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.
3 weeks ago