Tag: Incest

The I word

Posted June 3, 2010 by Casee in Discussions | 6 Comments

 The word “incest” is a dreaded word in the romance world (it should be a dreaded word everywhere). I was going to comment on a recent post I skimmed, but decided to bring my thoughts here instead.

I read Flowers in the Attic when I was 11 or 12 years old. For those of you that haven’t read it, it’s about four siblings that are locked in an attic by their mother and grandmother. Over the course of years, the older siblings start having romantic feelings for each other. The series is five books long. Eventually the brother and sister get married. Gross, right? I think we can all agree that it’s disturbing, disgusting, and [insert word here], etc. HOWEVER—and I’m talking to you people that want to get these books removed from the YA shelf—this is FICTION. Horror to be exact.

When I was reading Flowers in the Attic, I don’t remember stopping and thinking “ewwww!”. Just a vague sense of wrongness that was overlaid with sadness for what Christopher and Cathy had to go through. It certainly didn’t make me look at my own brother any different. In fact, it didn’t change anything for me at all (other than powdered donuts). Reading these books as a young adult, I just wanted Christopher and Cathy to be happy. After everything they went through, they deserved it. I should also point out that reading these books as a teenager is different than reading them as an adult. The interpretation is completely different. Emotional feelings are what I thought about. I didn’t think about Chris and Cathy getting it on.

Now I’m a mother of children that may very well read VC Andrews. Will I stop them? No, I won’t. I’m also not going to sit them down and explain what incest is and why it’s so wrong. I already have to have the sex talk, yo. Honestly, why should I sit them down and take a little more of their innocence away? If they ever do read Flowers in the Attic, they won’t be thinking about how wrong it is that Chris and Cathy have feelings for each other. They’ll be thinking about how sad it is and what a horrible mother they have. They’re not going to take it literal. If they do, then that’s something that I’ll have to take up with them then.

So no, these books should not be removed from the YA section. They are not advertised as romance with incest thrown in. They are advertised as horror.

What say you?

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