Title: If There Be Thorns.
Author: V.C. Andrews.
Genre: Fiction, mystery, horror, romance, family saga, mental health.
Publication Date: 1981.
Summary: 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 9-year-old Bart, and a sweet adopted baby daughter. Then an elderly woman and her strange butler move in next door. The old woman 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.
My rating: 7.5/10.
♥ I guess one of the saddest things about growing bigger, and older, was that no one was large enough, or strong enough, to pick you up and hold you close and make you feel that safe again.
♥ “Ask yourself one question whenever you are in doubt - if we could survive the worst, doesn’t it stand to reason we should be able to bear the best?”
♥ “You can trust a few some of the time, and most none of the time. Feel lucky if you have even one to trust all of the time.”
♥ “Is clever the same as being smart?”
“No, of course not! Clever is not letting people suspect just how smart you are.”
♥ “The world belongs to those who know how to speak well, and fortunes are made by those who write well,” he’d said.
♥ “What’s sympathy mean exactly?”
Sighing, she held me tighter. “It’s an emotion you feel when you understand the troubles of others. When you want to help, but there’s nothing you can do.”
“Then what good is sympathy?”
“Not much good in any meaningful way,” she said with her eyes looking sad. “It’s only good is letting you you are still human enough to have compassion. The best kind of sympathy moves one into action to solve problems.”
♥ “The young are like that; they think the old are so senile they can’t put two and two together. They think the old can live to be seventy and still not know more than they do at fourteen. They think they have a monopoly on experience, because they see us not doing very much, while every moment of their lives are full, forgetting we too were young once. And we have turned all our mirrors into windows… and they are still behind the mirrors looking only at themselves.”
♥ I stood up and looked around at all the old people sitting lonely in the park, wondering if one day I’d be like them, and I thought, No. I’ll know when to say I made a mistake. When to say I’m sorry.
♥ I pray that someday Bart will see life my way - that love - no matter what its form, or how it comes wrapped, is worth the price, no matter how high.
Between the choice of love or money I’ll take love. But first comes dancing.
♥ So, Jory pities me. But one day when we’re both older, wiser, and I have found the right words, I’ll tell him something Malcolm wrote in his book - there has to be darkness if there is to be light.
♥ I want to write that I can only be grateful that from all the thorny stems the attic flowers managed to grow and produced at least a few roses, real roses, the kind that blossom in the sun.
I’d like to conclude with that. But I can’t. Nevertheless, I’ve grown old enough and wise enough to accept what gold coins are offered, and never, never will I turn over anything that glitters to look for the tarnish.
Seek and you shall find.