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

(Dollanganger #3)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  43,060 ratings  ·  1,144 reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 374 pages
Published 1996 by Pocket (first published November 28th 1981)
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Popular Answered Questions
Elia If you mean actual seasons, it takes place over the course of one Summer, Fall and Winter in California. Jory specifically mentions this in his final …moreIf you mean actual seasons, it takes place over the course of one Summer, Fall and Winter in California. Jory specifically mentions this in his final chapter. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Xhex I think it means the recent fire. In which case, Bart needs the journal because it somehow became a part of him. I believe he now knows all the journa…moreI think it means the recent fire. In which case, Bart needs the journal because it somehow became a part of him. I believe he now knows all the journal entries by heart. (less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  43,060 ratings  ·  1,144 reviews

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Sep 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Book Review
3+ of 5 stars to If There Be Thorns, the third book in the "Dollanganger" series written in 1981 by V.C. Andrews. After the first two books, I didn't think you could keep the thrills and suspense going in this series, mostly because one family can only endure so much torture over the years. Surprisingly, I actually found I liked a large part of this book; however, it was a bit excessive and drawn out at times. The story, told from the perspective of Cathy and Chris' kids,
Sarah Mac
Just remembered that I never wrote a review for this piece of schlock. 'tis.

Meet Jory:

Jory is Cathy's elder son. He's a ballet dancer. He's got a girlfriend. He likes dogs, dancing, & being normal. Jory is a fairly balanced individual, all things considered, which means he's frequently befuddled by the flaming bag of crazypants that is his family.

Now, meet Bart:

Bart is Cathy's younger son, 9 years old & already a sociopath. He abuses animals, threatens his parents at knifepoint, crawl
I saw a quote this week where VC Andrews had said if a book didn't hold her interest she was quick to DNF it and how she made sure her books held the readers attention and I have to say she does achieve this. I'd describe her writing style as frantic, you are literally in a whirlwind of family drama for 400 pages and you can't look away.

Book three in a series and you really do need to read the previous two to have any idea what's going on here, without the back story this will read way weirder
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
No matter how chaotic one’s life can be, running away can sometimes only make things worse. Chris and Cathy have tried to do this, fleeing the horrors of South Carolina and Virginia for the wonders of California. With Bart and Jory alongside them, Cathy’s boys are ready to enjoy a quieter life. While both know their fathers have passed on, neither Bart nor Jory realise that Chris is not their true step-father—the story they have been told—and that their mother has been fostering numerous secrets ...more
Nov 03, 2007 rated it liked it
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??? ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I made a V. C. Andrews' meme jpg today!


Too bad I can't make a colored version.

I always think the Dollanganger series and My Sweet Audrina are Ms. Andrews' best works, still I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy If There Be Thorns much because the summary makes the story sound so over-the-top melodramatic.

However, I'm delighted to find I enjoy the story, though the story is still quite melodramatic (you can't escape melodramas when you're reading Ms. Andre
K. Elizabeth
I'm not going to rate this, because I couldn't finish it - it's not like the previous two in the series. I just don't care about Cathy and Christopher's children. ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I couldn't wait to start part 3 of the series. It was really different because this book is written out of the eyes of Jory and Bart (the children of Cathy) and so we see the story in a another way, then part 1 and 2. After I got used to this way of writing, I started to love this book. It was a good sequel and it had a good ending. It is a good story even though it is over a very controversial subject (incest). I do however hope Bart will turn a little more normal in the next book, but we will ...more
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it
"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
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.
Sezín 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
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a hot mess....And I loved it!

I read a review that said this book "went off the rails"

but come on y'all!

The Dollanganger series was never on the rails, so how could it go off them.

Nothing in If There Be Thorns is realistic but that's what makes it great!

Who wants to read about real life during these times we're living through?

I want to read some messy shit!

I want to laugh out loud at how wild this family is.

If There Be Thorns is book 3 in The Dollanganger series which starte
Lacie ♥
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Alice Lee
Mar 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
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
Dean Ryan Martin
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this Book 3. It's narrated by the son of the protagonist. As usual, like what the title suggests, his life is filled with thorns. ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

3.5 stars

“If we could survive the worst, doesn’t it stand to reason we should be able to bear the best?”

Of course there's tragedy with this series, but there's also something bizarrely beautiful. It's a mesmerizing series, not perfect but hard to get out of once you dig in. It would be a shame to just read Flowers In The Attic and not continue the series - even if the original was the best, the sequels feed into each other, making the story richer.

I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars. So
Phoenix Olivia
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first book to this, Flowers in the Attic gave me a good impression. Flowers in the Attic was about how a mother lost her husband in a horrible car crash. Her and her four children felt lost. Cory and Carrie were the two youngest twins and Christopher and Cathy were the oldest being teenagers. Seeking for help Corrine, their mother reaches out to their grandmother. They had lost touch for many many years all because of one reason. Corrine had married her half uncle and her parents refused to ...more
Laura Grable
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Gabby (:
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Apr 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gothic
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
♥ Marlene♥
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I nearly gave this one two stars, but the ending cranked it up to three. The writing here has seriously gone downhill and I think the major reason for that is giving the POV to the offspring of Cathy: a 14 year old and 10 year old (might be off slightly on the ages, but it’s a rough estimation). Factor in how blind Cathy and Chris are to who their new and mysterious next door neighbor is, and you’ve got the winner for the most oblivious parents ever. Get a clue, y’all! Anywho, back to the writin ...more
MissBecka Gee
Feb 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Dear V.C. Andrews,

What possessed you to (view spoiler) ?
You disgust me.

Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: trashy-tuesday
(Full review here: )

(view spoiler)
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hello, this will be a new review of this book.

So, I've decided I will bump up my previous score of a three star rating to a four star one. I still think this is the weakest book in the whole Dollanganger series, and the weakest one VCA herself wrote. But I will say it had a very climatic ending to the story. Here is what I think about each of the characters.


Jory is a character I can tolerate a bit better than the next one we will talk about. I do think he is a suck-up which gets a bit si
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
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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 who

Other books in the series

Dollanganger (10 books)
  • Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)
  • Petals on the Wind (Dollanganger, #2)
  • Seeds of Yesterday (Dollanganger, #4)
  • Christopher's Diary: Secrets of Foxworth (Dollanganger #6)
  • Christopher's Diary: Echoes of Dollanganger (Dollanganger #7)
  • Secret Brother (Dollanganger #8)
  • Beneath the Attic (Dollanganger, #9)
  • Out of the Attic
  • Shadows of Foxworth (Dollanganger, #11)

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