THE CRESSWELL PLOT
by Eliza Wass
Published: June 7th 2016
The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.
Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
Raise your hand if you read a ton of VC Andrews in middle and high school? Don’t even play – I saw all y’all reading those mass market paperbacks from the library under the covers at night! It’s been a while since I read that level of crazy, so it only makes sense that I couldn’t stop reading the insanity that is The Cresswell Plot. Before we get too far, remember, this is the book that bloggers got buried in a box of dirt:
Ok, we’ve established that this book is going to be a little out there. Cults. Sibling marriage (or the mandate of such). Mysterious death of a brother who has been reincarnated. This book has everything!
I didn’t know what abuse felt like because I didn’t know whether I was experiencing it or not.
Castella and her siblings are living within the cult confines of a religious-extremist family where her overbearing father has written her own version of the Bible and they spend most of their time reading it. The kids only go to school because at some point Child Protective Services got involved and mandated it – Father doesn’t believe they need to be educated and besides, the only pure people are the ones within their family. Hence the mandate of marriage within. Luckily the kids don’t buy this 100% and start to rebel. The questioning only leads to further clamping down and time spend in God’s Chamber, a hole in the ground where you fast of human interaction as well as food while you pay penance. It only goes downhill from there, as you can imagine.
At times it’s hard to read because you don’t want to believe that there are families and children still living this life, being indoctrinated about their sin and needing to be sheltered lest they become less pure. That’s what makes your skin crawl as you read it. This stuff actually happens daily here, where you can see it! You can watch it on TV. Gross. But real. And terrifying.
The Cresswell Plot is available now, albeit without the dirt. Tell us, what books have you read that freak you out because the parents are terrible in them?