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If There Be Thorns (Dollanganger, #3)
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If There Be Thorns (Dollanganger #3)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  29,694 ratings  ·  613 reviews
Out of the ashes of evil Chris and Cathy made such a loving home for their splendid children...

Fourteen-year-old Jory was so handsome, so gentle. And Bart had such a dazzling imagination for a nine year old.

Then the lights came on in the abandoned house next door. Soon the Old Lady in Black was there, watching their home with prying eyes, guarded by her strange old butler.
Paperback, 374 pages
Published November 28th 1981 by Pocket (first published 1981)
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Heidi Paulson its alright. not my favorite out of the series but still worth reading.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I'm going to copy and paste this to all of them!!!! I feel like I have to justify this and all of the other V. C. Andrews books on my list!! I read these when I was young and loved them! My sister and I poured through them- they were obviously trashy for our age (probably the appeal) but mom let us read ANYTHING- as long as we were readung she was ok with it! And that paied off- because both my sister and I still read for pleasure daily. You can't beat it! Hey- and why be a book snob???
"If There Be Thorns" is the third installment in the Dollanganger series and, in my opinion, the weakest link of the saga.
My main problem with the book is not so much the storyline, but the fact that the story is told from the perspectives of fourteen-year-old Jory (Cathy's son with Julian) and nine year-old Bart (Cathy's son with Bart Winslow). While it's easy to sympathize with Jory - - his confusion over finding out his parents' true identities and the true character of his biological father
Lacie ♥
I adored this book more than I had the previous two. It added another layer to everything, reflecting how the "saints" Cather and Chris were viewed from other people. It showed us how everything looks when you're not looking at it through their perspectives, and I know that this book wouldn't have been as good had Catherine continued to tell it ( not just because it wouldn't make sense then either. )

It explored the subject of childhood sociopathy, and has an overall darker tone than the previous
Sezin Koehler
I didn't think this series could get more disturbing, but it most certainly does. Unlike the first two installments of this tragedy, this volume is told from the point of view of Cathy Dollanganger's two sons, to an eerie effect. We see from the outside how Cathy struggles with the traumas of her childhood and how PTSD has affected her decision-making abilities. It's really heartbreaking.

The other theme of this novel is how family secrets will surface no matter to what lengths people go to hide
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read the VC Andrews Flower in The Attic series as a young teenager. After reading the other reviews I was struck by the fact that so many people had commented that they weren’t allowed to read these books or had to hide them from their parents and/or teachers.

I don’t remember my mother ever having a problem with me reading these books, in fact, I’m sure she must have purchased them for me. As long as I was reading, she was fine with it. I don’t however remember them being quite as scandalous
Wichard Fella
The third book in the Dollanger series. I always promise myself that if there is a series of books, i will read them all, no exception. There is one more book in the series, but i think i will take a break from incest and rape. Virginia Andrews obviously knew how to turn something that is obviously revolting into some kind of love story. No matter how bad your childhood was, no excuse for incest.

Having said that, the book is not too bad. It focuses now on Cathy's children, Jory and Bart, from t
Alice Lee
I read through about 70% of this book and finally gave up, feeling my brain starting to daze and hurt, like I was having a mental diarrhea from stuffing my face with too much VC Andrews in too short of a time. Teaches me to read so much garbage.

This book was nowhere near as consuming as the first two. The writing is about the same - bad, but at least not abysmal, and is easy to read. But none of the characters were compelling; I tried and tried to like Bart, since he's the only character that ha
♥ Marlene♥
Read this years ago. No decades ago. Back in the days this was a very interesting story. One that you hardly heard of back then. Now it is normal to capture young children and abuse them, there are tons of books you can buy on this subject but back in the days this was really quite exiting and you wanted to know more.

What I do recall is that even back then I did get annoyed sometimes by the writing so this is not a book I want to re read.
By he way I am disgusted by her family That they were so d
Rebecca McNutt
Gripping addition to this controversial series; I really wasn't expecting to hear of the creepy butler again and this book paints a darkly vibrant picture with its vocabulary, characters and imagery.
Gabby (:
God these books are sick..... I love it! The way cathys sons are us like karma... i read this series about a year ago and the story is still fresh!... everything that happened keeps your head spinning in circles... as for the rest of the series, you'll be sorry if you don't finish it as well as continue on with this author. I know I am ecstatic that I did.... V.C Andrews is one of many favorite authors mostly for the fact that she writes stories that you never want to end.... if you read it let ...more
I'm so confused. I started reading this book and found the writing style to be different. Even though it was written by Andrews, I felt like I was reading something by her ghostwriter. I hated this one.

This is the only V.C. Andrews book written from a boy's point of view. As in Petals on the Wind, I was not fond of Cathy. She seems completely ignorant of Bart's life...she doesn't try hard enough to reach out to him. Also mad because she impregnated herself with two different men's children witho
Laura Williams
I enjoyed this book and its craziness. I think this has been my favorite in the series so far. I like that the narration shifted to the two sons because I found Cathy's perspective pretty annoying in the last book. I found Bart hilarious. I love that he's a total psychopath and no ones seems very concerned. He may or may not have killed multiple animals because they didn't love him enough, he constantly stabs at people with his knife, he hobbles around like an old man; he is a whole lot of crazy ...more
I know this book is from the point of view of Bart and Jory but I just didn't connect with it. I really couldn't understand Bart at all, his personality why he was so confused. It didn't seem like he had any traits from his Mom or Dad. Anyways this book is about the boys finding out the truth about Catherine, Chris and Grandma plus an evil butler. Jory becomes a ballet student with Mom (obviously), and Bart just does nothing but hate EVERYTHING. I can't really tell what team he's on until the en ...more
Here we go again, picking up seven years later with the two remaining Dresden Dolls and Cathy's spawn.

This time around Cathy is not our narrator, thank you Jaysus! Honestly, I cannot stand Cathy, she’s just all around terrible and any goodwill or sympathy she gained in Flowers in the Attic was shredded by Petals on the Wind. This story is her sons Jory (I can’t with that name) and Bart’s to tell.

Jory (ugh, that name) and Bart (another ugh) are polar opposites. Bart is jealous of Jory and feels
(Full review here: )

(view spoiler)
Lucy Naivalu
The book is narrated by two half-brothers, Jory and Bart Sheffield. Jory is a handsome, talented fourteen-year-old boy who wants to follow his mother Cathy in her career in the ballet, while nine-year-old Bart, who is unattractive and clumsy, feels he is outshone by Jory. By now, Cathy and Chris live together as husband and wife. To hide their history, they tell the boys and other people they know that Chris was Paul's younger brother. Cathy and Chris have a passionate and very sexual relationsh ...more
Connie J.estrada
Arlette Corona alejandre
Sinceramente no sé como sentirme con respecto al libro.
De verdad.
Es oscuro de una manera diferente a los otros dos.
La familia francamente esta enferma.

Mi único rayito de luz es Jory.
Cathy yo siempre te voy a apoyar con Chris.
BART... Bueno.... maldito niño, ojalá te mueras
Aug 09, 2009 jenn rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Catherine and Chris move to Marin County and pretend to be husband and wife. WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

I kind of liked that one of the kids was, like, just flippin' crazy, because if you don't think this kind of effed-up family dynamic trickles down to your kids, then you're pretty much just a selfish moron. (See Catherine and Chris.) Unfortunately, Ms. Andrews really seemed to believe she had a handle on the voice of a ten-year-old. She didn't, making this one darn nigh unreadable.

Which is too bad,
October Woman
My only real complaints about the second book in this series, PETALS ON THE WIND, were:

"...the dialogue is clunky and unrealistic, and I can't imagine a world where people cry out the (sometimes lengthy) speeches these characters are saddled with. And there is much overuse of exclamation points..."

So I'm pleased to report that neither of those problems assailed me while reading IF THERE BE THORNS. The one page prologue is narrated by Cathy, wherein she tells us this is her sons' stories. After
I'm still reading the book but I simply had to comment. Never have I hated a character as much as I hate Bart, it's like he's pure evil. Every time it seems as though it's just childish tantrums, he proves to me that he simply is just psychotic and and annoyance. Every page I flip, I just can't wait for him to get his retribution. Almost to the point of wishing hi dead . Actually I really wish he had just died from the rusty nail.

He really is a manipulative bastard. Like literally... It scares m
Melisa Ramonda
Como el anterior, ha sido como ver un choque de trenes. Sabes que va al desastre, pero no puedes dejar de mirar. Y sin embargo, no me ha terminado de gustar tanto como el primero, creo que si la autora lo hubiera dejado ahí, era suficiente.
Dichotomy Girl
Just didn't hold my interest during reread, like the first two did.
Wendy Smith
Writing the book in the voice of a super bratty and spoiled kid was not the best way to go about this. Every time it came to the chapters about Bart, I cringed.
And really, nothing makes realistic sense. (view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Latta
When I was young, I always wanted to read V.C Andrews. Seriously. I thought they were good, sexy teenage books. And when I finally got my hands on a V.C Andrews book, know what I got? Shit. Pure, disgusting shit.
This is the first V.C Andrew's novel I've ever read, but it wasn't the last. You know why?
... BECAUSE HER WRITING IS SO F***** BAD IT MAKES YOU WANT TO READ MORE! That was V.C Andrews goal here..I think. Now you know why her books were so popular.My vehement hate for V.C Andrews grows e
This book more than made up for the crushing disappointment that was the second; intensely gripping, much better written and impossible to put down. I was riveted. Gripped. It was a good move from Andrews to give the narrative voice over to Cathy's sons, as Cathy herself was impossible to sympathise with in Petals of the Wind; overly hysterical, stir crazy and hard to understand or relate to.

As twisted and wrong as Cathy and Chris's relationship is, you just can't help rooting for them. You jus
Ashley S.
This is the most twisted one of all...
All I can say is you won't even know what hit you until it hits you in the face. Jory is Cathy's first son from her first marriage to Julian...and Bart is her second child from her mothers new husband. Jory isn't the's Bart. He has always wanted his mother all to himself...he has always wanted her to pay him more attention. But she's so busy that he turns to the new lady next door who tells him to call her "grandmother". By giving Bart all he w
"If There Be Thorns" is the third installment of the "Flowers in the Attic" series. Unlike the previous two books this book is told mainly in the perspective of Jory and Bart, the two sons of Cathy Dollanganger. While Jory has the grace and personality of his deceased father, Julien Marquet. Bart is more of the black sheep of the family, because Bart has no friends his age he takes love wherever he can find it and usually resorts to playing by himself imagining he is a hunter, explorer, snake, e ...more
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Worth reading? 17 61 Apr 19, 2013 08:31PM  
To continue reading? 12 107 Sep 07, 2012 04:29PM  
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Books published under the following names - Virginia Andrews, V. Andrews, Virginia C. Andrews & V.C. Endrius. Books since her death ghost written by Andrew Neiderman, but still attributed to the V.C. Andrews name

Virginia Cleo Andrews (born Cleo Virginia Andrews) was born June 6, 1923 in Portsmouth, Virginia. The youngest child and the only daughter of William Henry Andrews, a career navy man
More about V.C. Andrews...

Other Books in the Series

Dollanganger (5 books)
  • Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)
  • Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2)
  • Seeds of Yesterday (Dollanganger, #4)
  • Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger, #5)
Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1) Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2) Seeds of Yesterday (Dollanganger, #4) Garden of Shadows (Dollanganger, #5) My Sweet Audrina

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“Life is like that - twenty minutes of misery for every two seconds of joy.” 277 likes
“You can trust a few some of the time, and most none of the time. Feel lucky if you have even one to trust all of the time.” 112 likes
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