A couple years ago I read Petals on the Wind by V. C. Andrews. I confess that her first book, Flowers in the Attic, is something of a morbid fascination for me, but the sequel was … excessive.
SPOILER: Every man the main character sleeps with conveniently dies at the perfect moment.
I suppose that there was something of a generation gap going on as well, because the incest didn’t bother me at all (it was the only relationship that was actually built on genuine emotional connection), but the pedophilia was extremely disturbing — especially because it was a contributing factor to one of the characters committing suicide — yet all the other characters were like, “Lol, whatev’s.”
ANYway, part of the way through the book the main character has a baby and is left as a single mother, because, you know, every man she sleeps with dies. In her determination to prove her independence, she gets a job and has her younger sister move in with her for daily babysitting.
Then her sister commits suicide and she finds another man to sleep with. All of those normally time consuming things like toddlers and work fade into the background so she can go catting around instead. Childcare and paying the bills? Pshaw! No where near as important as those sex scenes.
This is one of my biggest pet peeves in fiction: when activities that normally require massive amounts of time in the real world are completely ignored with no explanations.
Children in particular are often used as handy little props that disappear when they aren’t required, and as a mom, I find this irksome. In the real world, they are always there, calling for you, following you everywhere you go, watching you poop. Whenever you realize the room is unnaturally quiet, you panic and start yelling for them. THAT is the true nature of children.
As for jobs … it sure would be a fantasy if my husband could take time off whenever the whim struck him, but that would probably get him fired fairly quick. Work takes up enormous amounts of time and energy, and it’s necessary for things like food and shelter. You can’t just decide that you’re bored of it and not suffer any consequences.
Which is why it annoys me so much when fictional characters have it unrealistically easy for no reason — other than those juicy sex scenes I guess.
1 thought on “Pet Peeve”
I absolutely agree! I recently read a book about a mom of 2 who found out her husband cheated and then basically went on to ignore her work and her kids until they were convenient even though she mentioned time after time that she was a good mother. It is impossible to put the depth of my annoyance into words. I understand that books are often meant to be an escape, but general fiction should be rooted in reality otherwise it comes off as ridiculous.
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