Come to the Dark Side…I Have Cake (If There Be Thorns – A Book Review)

If There Be Thorns
Author: V.C. Andrews
Published: 1981

On Goodreads

ITBT

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

They hide the shocking truth to protect their children. But someone who knows their dark secret is watching.

Jory is fourteen and on his way to being an amazing ballet dancer, just like his mom. Bart has a wild imagination for a nine year old, always going off and having amazing adventures. Then came Cindy, a gift that Cathy has been wishing for for years.

Years have passed, Cathy and Christopher have finally found love in one another and married. They have a lovely home with their children and it’s what they have always dreamed of, but then an elderly woman completely veiled in black and her strange butler move into the large house next door that’s been empty for a long time. Soon, Bart is lured over and starts to spend most of his time with her. He changes with each visit, growing angry and violent with his family. Jory watches on, trying to figure out how he can help his little brother, but then he overhears Mom and Dad talking about an attic and how they can’t relive those days, leaving Jory with even more questions.

 

This was a good turn in The Dollanganger series. I really enjoyed this! It was a new take in it and really changed things up. There’s a brand new story, but still, the dreadful past remains at The Dolls’ heels, haunting them and now their children.

First things first, I loved that this was from a new set of POVs. Jory and Bart are the next generation of The Dolls and they have their own story. They’re not the same as Cathy and Chris, but they also have their own tribulations because of what they did in the past. It was refreshing and just absolutely fantastic. I felt as if the story was beginning to feel stale, but this helped revive it for me.

The setting was new, there were new characters and I was just as invested as I was with Flowers in the Attic. You really believe that The Dolls are going to have the happy life they deserve after everything they’ve been through. Of course, it’s short lived. Though I won’t give away spoilers, I will say that there were a lot of twists and turns I didn’t expect. Redemption was found and what was once burned and buried came back to get The Dolls in the worst way, through their children. It was heartbreaking and actually scary because tiny humans are easily manipulated.

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The remnants of Foxworth Hall still follows The Dolls and you feel that heavily as Bart grows close the old woman in black. As it turns out, she knows The Dolls really well and can tell Bart the truth about them. While this made my eyes bulge out of my head in horror, the true enemy is John Amos, the butler who secretly sways him down a dark path. The old man was seriously creepy and kept the dark Foxworth name alive by whispering in Bart’s ear, turning him against his family. Doing that to a child who’s already feeling like an outsider is a really nasty thing! As if The Dolls didn’t have enough problems! Leave the babies alone!

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The book was pretty good. I started to lose interest after the last book, but this pulled me right back in. The story moved forward and I love a story that can move forward, but keep it in the family. This still kept with the uneasiness and dark twists that is very central to this series, but showed that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Quotables:

“Blind means black as pitch. No colors. No music. No nothin. Dead is silence.” (Bart to Jory, p. 33)

“Nobody could like me, for I didn’t belong here, and I didn’t belong there. I didn’t belong anywhere.” (Bart, p. 94)

“Crooked days make crooked ways.” (Bart to Jory, p. 155)

“Jory, take lesson number one in my philosophy course: Nobody ever does anything for anyone else unless it gives them even more.” (Marisha to Jory, p. 263)

“Life is always like that—twenty minutes of misery for every two seconds of joy.” (Marisha to Jory, p. 318)

 

more to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Unwell by Matchbox Twenty.

 

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