Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Herbs in the Attic

I just sent my friend Eve a copy of Christina Meldrum’s excellent Madapple because I wanted to get her reaction to it. I devoured it but my critique partner Jennie couldn’t get past the first few chapters. It’s dense, yes, and heavy on the botany, but at the core is a story that took me right back to my young adult days—it reads like a highbrow, literary version of Flowers in the Attic. You know, if V.C. Andrews had a law degree from Harvard and a predilection for botany…

When I was teen I blew though the V.C. Andrews cannon. Beyond the fact that her books had die-cut covers (soooo sophisticated in 1979!) I absolutely loved her bizarre, gothic tales of the Dollanganger kids. Madapple has a completely different setting and plot but shares the twisted theme of what happens to children when they are abused and isolated from society and eventually turn to each other for…well…I won’t say anymore so I don’t spoil anything for those of you who haven’t read it yet.

Give it a try, let me know what you think. If you loved Flowers in the Attic et al as a kid but your tastes have turned to more literary books as an adult, I think it’s just the thing.

4 comments:

jennie said...

Okay, so I didn't love MADAPPLE, but I do love you, and your writing, and that incredible blog your husband posted about you!!!

Disco Mermaids said...

Thanks Christy!! Just saw this now!

Very excited to read Madapple. However, I'm not quite as smart or sophisticated as you, so I do wonder if I'll understand everything. Botany? What is botany? Study of boats? Awesome!!

And I'm dying to know what you think of "Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature" that's headed to your mailbox from me!

xo
Eve

Davis said...

I was thinking maybe that - as a writer - you might want to go with something more like Verbs in the Attic, but maybe that's just too kitschy. I could accept it, I suppose, if it were. But I thought the idea of lots of lovely, innocent, but incestuous, lecherous verbs living in the attic, held at bay by a step-monster noun and infamous adverbs by marriage, might be a direction to go in. But that's just me.

Disco Mermaids said...

HA Davis! Hahahahaha! That guy cracks me up.

So far, VERY interesting read, Christy!! A smart-people, sophisticated read fo' sho'. But, I'm getting through it.

Definitely not like any other book I've read...it kind of feels like M. Night Shayamalan meets V.C. Andrews meets Salem Witch Trials meets Stephen King meets that strange cult where the women wear their hair in funny updo's. But, I'm only about 50 pages in, so that may change.

Thanks again for sending the book!

Eve