angry sobbing.
p166-7: Chris tells Cathy he still wants her, blah blah blah. WHERE IS THE REVENGE?? I DEMAND REVENGE! Here's his argument against Doctor Paul: "You want everyone, and everything! Don't ruin Paul's life when already he's suffered enough! He's too old for you—and age does count! He''ll be old and dried up sexually when you're at your peak! Why even Julian would be better!"
p171-174: Doctor Paul's sister shows up after one of Cathy's performances and informs her that A) that time hemorrhaging blood at her audition was due to a miscarriage, and that the baby was two-headed and had three legs AND B) that Doctor Paul's wife IS STILL ALIVE. So that was rather exciting.
p175: CATHY JUST MARRIED JULIAN. WHAT. THE. HELL.
p185: Errr. So, it turns out that Doctor Paul's wife was in a coma for years, but IS dead now. Also, Cathy wasn't ever pregnant. So Cathy married Psycho Julian for no good reason.
p190: Julian's father died. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
p192: Julian's mother's marital advice: "If you have flaws, hide them."
And now that Cathy's married to Julian, Chris flips out and says that if she was going to marry one of them, that it should have been Paul. CHRIS. MAKE UP YOUR MIND. THIRTY PAGES AGO, YOU TOLD HER TO MARRY JULIAN.
p193: Carrie is now vowing to marry Doctor Paul and have six children.
p197: PART THREE. GOOD LORD, PLEASE LET THE REVENGE HAPPEN NOW.
p200: Julian is now insisting that Cathy and Chris not see each other. I predict that this marriage is headed for HAPPY TIMES INDEED.
p201: It's been three years. Apparently Julian has an eye for EXTREMELY YOUNG GIRLS. Gosh, just when I thought he couldn't be any more dreamy.
p205: Annnnnnd now Cathy wants to go to Chris' med school graduation, so Julian beats the crap out of her AND rapes her. Charming.
p206: So she drugs him and heads back to the US, leaving him in Spain. He can't speak Spanish, ahahahahaha.
p212-213: Back to make-out-freak-out with Chris.
OOO! It looks like Julian threw Cathy over as a dance partner, and has taken up with Yolanda!
p217: Ugh, now Cathy is convinced that she DOES love Julian. AUUUUGH!!
p218: Chris is going with her to New York to make sure that everything is okay before leaving her alone with Julian. I'm sure that'll make Julian's behavior OH SO MUCH BETTER.
p221-223: Cathy shows up at the filming of Giselle just in time to save the day, since Julian is crap at dancing with anyone else... AND HE REPAYS HER BY JUMPING AS HIGH AS HE CAN AND DELIBERATELY LANDING ON HER FEET. So... it looks like her career is over for now, and we can only hope that that goes double for her marriage. I CAN HAZ REVENGE TIME NOW?
p224-225: Post-hospital, Chris brings Cathy back to her apartment—why she'd go back there to recuperate, I HAVE NO IDEA—and they discover that all of her belongings have been destroyed. It takes a page or two for them to figure out who did it. No comment.
p227-229: Make-out-freak-out. (This time Cathy is drugged up, though, so STAY CLASSY, CHRIS.)
ANNNNNNND SHE'S PREGNANT. And determined to stay with Julian, because THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, and IT'S TOTALLY ALL HER FAULT THAT HE BROKE HER TOES.
So Chris storms out.
And then she has a dream about dancing with her mother's husband and then going up to the swan bed... and the phrase "powerful male shaft" is used and I am now feeling a tad traumatized.
ANNNNNNNNND JULIAN HAS BEEN IN A CAR ACCIDENT.
p233-234: He's still alive, and tells Cathy to get an abortion. *JAZZ HANDS*
YOLANDA DIED IN THE ACCIDENT.
ANNNNNNND JULIAN COMMITTED SUICIDE BY CUTTING HIS IV TUBE SO THAT A BUBBLE OF AIR REACHED HIS HEART. OR SOMETHING.
p235: The whole gang is back together again at Doctor Paul's house.
p239: Life seemed to me nothing without a man. Cathy really is her mother's daughter.
Chris comes in and finds her on Doctor Paul's lap, so he storms out again. Good times, WHEEEEEEEE.
p242: She has the baby (three hours of labor) and names him Julian Janus Marquet, but in true Bella Swan fashion, will call him Jory, for Cory + Julian. SORRY ABOUT THAT, KID.
p245: PART FOUR.
p247-248: Cathy continues to dream of stealing her mother's husband away from her, but also continues to take no action. Meanwhile, Chris and Paul are vying for her attention while Carrie, like the cheese, stands alone.
p251: Chris makes yet another play for Cathy before he leaves for his residency (at the Mayo Clinic, naturally), but no dice.
p253: FINALLY. IT IS TIME FOR REVENGE. Cathy writes a blackmail letter to her mother.
p254: But she gets no reply... SO SHE GOES TO BART'S LAW OFFICE...
p255: ...and finds out that he and her mother have attended many of her performances.
p256-257: She intrigues Bart by insulting him while looking sultry. He finds it IRRESISTIBLE. DUDES ARE SO WEIRD. He gets the life insurance company to pay out on Julian's claim, and tells her that there's no charge... except for going to dinner with him while wearing "blue to match your eyes". YECCH.
p258-259: Five seconds later, she gets into a monster-ass fight with Julian's mother and tells her that she'll never see her grandson again. So hopefully THAT storyline is finally over.
p261: Carrie turns twenty, and she, Cathy, and Jory head off to Virginia to GET SOME REVENGE. (Well, Cathy's going to get revenge. The other two are just along for the ride.)
p264-265: Carrie has a beau, FINALLY...
p270: ...and he's proposed but now she's being all tortured about it because he wants to be a minister and she's worried because minister's wives have to be perfect, but she never will be because she's DEVIL SPAWN. (<--See book one for the explanation on THAT ONE.)
p272: AUUUUUUUUGH, APPARENTLY JULIAN MESSED AROUND WITH CARRIE. AUUUUUGH.
p276: BART KNOWS ABOUT THE HATE MAIL!
p277: CARRIE IS SUPER-SICK! RETURN OF THE ARSENIC DOUGHNUTS???
p280: OH MY GOD, I WAS RIGHT?? SHE'S BEEN POISONING HER OWN DOUGHNUTS!!? These books are bananas.
p283: Ah. Carrie ran into Momma on the street and Momma pretended not to know her. THUS, THE DOUGHNUT BINGE.
p284: DEAD! CARRIE IS DEAD! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT.
p285: Despite—because of—her grief and fury, Cathy's showcasing some serious narrative flair: My thoughts were like the dry leaves blowing in the strong wind of hate... WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN.
p286: She sees her mother at the cemetery from afar, and swears she'll see to it that "all of her remaining days on earth will be black. Blacker than the tar put on my hair. Blacker than..." well, you get the idea.
p287: PART FIVE.
p289: Cathy has now dumped Jory with a maid and is running around town, trying to "accidentally" meet up with Bart. Apparently she doesn't see the irony in dumping her child to run around after a man... in pursuit of getting revenge on her mother for doing exactly the same thing. WILL SHE FIGURE IT OUT AND SPIRAL INTO YET MORE SELF-LOATHING AND REGRET? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
p291: Bart is demanding answers.
p293: So... she lies? I am at a loss as to why. I feel like if she told the truth, everything would all come out and her mother's life would be ruined and YAY HAPPY ENDING. But, no. Cathy, you ass.
p300: Well, Cathy is batting a thousand, guy-wise: Bart ALSO has rapey tendencies... and as usual, said tendencies make her melt. Yick.
p309-312: Bart is over for dinner. And he is from Barf Central.
p313: By way of Rapeville.
p315: AND THEN HE SENDS HER ROSES. OH MY GOD I HOPE HE DIES.
p317: She runs into him in town, expresses her lack of interest in the roses, so he sends her A DIAMOND ROSE THING.
AND THEN SHOWS UP AGAIN FOR DINNER.
AND SHE LETS HIM IN.
p318-320: They argue about whether or not he's a chauvinist and/or she's slutty... AND THEN HE PROFESSES HIS LOVE FOR HER AND THEY GO AND HAVE THE SEX. (Consensual this time.)
p320: Part one was done. Part two would begin when my mother knew I had Bart's child [wait, is she pregnant again?]—and then there was the grandmother who had to pay as well. And when I looked I saw that the mountains curved upward into a satisfied smirk. [What?] At last I had responded to their call. Their vengeful, tormenting wail. [I have no idea what she's talking about anymore.]
p321: MAN OH MAN, THERE IS SO MUCH WOMAN-HATE IN THIS BOOK. Cathy—and actually, pretty much every other character—never misses an opportunity to make a sweeping generalization that maligns womankind, and that's on top of the fact that she can't seem to even turn around without getting sexually assaulted. Ag.
p322: Cathy sneaks into Foxworth Hall when all of the servants are in town...
p324-331: ...and tells off The Grandmother (who is immobile due to a stroke) while threatening her with a willow switch. And also while wearing a sheer white leotard and pointe shoes. Because, as you may have noticed, Cathy has a taste for DRAMA.
Good lord, now she's whipping through family history at a rather alarming rate. Apparently Bart is a blabbermouth, because she suddenly knows WAAAAAAY more about The Grandmother's history than she did before. Isn't there a prequel series or something? I AM NOT SAYING THAT I'M PLANNING ON READING IT. I'm just CURIOUS.
Oh, NOW SHE'S ANGRY DANCING. THEY'D BETTER NOT CUT THIS BIT FROM THE MOVIE.
Cathy strips her down, flips her over, and whips her. Just one good one on the butt, though! NO MORE BECAUSE, TRUE TO FORM, SHE IMMEDIATELY STARTS CRYING.
SO OF COURSE THE GRANDMOTHER IS (SILENTLY) SUPER-GLOATY ABOUT IT, WHICH SETS CATHY OFF EVEN MORE: SHE RUNS AND GETS A CANDELABRA, MELTS SOME WAX, AND DRIBBLES IT ON WHAT LITTLE HAIR THE GRANDMOTHER HAS LEFT.
And then she runs away. But her exit loses a bit of the drama when she realizes that she forgot Carrie's hair (as part of her Angry Dance, she did a rhythmic gymnastics ribbon routine with Carrie's braid) and has to go back for it.
p333: ANNNNNNND NOW SHE'S IN LOVE WITH BART. SIGHHHHHHHHHHH.
p335: RUN IN WITH MOMMA AT THE POST OFFICE: "Some women don't deserve to have children." I paid for my roll of stamps and dropped them in my purse. "Some women like you, Mrs. Winslow, would rather have money than the bother of children who might get in the way of good times. Time itself will sooner or later let you know if you made the right decision." Sometimes I really wonder if English was Cathy's first language. Anyway, BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRN.
Annnnnnnd Cathy's pregnant.
p338: Cathy has her hair cut to match her mother's from that Christmas party way back when, and has a dress made to match the same one she wore. MAN, THIS IS LIKE REBECCA, EXCEPT REALLY BAD.
Chris tells her that he won't see her until she breaks it off with Bart.
p342-346: She breaks into Foxworth Hall AGAIN, but before crashing the party, she goes up to her mother's room (she still has the swan bed, gag) and puts on all of her mother's emerald-and-diamond jewelry (to go with the dress).
Then, she goes and revisits the room they lived in PRE-ATTIC.
THEN, SHE HEADS UP TO THE ATTIC.
THEN, SHE CRASHES THE PARTY.
p347: And she introduces herself to the entire party. And tells her story.
p348-351: Bart puts a stop to it, but now they're dancing, and I rather think she's going to convince him that she's telling the truth. WHAT HE'LL DECIDE TO DO WITH THAT INFORMATION, WHO KNOWS?
p352: OOOO, CORRINE FINALLY FLIPPED AND IS NOW SCREAMING THAT CATHY'S A LIAR.
And now Bart and Corrine and Cathy are off to the library to (hopefully) HAVE IT OUT.
And, yep, The Grandmother is in there.
Cathy brought the birth certificates as proof. Good show, Cathy. (Well, as long as they don't get destroyed somehow.)
Corrine admits it! Well, that Cathy is her daughter.
Turns out that THE GRANDFATHER KNEW ABOUT THE KIDS THE WHOLE TIME.
Corrine is now claiming that she was just trying to make the kids sick enough so she could take them to the hospital and pretend that they died...
...to which Cathy points out that the arsenic doughnuts didn't start until after The Grandfather died.
p361-366: WHAT. WHAAAAAAAAAAAT. CORY'S DEAD BODY HAS BEEN IN THE HOUSE THE WHOLE TIME.
CHRIS JUST SHOWED UP.
AND CORINNE SEEMS TO THINK THAT HE'S HER DEAD HUSBAND, BECAUSE SHE'S ALL, "MY FATHER MADE ME DO IT! ETC., ETC."
AND THEN SHE STARTS SCREAMING AND RUNS AWAY.
AHAHAHAHA, NOW THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!
AND BART THROWS CATHY AT CHRIS AND HEADS TO THE ATTIC IN SEARCH OF CORRINE! (Is it just me, or was V.C. Andrews going for Jane Eyre in this one? Paul's secret crazy wife? The multiple times that Cathy talks about hearing dudes call to her from fall away? And now Bart running into a raging fire to save a wife he doesn't love? Anyway.)
BART GETS CORRINE OUT, AND THEN GOES BACK IN FOR THE GRANDMOTHER.
CORRINE GETS HAULED AWAY IN A STRAITJACKET.
BART AND THE GRANDMOTHER DIE IN THE FIRE.
MEANWHILE, HENNY HAD A STROKE AND PAUL HAD A HEART ATTACK.
p366: Cathy is now married to Doctor Paul, who is seriously ill...
p368: ...and so he's working on convincing her to go off and be a family with Chris, which he argues won't be "evil" because she can't have any more kids.
p371: Doctor Paul dies...
...and Cathy and Chris and the boys move to California, where siblings can live as man and wife in peace. Or something.
p372: Corrine is in an insane asylum, either ACTUALLY bonkers or just trying to avoid prison and/or the death penalty.
p373: AND CATHY IS NOW WORRIED THAT SHE'S GOING TO LOCK HER KIDS UP IN THE ATTIC.