If There Be Thorns Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of If There Be Thorns

Cathy's children, Jory and Bart tell their story in the 3rd installment in the Dollanganger series.
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Taking turns, stable Jory and emotionally disturbed Bart describe the mysterious woman who moves next door to their family. Slowly the truth is unraveled. The mysterious woman who loves to spoil Bart is Corrine, Cathy and Chris' mother and the butler is the same from Cathy and Chris' days of imprisonment in the attic.
The butler gifts Bart with the journal of the long dead evil Grandfather and uses mind control to encourage Bart to become his reincarnation and punish the sinners, the sinners being all of his family members.
Cathy and Chris adopt a little girl and this is the final straw for Bart that sets his mental illness loose. Both Bart and Jory peice together the truth of their parents' history and the fact that they are sister and brother living as husband and wife, by reading a transcript Cathy writes (which is to become "Flowers in the Attic" and "Petals on the Wind"). This causes even more tension for all members of the family.
Finally, the butler instructs Bart and works with him to lock Cathy and her mother up. Cathy can not believe that her mother is living next door to her and blames her for Bart's illness. Meanwhile, Chris and Jory struggle to find Cathy and Corrine. Finally, by appealing to what's left of Bart's good side, they free the two women as the large house goes up in flame. In saving Cathy, Corrine loses her life. Corrine left the enormous Foxworth fortune to the children, and Bart continued counseling while Jory came to terms with his parents history and relationship as the book ends.
The review of this Book prepared by ladyfriend

The thrid book in the Dollanganger Series tells about Christopher and Catherine's surprisingly normal family life. They are happy together, and have two sons, Bart and Jory. Bart, the younger feels slightly misunderstood, and jealous of his older brother. When a mysterious old woman and her butler move into the house next door, Bart bonds with her and she asks him to call her 'grandmother'. Slowly, 'grandmother' and her butler insinuate themselves into Bart's life, telling him shocking and terrible things about his parents. He is prompted to acts of violence against himself and others. Watching, frightened, as their son destroys their family, Christopher and Catherine realize that they cannot escape from the horrors that happened to them in an attic, years earlier, and are now returning to claim a second generation.
The review of this Book prepared by fran laniado

Chapter Analysis of If There Be Thorns

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Grandma Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed    -   student Age:    -   a kid Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Southeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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V.C. Andrews Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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