A compulsive and chilling debut from Eleanor Wasserberg about a girl growing up in a cult
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO LEAVE?
Green and Blue are sisters.
Foxlowe is home. Outside is Bad.
Why can’t Blue?
I got this book out of The stationary geekette book box. I wasn’t sure what it was about and had no idea what to expect when I started reading. The book is written from Greens perspective a girl who grew up in a commune or cult. Foxlowe is the name of the house the commune live in and where the book gets it’s name. Green is the only born child of foxlowe she knows nothing but the commune until blue comes along. At first she dosn’t like this new thing but comes to love her sister.
The book is rather unsettling. Green dosn’t know any different so thinks the life she lives is normal and that things such as spike walks are acceptable. The adults in this book are all horrible. They may not all directly abuse the children but they don’t do anything to stop Freya. Richard, Freya and Libby are the founders of the cult. Freya and Libby have some sort of rivalry going. Libby is the nicer of the two but when Freya drives her away things start to fall apart. Richard then also leaves leaving Freya and her extreme views in charge of the commune.
The first part of the book captures the innocence of the sisters well and them growing apart as one of them Green blindly follows the rules and the other Blue starts to question everything. Green so desperately wishes for affection and motherly love that she blindly follows Freya’s rule no matter how crazy. Blue on the other hand comes to hate Freya and tries to convince Green to leave with her. There is also the developing relationship with Toby the only other child in the commune. They start as fighting friends to expoloring other possibilities which leads to jealously between the girls.
The book is written in three parts. Before, after and the in between. The first part (the before)I found compelling and couldn’t put the book down. However when it got to part two (the after) It felt really disjointed from the first part. I found it confusing how Green was suddenly an adult and how it kept jumping between what happened after she left the commune (cult) to what was happening now. Part three (the in between) was chilling but also not as horrifying as some the scenarios I had come up with in my head.
The concept of the book is great. The scene setting was great I felt like I was out on the moor with them sometimes. It dealt with the issues of abuse well and showed how different members of the commune dealt with it after leaving. However I didn’t like how part two was written and had to reread sections to check I was following the timeline correctly.