Wednesday 28 May 2014

Recap: Garden of Shadows by Virginia Andrews, Part 8

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

At last, the final recap of Garden of Shadows! This is where all the good stuff happens of course. Like CHRISTOPHER arrives at Foxworth Hall. When he does, Corinne descends the stairs in slow motion , and he goes all starry-eyed and Olivia worries that he might realise they're brother and sister. Ha! Hahahahahaha. When Creepy Butler John Amos shows Christopher to his room (while he smiles goofily at Corinne), Olivia takes pains to remind Corinne that he is her UNCLE (not her BROTHER, you know). Corinne is all "how could I forget, we look so alike!" and I suddenly realise Corinne falls for Christopher probably because she loves herself so much.

So Christopher brings sunshine and joy into Foxworth Hall for the first time in years, everyone loves him, yada yada yada. Corinne hangs off him like a weed, and while Olivia is wary of her not treating him with the reverence of an UNCLE, she is glad they both seem happy. Ha. Hahahahahahha.

One morning Christopher approaches Olivia and explains how they understand each other's pain and now that he's lost a mother and she's lost her sons, they can be each other's surrogate mother/son. And he wants to be a "real brother" to Corinne. Ha. Hahahahahahhaa.

Creepy Butler John Amos, meanwhile, follows Christopher around creepily and watches him with razor sharp eyes like the creep he is. He warns Olivia that trouble is brewing because everyone loves Christopher so much, especially Corinne. Olivia is all "but they are INNOCENT" (we'll hear another mother say that again in the not too distant future), and Creepy Butler John Amos is like, Corinne puts too much effort into her appearance, she brushes her hair with 100 strokes in her bedroom!! 

Olivia is like hold up WTF dude you watch her in her room? And Creepy Butler John Amos gets flustered and tries to say he is only doing what he needs to do to protect the family. Uggggh.

But it gets better! Creepy Butler John Amos reveals he followed C&C to the lake and discovered them swimming in their UNDERWEAR which was OBSCENE and LEWD. Olivia is a little shocked but brushes it off as the exuberance of youth combined with the hot summer. She yells at Creepy Butler John Amos for being, well, creepy, and I want to cheer except we all know where this is heading.

Summer ends and Christopher goes off to college and Corinne goes to boarding school that is only an hour away from where he is and Olivia is so pleased with this happy coincidence. Ha. Hahahahahaha.

C&C come back for Christmas and there's a big party and everything is perfect and everyone is happy, except Creepy Butler John Amos, who is still creepy and suspicious and who Olivia decides is just jealous of Christopher. Then C&C both go back to school and Olivia is delighted that Christopher is doing amazingly in his medical studies and also that he regularly keeps in touch with Corinne, and even VISITS her. Ha. Hahahahhahha.

It's summer again and C&C return to light up Foxworth Hall. They're closer than ever and finally Olivia starts to be a bit worried, but mainly because she's afraid they'll realise they're BROTHER and SISTER. Ha. Hahahahhahaa.

Fast forward the next year and Christopher graduates valedictorian and Corinne graduates high school. They drive home together with Olivia and Malcolm, stopping for the night in Atlantic City. Malcolm gets excited about showing them the city but C&C are both mysteriously tired and insist Olivia and Malcolm go out without them. Ha. Hahahahahha.

Back at Foxworth Hall, Olivia lets C&C sleep in because they're both so tiiiired still. She opens Christopher's mail though because she CARES so much, and when she sees he's been accepted to Harvard Medical School she excitedly runs to his room to tell him. But he's not there. He's not in Corinne's room either. Suddenly, Olivia hears a noise from THE SWAN ROOM. She sneaks up and opens the door and sees C&C in bed, doing the nasty nasty.

Olivia freaks out and closes the door, and Creepy Butler John Amos is suddenly there and opens the door again and sees C&C doing the nasty nasty. Creepy Butler John Amos bursts out with, and I quote, "SINNERS! FORNICATORS!" Olivia tries to pull him away and he is all I TOLD YOU SO YOU STUPID WOMAN THE DEVIL HAS COME FOR YOOOOU.

The happy family reconvenes in Malcolm's library, and Corinne tells everyone that she is in love with Christopher and they're getting married. Malcolm accuses them of incest and sin and Corinne is all, "it's not incestuous!" because apparently she doesn't know the meaning of the word. Christopher then says they've been in love since the day they met as if THAT'S going to make it better. Malcolm yells at him and Corinne tries to defend him by saying it was SHE who pursued him, like THAT'S going to make it better. She says they want to stay at Foxworth Hall and have their children there and Malcolm is like YOUR CHILDREN WILL HAVE FORKED TAILS AND HOOFED FEED. He tells them to leave his house and his next words to his daughter are too good not to quote: "Beguiler, Delilah, deceitful, lustful creature, cunningly beautiful, evil thing." Coz it wouldn't be Malcolm without a heavy dose of misogyny. 

Christopher looks to Olivia for help, but she is angry because he betrayed her. You see, she thought he was hanging around for her and cared about her but REALLY it was all about Corinne. "All men are alike," Olivia thinks. Because she matches Malcolm's hate for the opposite sex spite for spite. What a pair these two make. Olivia reiterates that they have sinned against God and will "breed horror", and C&C turn and walk out the door.

Moments later Malcolm collapses and has a stroke. This renders him incapable of most speech and movement (and also with a constant smile on his face) and Olivia has full power for perhaps the first time in her life. They all pray a lot and as Malcolm improves she takes pleasure in having him wheeled into the library to see all the business decisions she's making, probably because she knows he hates it. And even though she loves having the power she somehow resents him more than ever because now she no longer has a strong, powerful husband.

One day he begs her to hire a private detective to see how C&C are doing, like actually begs with tears and all. Olivia agrees and when the first report from the detective reveals that C&C have produced another perfect, beautiful, intelligent, blonde C - that'd be Christopher Jr - Olivia insists it must be ANOTHER Christopher and Corinne. The detective insists it is the right pair - he had seen PICTURES after all - and reveals Corinne is pregnant again. Olivia comforts herself that this child will be "different", and decides not to tell Malcolm anything until that's confirmed. Of course we know the next child is Cathy, who is pretty and perfect, and later the twins, who are doubly perfect. So Olivia never tells Malcolm anything. He, meanwhile, wastes away, barely talking, hanging on by a thread in the hope of salvation for his past sins. Olivia, meanwhile, describes her world as gray once again, right down to her clothes.

Then Olivia receives a pink, perfumed letter from none other than Corinne, containing the story of Christopher's death and the poverty the family is on the verge of. Olivia is heartbroken, because she loved Christopher despite everything, and seeks comfort in Creepy Butler John Amos, who of course  insists that this is a message from God. Turns out it's his idea to lock the kids away, to "prevent them from infecting the world". Olivia mulls it over and though she longs to be a grandmother, she decides she can't allow herself to love the "devils spawn".

Olivia tells Malcolm Corinne is coming home, but decides never to tell him about the kids because he would love them like he couldn't help loving Corinne, his mother or Alicia (yes, it was LOVE, right, Olivia). She tells Corinne that he can't know because he won't accept her back.

Corinne and her kids arrive and we get the arrival scene from Flowers in the Attic told from Olivia's perspective. She longs to love and hold the children, especially Christopher and Cathy, who look just like Christopher Sr and Corinne, but she won't let herself and instead says the nasty thing she says. "But they're innocent children!" Corinne insists, and Olivia is all like "bitch please." As Corinne talks about how wonderful her kids are, Olivia closes her ears and hardens her heart, and as she leaves the room, she catches Christopher smiling at Cathy like she once saw Christopher Sr smiling at Corinne. She vows she won't be so blind again, and her transition into the evil grandmother we know and love to hate is complete.

And we're done! Thanks to anyone who has been reading these recaps! I hope you've enjoyed them. Next up is the book that started it all: Flowers in the Attic.


  1. I loved talking about these books with you the other night so I'm going to go back and read all your recaps!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  2. That was quite a journey all the way through. :P A little revisit to the emotionally conflicting prequel to when it all started! It's definitely interesting that you're going in the universe's chronological order, so that works. I especially do wonder in some ways if it is better to start with Garden of Shadows and then go in order from there, or leave it for last. It depends, I guess.

    Looking forward to Flowers In The Attic! :)

    1. hehe, thanks for reading along with me. I think for the first time it's best to read in published order (so you still get the twists), but on the reread it is fun to read in chronological order, for me at least.