If there be Thorns Author:V.C. Andrews [If There Be Thorns] book 3 of Dollanganger series — 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... more » was there, watching their home with prying eyes, guarded by her strange old butler. Soon the shrouded woman had Bart over for cookies and ice cream and asked him to call her "Grandmother."
And soon Bart's transformation began...
A transformation that sprang from "the book of secrets" the gaunt old bulter had given him... a transformation fed by the hint of terrible things about his mother and father... a transformation that led him into shocking acts of violence, self-destruction and perversity.
And now while this little boy trembles on the edge of madness, his anguished parents, his helpless brother, an obsessed old woman and the vengeful, powerful butler await the climax to a horror that flowered in an attic long ago, a horror whose thorns are still wet with blood, still tipped with fire....
"No, I wouldn't. I couldn't do that....
"You have to mean that!" he snapped. "No matter what happens, we will not, or you will not put your children in this attic to save yourself, or me.
"I hate you for thinking I would!"
"I am trying to be patient. I am trying to believe in you. I know you still have nightmares. I know you are still tormented by all that happened when we were young and innocent. But you have to grow up enough to look at yourself honestly. Haven't you learned yet that the subconscious often leads the way to reality?"
He strode back to cuddle her close, to soothe and kiss her, to soften his voice as she clung to him desperately. (Why did she have to feel so desperate?)
"Cathy, my heart, put away those fears instilled by the cruel grandmother. She wanted us to believe in hell and its everlasting torments of revenge. There is no hell but that which we make for ourselves. There is no heaven but that which we build between us. Don't chip away at my belief, my love, with your 'unconscious' deeds. I have no life without you."
"Then don't go to see your mother this summer."
He raised his head and stared over hers, pain in his eyes. I slid silently onto the floor, to sit and stare at them, speechless, utterly bewildered. What was going on? Why was I suddenly so afraid?« less