If There Be Thorns
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Now a major Lifetime movie event—Book Three of the Dollanganger series that began with Flowers in the Attic—the novel of forbidden love that captured the world’s imagination and earned V.C. Andrews a fiercely devoted fanbase.
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.
reached under the lower shelf and opened the little door that would swing inward, or outward—wonder why the kitten liked it back in the darkest part? “Bread, water,” I said in a hard gruff voice and quickly shoved in the tray. I slammed the little door shut and picked up a brick to wedge it so they couldn’t see me if they pushed. I stayed to spy on them. I heard my mother moaning, and crying out for Chris. Then she surprised me. “Momma, where has Momma gone, Chris? It’s been so long since she
grandmother was sobbing quietly. I was crying too, wondering again who was right, him or her? John Amos was saying terrible things. Nasty evil bad words that little boys wrote on bathroom walls. Grown-up old men shouldn’t talk like that, and in front of my grandmother and my momma. “John!” yelled Grandmother, “haven’t you done enough? Let us out, and I’ll be your wife in the way you want, but please do not punish my daughter more. She’s very sick. She needs to be in a hospital. The police will
enough love, because they don’t understand there are all kinds of love, and it’s hard for a woman to live without a man once she’s been married.” Then, almost as if she’d forgotten me, she jolted to see me there. “Oh! I’ve been a poor hostess. Jory, what would you like to eat and drink?” “Nothing, thank you. I came only to tell you that you must not encourage Bart to come over here anymore. I don’t know what you tell him, or what he does here, but he comes home with weird ideas, acting very
him and her—and Momma. It wasn’t right for parents to mess up the lives of little babies who weren’t even born, mess it up so much I’d never really know who I was. Hopefully I stared at my grandmother, who seemed to be very hurt by what her son had said. Her white hands fluttered up to her forehead, which was glistening with beads of sweat, touching it as if her head ached. Oh, how easily she could feel pain, why couldn’t I? “All right, Christopher,” she said when I thought she might never find
bloom? Didn’t see any flowers. Jory had passed on to the junior year of high school with flyin colors. I sneaked into the fifth grade by the skin of my teeth. Hated school. Hated that ole mansion that looked like new now. Gone were all the spooky, eerie times when we’d had lots of fun over there. “We’ll just bide our time until we can sneak over there and see that old lady,” Jory said, whispering so all those gardeners trimmin the shrubs and snippin at the trees wouldn’t hear. She owned acres