If There Be Thorns Analysis


ANALYSIS – If There Be Thorns

A lot of readers found ITBT particularly difficult to get through and I myself agree,  due to the change of narrative in the form of Cathy s two sons Jory and Bart.

Personally,  I wanted to carry on reading Cathy s experience s as they were so passionate and exciting and the change seemed well, a bit flat.

Over the past year, AtticSecrets has spoken of this repeatedly and it was Neisha Chetty who first pointed out that this change was deliberately done by Virginia to reveal something previously hidden to the reader.

Cathy is , in fact, an unreliable narrator and we only get to see this when we read through the eyes of her two sons as we see her lie , recreate her childhood and become completely unhinged as she relives the trauma of her past.

If There Be Thorns may not be the most exciting book but it is the most revealing in terms of what the reader already “knows” in terms of the Dollanganger saga.  It provides insight into Cathy s state of mind when she was writing FITA and POTW and it makes the reader question more and look deeper.


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