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Cat Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1999

3.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
Book 4 of 5 in the Wildflowers Series

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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Because my daddy went to work so early, my mother was always the one left with the responsibility of waking me, if I didn't rise and shine on my own for school. She would usually wake me up by making extra noise outside my bedroom door. She rarely knocked and she almost never opened the door. I could probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times my mother had been in my bedroom while I was in it too, especially during the last five years.

Instead, she would wait for me to leave for school, and then she would enter like a hotel maid after the guests had gone and clean and arrange the room to her liking. I was never neat enough to please her, and when I was younger, if I dared to leave an undergarment on a chair or on the top of the dresser, she would complain vehemently and look like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz.

"Your things are very private and not for the eyes of others," she would scowl, and put her hands on me and shake me. "Do you understand, Cathy? Do you?"

I would nod quickly, but what others? I would wonder. My mother didn't like any of my father's friends or business associates and she had no friends of her own. She prized her solitude. No one came to our house for dinner very often, if at all, and certainly no one visited my room or came upstairs, and even if they had, they wouldn't see anything because Mother insisted I keep my door shut at all times. She taught me that from the moment I was able to do it myself.

Nevertheless, she would be absolutely furious now if I didn't put my soaps and lotions back in the bathroom cabinet, and once, when I had left a pair of my panties on the desk chair, she cut them up and spread the pieces over my pillow to make her point.

This morning she was especially loud. I heard her put down the pail on the floor roughly, practically slamming it. She was cleaning earlier than usual. The mop hit my door, swept the hard wood floor in the hallway and then hit my door again. I looked at the small clock housed in clear Danish crystal on my night table. The clock was a birthday present from my grandmother, my mother's mother, given only weeks before she had passed away from lung cancer. She was a heavy smoker. My grandfather was twelve years older than she was and died two years later from a heart attack. Like me, my mother had been an only child. Not long ago I found out I wasn't supposed to be, but that's another story, maybe even one that's more horrible than what's happened to me recently. Whatever, one thing was certain: we didn't have much family. Our Thanksgiving turkeys were always small. Mother didn't like leftovers. Daddy muttered that she threw away enough food to feed another family, but he never muttered loud enough for Mother to hear.

Part of the reason for our small Thanksgivings and Christmas holidays was because my father's parents had nothing to do with him or with us; his sister Agatha and his younger brother Nigel never came to see us either. My father had told me that none of his family members liked anyone else in the family and it was best for all of them to just avoid each other. It would be years before I would find out why. It was like finding pieces to a puzzle and putting them together to create an explanation for confusion.

When my mother hit the door with the mop again, I knew it was time to rise, but I was stalling. Today was my day at Doctor Marlowe's group therapy session. The other three girls, Misty, Star and Jade, had told their stories and now they wanted to hear mine. I knew they were afraid I wouldn't show up and to them it would be something of a betrayal. They had each been honest to the point of pain and I had listened and heard their most intimate stories. I knew they believed they had earned the right to hear mine, and I wasn't going to disagree with that, but at this very moment, I wasn't sure if I could actually gather enough courage to tell them my tale.

Mother wasn't very insistent about it. She had been told by other doctors and counselors that it was very important for me to be in therapy, but my mother didn't trust doctors. She was forty-six years old and from what I understood, she had not been to a doctor for more than thirty years. She didn't have to go to a doctor to give birth to me. I had been adopted. I didn't learn that until...until afterward, but it made sense. It was practically the only thing that did.

My chills finally stopped and I sat up slowly. I had a dark maple dresser with an oval mirror almost directly across from my bed so when I rose in the morning, the first thing I saw was myself. It was always a surprise to see that I had not changed during the night, that my face was still formed the same way (too round and full of baby fat), my eyes were still hazel and my hair was still a dull dark brown. In dreams I had oozed off my bones and dripped into the floor. Only a skeleton remained. I guess that signified my desire to completely disappear. At least that was what Doctor Marlowe suggested at an earlier session.

I slept in a rather heavy cotton nightgown, even during the summer. Mother wouldn't permit me to own anything flimsy and certainly not anything sheer. Daddy tried to buy me some more feminine nighties and even gave me one for a birthday present once, but my mother accidentally ruined it in the washing machine. I cried about it.

"Why," she would ask, "does a woman, especially a young girl or an unmarried woman, have to look attractive to go to sleep? It's not a social event. Pretty things aren't important for that; practical things are, and spending money on frilly, silly garments for sleep is a waste.

"It's also bad for sleep," she insisted, "to stir yourself up with narcissistic thoughts. You shouldn't dwell on your appearance just before you lay down to rest. It fills your head with nasty things," she assured me.

If my daddy heard her say these things, he would laugh and shake his head, but one look from her would send him fleeing to the safety and the silence of his books and newspapers, many of which she didn't approve.

When I was a little girl, I would sit and watch her look through magazines and shake her head and take a black magic marker to advertisements she thought were too suggestive or sexy. She was the stern censor, perusing all print materials, checking television programs, and even going through my schoolbooks to be sure nothing provocative was in them. She once cut illustrations out of my science text. Many times she phoned the school and had angry conversations with my teachers. She wrote letters to the administrators. I was always embarrassed about it, but I never dared say so.

Yawning and stretching as if I were sliding into my body, I finally slipped my feet into my fur-lined leather slippers and went into the bathroom to take a shower. I know I was moving much slower than usual. A part of me didn't want to leave the room, but that was one of the reasons I had been seeing Doctor Marlowe in the first place: my desire to withdraw and become even more of an introvert than I was before...before it all happened or, to be more accurate, before it was all revealed. When you can lie to yourself, you can hide behind a mask and go out into the world. You don't feel as naked nor as exposed.

I wasn't sure what I would wear today. Since it was my day in the center of the circle, I thought I should look better dressed, although Misty certainly didn't dress up for her day or any day thereafter. Still, I thought I might feel a little better about myself if I did. Unfortunately, my favorite dress was too tight around my shoulders and my chest. The only reason my mother hadn't cut it up for rags was she hadn't seen me in it for some time. What I chose instead was a one-piece, dark-brown cotton dress with an empire waist. It was the newest dress I had and looked the best on me even though my mother de


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Product Details

  • Series: Wildflowers
  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671028030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671028039
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,509,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like this book because Cat was so withdrawn you new that something good had to happen to her. When I read this book I read it in 5 hours.No matter what I did I couldn't put it down.The only reason that I didn't give this book a five was because I didn't like how she paused to make them have breaks and things, and I usally like longer books, but thats why everyone should read the last book to this series.I would reccomend this book to everyone!
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By A Customer on December 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cat did the right thing to lay all of her cards on the table with the girls and Dr. Marlowe. All things have to come out. It was awful of Geraldine to isolate Cat as well as abuse her physically and verbally. Cat deserves to have friends. What helps her is that she is willing to give people a chance. It was shocking that Howard assaults Cat after she trusts him.
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Format: Hardcover
By far the most traumatized of the four Wildflowers, Cat is a victim of incest and grew up with a mother whose extreme beliefs-- meant to protect her and encourage "proper" behaviour-- have done more damage than good. Anything sexually suggestive is prohibited in Cat's house, her mother going so far as to censor reading material. Even her science textbooks are edited! Any enhancement of one's appearance is a no-no: it's all dumpy, loose-fitting clothing and never any makeup. Friends are also scrutinized and almost always rejected. Dump 'em, says Mama. "Peer pressure" being what it is, you can't hang around with just anybody, y'know. You get the picture, right? That girl's been primed for perfect mental health!

While I can't say anything in the story was surprising or original, I finally felt like I was reading a V.C. Andrews book, if not in style then in tone. Cat clearly has a lot of issues to work through, and (to borrow a word) maybe in Into the Garden there'll be more of that. Maybe?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Up till the Logan series the series of books were great but no way in VC Andrews style. The Logan and the mini-series that followed have all been a let down. It seems that these simple story lines are aimed at a much YOUNGER reader then those of us that were around when the first Andrews' novel came out. Cat was no big surprise development. Her story was along the same theme as previous ANdrews books, incest, rape by a family member, etc. I for one am getting sick of all these mini series and have stopped after Cat. For those of you that like them a new mini-series is on the way, yeah to you, woe to us that hate them. What is with the ghostwriter? The family should have picked a WOMAN writer, at least then, the story line would be entertaining (a woman would do much better at writing these series ). Now, the excitement i use to have upon seeing a new VC Andrews novel on the book shelf has faded. I save it for the paperback and hardback versions I see of Anne Rice, John Saul and any other writer besides VC Andrews. It's a shame that a writer's whose name is assoicatied with dark storylines and psychological horror has come down to this depressing read for teens. (Hmm, do you suppose that is why these books are in the horror section? Scary writing?)Note to Pocket Books and the ghostwriter: JUST STOP!! RETIRE HER NAME PLEASE BEFORE YOU DO ANY MORE DAMAGE!!!!
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By A Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought that this book was an ok read. It was nothing wonderful. It was more like something you read just because it happens to be right in front of you like reading a magazine in the check-out line. It is a V.C. Andrews book, so anyone reading this review knows that the book can't be that bad. My viewpoint is probably like this because I am so used to reading her novels that when I began to read this miniseries I started to miss all those detailed descriptions that the miniseries lacks. Also, I wouldn't place this book in the Adult fiction section of the library; it belongs in young adult. The story content is adult but the style is definetly young adult.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of the V. C. Andrews books, and this series is, by far, the worst. The recent V.C. Andrews books continue to disappoint me. Where I once looked forward to the next book in one of her series, I now find myself merely drawn to them to prove that "this one will not be up to par" either! I'm surprised that the family would want to lend the name V.C. Andrews to these books. I'm sure Ms. Andrews would not be proud of any of them. As for the mini-series---get rid of them, and get back to the types of books that Ms. Andrews became noted for!
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When Cat goes to Dr. Marlowe's office, she knows it's her time to tell her story. SHe starts her story off by telling Jade, Misty, and Star about her insanely overprotective mother, who would go through her room daily, check each and every TV show Cat watched, and go through books and cross out inapporperiate words and pictures with a black marker. Cat's mom may be overprotective, but soon we learn about her father ~ who is overly friendly towards Cat. Of course, we all know what happens next, not right away, but what's going to happen. Cat tells how her mom would punish her if she mentioned anything about her body, and her dad would go out of his way to "comfort her" - he even buys her racy clothes and makeup (two things strictly forbidden by her mom).
I liked the first two books in the Wildflowers series, but the third one (Jade) really disappointed and disturbed me. Cat isn't as bad as Jade, but not as good as Misty (the first book). I don't reccommend these book though, because they are **REALLY** disturbing. If you don't mind books that are "darker" - then you'll like these. But if you like happy, romance books ~ stay away from VC Andrews.
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