Monday 20 January 2014

Recap: Garden of Shadows by Virginia Andrews, Part 1

Yes, I am rereading the series that destroyed my innocence taught me everything I know about sex entertained me so as an 11-year-old. Watching the new Lifetime movie (which was amazeballs BTW) made me really want to revisit the books, and I'm starting with prequel because I like chronology. I thought I'd try recapping rather than reviewing, so here we go...

This is not the cover I own but it is the only cover that matters.

We begin with the prologue (derrr), which is an "addendum" to Olivia "The Grandmother" Winfield Foxworth's will, throwing serious subliminal shade at Cathy for "publishing" all their sordid secrets in Flowers in the Attic and forcing her to have to tell her side of the story. I like sassy Olivia.

Like Cathy, Olivia opens her tale by talking about colour - for her, her whole life was gray. She wanted to have a life like the colourful, beautiful family in her glass-encased dollhouse, but alas she couldn't. You see, she was Ugly. Not just Ugly, but TALL with BIG BOOBS. This meant she was an old maid at 24. I kid you not, she describes herself as a spinster. Her dad is constantly trying to marry her off, but his attempts are fruitless because she basically looks like this:

But even that might be acceptable if she didn't have the nerve to be smart and believe women have the right to vote and - get this - actually speak her opinions out loud. Outrageous! Her dad criticises her for challenging "the most treasured of manly privileges" and I popped a blood vessel in my eye. But then he actually does some nice things like put her through college, give her a job and put conditions on his will so that her inheritance is hers alone, to prevent men from wanting to marry her for money. Enter Malcolm Neal Foxworth, who gives her a funny feeling in her lady bits with his cerulean blue eyes (get ready to hear that description a lot) and a face so perfect the sun shines out of it. Also he is taller than her.

Maxwell manages to make Olivia fall in love with him in a matter of days because she is so desperate to be loved, and he does extraordinary things like talk to her and listen to her and say how glad he is that she's intelligent because he can't stand beautiful girls. Coz they're stupid. But Olivia isn't coz remember she looks like this:

So Malcolm asks her to marry him because he is ambitious and wants a wife who is smart and can help with business and stuff, and Olivia is overjoyed even though they haven't even kissed yet and he's never mentioned he loves her, because somebody - somebody really really good-looking - actually wants her. The wedding is rushed because Malcolm is impatient to get on with it and only Olivia's dad, aunt and her creepy 18-year-old cousin John Amos attend (Olivia's mum died when she was a teen and Malcolm doesn't give a fuck about his family). Olivia is excited to finally get a smooch and Malcolm disappoints her with peck that's drier than white dog poo. C'mon Mal, I know she's a hag but you could at least slip the tongue in for a few seconds! Olivia thinks he must just be shy and I'm beginning to doubt how intelligent she actually is, even if she is really fug.

The newlyweds travel straight to Foxworth Hall overnight and Olivia is relieved at not having to consummate the marriage right away because the idea of dirty relations freaks her out. But when they get to Foxworth Hall in time to go to bed for a few hours, she is dismayed to find her devoted husband won't be sharing her bedroom. Turns out she wouldn't mind trying some dirty relations at least this once. She gets all gussied up in her new dressing gown with a SCANDALOUS v-neck anyway, thinking he will come visiting and just didn't want to admit it in front of the German housemaid. But by the time morning comes said housemaid is the only person who greets her, with a judgmental look at her trashy outfit. Dear Mal has already left for the day and poor Olivia couldn't even get the D on her wedding night. Because remember she looks like this:

For real I actually feel bad for her right now.

Next time: Olivia settles in to life at Foxworth Hall and actually gets to know the man she has married beyond his cerulean blue eyes.

P.S. Let me know in the comments if you like the recap style or if it makes you feel like Malcolm when he kisses his wife.


  1. Excellent stuff! Am hooked already. Now off to don a scandalous V neck....

  2. LOVE this recap style. Keep it coming. Can't wait for the next one! :)

  3. haha I think the same about what I take off this saga, but it is still so great. I have not had a chance to read this book,need to buy it soon

    1. It is worth it if you like the rest of the series I think

  4. This is fantastic! I never made it past the original (actually I might have read the first chapter of the sequel) so I'll live vicariously through you. I need to see the new film as well, it sounds ah-mazing.