When the story ended in the previous book, Beneath the Attic, a very young and secretly pregnant Corrine Dixon was preparing for her upcoming wedding to Garland Foxworth. Out of the Attic wastes little time moving the story forward, noting the wedding and the birth of Malcolm in a brief prologue, with the remainder of the story taking place five years later.
That was my first problem with this book. It left me feeling disoriented immediately. The first words I read in this book stated that it was “picking up where Beneath the Attic left off”. If it had done that, I wouldn’t have kept wondering if I was reading the THIRD book in the series, rather than the second. I was terribly confused… how could Malcolm be almost five years old when the wedding hadn’t even happened yet?! I had to look it up on Google, because I was convinced I was reading the wrong book… only to find out I wasn’t. Wait… what?!
Fine. It was a sloppy beginning, but I can get over it. The story will get better now that I understand where we are in the timeline. Right?
Wrong. Because now, I had to deal with other issues that drove me crazy.
People still behaved in historically incorrect ways. The dialogue was still horribly wrong for people living in 1895. For example: at one point, Garland tells Corinne “You’re hot.” (And no… she wasn’t feverish.) How is a reader supposed to buy that this story takes place in the late 19th century, with something like that being said?!
Despite the passing of several years (and addition of a child), there isn’t any character growth to be found in Corrine or Garland. The characters are shallow, and fail to have any redeeming qualities. Malcolm, despite his important role in Flowers in the Attic, has little impact in the overall story. As described in the book, he is nothing more than a stereotypical bratty child. Nothing makes him stand out in a way that foreshadows who he will eventually become, despite looks and/or actions being described as ‘sly’. It never felt potentially ominous in the least to me—it came across only as a young child attempting to get his way about something, and nothing more.
Though I did feel compassion for Corrine due to an event late in the story, it failed to have the serious impact it could have had, if only she were a more sympathetic character. If I truly cared about her, what happened would have evoked a storm of emotions… but she was so unlikable as a whole that it simply wasn’t possible.
Once again, I have to point out that Garland is nothing like the one shown in Garden of Shadows. I have a great deal of difficulty accepting the drastic changes between his younger and older selves. People do change as they age, but this much? Opinions may vary, but it doesn’t feel realistic to me.
The epilogue (which I nearly missed because a list of other VCA series came before it), featured a twist that greatly intrigued me. Possibilities abound, and I’m curious if anything will come of it. That, more than anything, has me curious to read the next book, Shadows of Foxworth.
About the Book
The twisted, beloved Dollanganger legend began two generations before Corrine Foxworth locked away her children in Flowers in the Attic. The second book in a new prequel story arc, Out of the Attic explores the Dollanganger family saga by traveling back decades to when the clan’s wicked destiny first took root.
Married to the handsome, wealthy Garland Foxworth following a wildfire romance, and an unexpected pregnancy, young Corrine Dixon finds her life very different from how she imagined it. Often alone in the mansion of Foxworth Hall, she can practically feel the ancestors’ judgment of her as insufficient—as not a Foxworth. Stern portraits glare at her from the walls, and the servants treat her strangely. Nothing in the vast place is truly hers.
Even her son, Malcolm Foxworth, born in the luxe Swan Room and instantly whisked away to a wet nurse, feels alien to her. With a husband alternately absent and possessively close, Corrine doesn’t yet realize that she’s barely scratched the surface of what lies beneath Foxworth Hall’s dark facade and the family that guards its legacies.
About the Author
Books written by V.C. Andrews before her death