The story is the first of its series and is narrarws by Cathy Dollanger, who 12 years old and is the second of four children. She has an older brother, Chris, and her other brother and sister are 5-year old twins, Cory and Carrie. They live with their mother and father until their father dies in a car accident and they are forced to move into their mother's old house. Their mother, Corrine, has abusive parents and the only way her mother agrees to let them stay in the house is if the children stay hidden. The children are locked in the attic and the next day their mother returns and had been badly whipped by her mother, Olivia, who explaines to the children that their parents were half-uncle and niece; their father had been Malcom, Corrine father's, half-brother. If Corrine has any hope of getting her father's approval, the existence of the children must be kept secret. They are told that they must remain in seclusion until Malcom's death. At first Corrine brings them expensive gifts and promises them a bright future, but she eventually stops coming to visit them. They are all verbally and emotionally abused by their grandmother, who tells them that they are "the devil's spawn" and "an abomination in the eyes of the Lord." She often threatens them with horrible physical punishment if they disobey her rules. As Chris and Cathy hit puberty, they begin to become curious about their body changes. Chris walks in on Cathy naked and begins to tell her how she is becoming very beautiful. He later rapes her out of a jealous rage. They are both ashamed and embarrassed, but continue to love eachother. Cory becomes mysteriously sick and eventually dies and Cathy and Christ devise a plan to escape. Chris overhears a butler say how he found arsenic poisoned food to kill the mice, but he knew the food was being used on them, and is what killed Cory. They finally escape, and learn that it is their mother who poisoned them, and not their grandmother. They also learn that in Malcom's will it was stated that if found out that Corrine had any children with her half-uncle, then she would be disinherited, and they learn that Malcom had died 9 months ago. they toy momentarily with going to the police, but decide against it as they did not want to be seperated from eachother and be placed in foster home. They plan to travel to Florida. At the time of their escape, chris is nearly 18 years old, Cathy is 15 years old, and Carrie is 8 years old. Cathy, the one who felt betrayed by her mother the most, vows to herself that she has only temporarily given up her thoughts of justice and revenge against her mother and grandmother, and she will see it through one day.
1. Do you think you would be able to live locked in an attic for three years without communication to the outside world? How do you think it would affect your personality and views on life?
2. Do you think tha the Dollanger children made the right decision in deciding not to go to the police? What would you do if you were in this situation?
3. If you were in this situation, do you think it would more difficult to just move on and forget about the past or get revenge for what was done?