If There Be Thorns - V.C. Andrews

Reading Challenge Category: A Re-read

Official Blurb:

They hide the shocking truth to protect their children. But someone who knows their dark secret is watching.
Christopher and Cathy have made a loving home for their handsome and talented teenager Jory, their imaginative nine-year-old Bart, and a sweet baby daughter. Then an elderly woman and her strange butler move in next door. The Old Woman in Black watches from her window, lures lonely Bart inside with cookies and ice cream, and asks him to call her “grandmother.” Slowly Bart transforms, each visit pushing him closer to the edge of madness and violence, while his anguished parents can only watch. For Cathy and Chris, the horrors of the past have come home…and everything they love may soon be torn from them.

My Thoughts:

I did wonder when we would lose Cathy’s voice and point of view. I did think we still had one more book from her, but I was mistaken. In this third book of the Dollanganger series, we see the world from her sons’ points of views, Jory and Bart.
It certainly has a different feel to it compared to the first two books in the series. We get to see Cathy and Chris in the periphery of the story only, which can be frustrating at times as you want to know what they are thinking.
Bart isn’t a very likeable character even before he meets John Amos Jackson. I know he is only nine when we first get to know him, but he acts like the world has been cruel to him up until then. Whereas, in reality, he has had everything his heart could wish for, especially when you consider the events that Cathy and Chris have had to endure. He becomes even worse once all the secrets start to come out of the closet and into the mind of an impressionable little boy.
I can’t say I was that enamoured by this book. In fact, I don’t even remember reading it before. Has it been changed or rewritten, as I know I’ve read the entire series before now, but none of this felt familiar at all?
Cathy and Chris’ reactions to everything were frustrating; there would be large periods of time passing by where nothing seemed to be done about their son’s very worrying behaviour. There also appeared to be a lot of story we weren’t privy to. There would be references to conversations that hadn’t happened in the book but really needed to have been included for the book’s continuity and fluidity. This just added to the frustration of the adults’ behaviour.
I don’t remember ever having been disappointed by one of the books in the series, but this is how I feel after reading this. So for me through fresh eyes and more critical eyes now that I write reviews for books I read, this is only a three-star read.

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If There be Thorns
by V.C. Andrews
Date Started
25th January 2021
Date Finished
28th January 2021
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