I read this book as a teenager. All my friends read it too. We thought it moving, gripping, unputdownable… We read all the prequels and sequels too.

I cringe now to think of it. Sorry, but I can’t bear to read it again so, despite my wish to get this project off to a flying start it just aint gonna happen.


The book is about a happy family of six, which gets screwed up completely. Daddy dies suddenly, and Mommy has no way to earn a living so she returns to her family mansion. Problem – her father is sick and always hated the fact that she had married this chap (for reasons too soap-opera horrible to detail, you have to read the prequel to get the full flavour of it) so she is obliged to hide the fact that she has children by him. Those children are locked in the attic, just until their sick grandfather finally pops his clogs… which takes somewhat longer than expected and much pain and damage to the children ensues. I mean, how would you feel if you were a child imprisoned in an attic, required to make no noise, and never ever allowed out at all? Meanwhile, Mommy dearest is getting on with her life, falling in love again and forgetting how much she cares (did she ever?) about her children. She ends up sending them poisoned doughnuts… yes, you read that right, poisoned doughnuts.

It is the first book (well, there was that prequel, written later, but never mind) in a series. The rest of the series charts the messed-up lives of the children in their post-attic days. On to adulthood, pain, revenge and – no, really? – incest.

You still want to read it? Here’s an Amazon link.
Looked at the book in the library, but have not re-read it.