As the story continues, we find Chris and Cathy living in California with Cathy’s sons, Jory (14) and Bart (10) as a happy family. Chris is a doctor, Cathy is a ballet instructor, Jory is a dancer, and Bart is a clumsy, imaginative lad. They live next door to an old abandoned mansion, separated by a large wall. The boys have made this “their” playhouse. That is, until one summer day there are construction workers repairing the house and making it ready for its new mistress to move in. When the Lady in Black finally arrives, with John Amos – the butler – in tow, Bart finds solace in the fact that she loves him dearly no matter how clumsy or ugly or unlovable he believes himself to be, and he becomes very entranced by John Amos and what he tells him. As the story progresses, Bart begins to act erracticly, even for him. Everyone worries about him and his mental health, but only Jory knows that he is going over to the Lady in Black’s house all the time. The storytelling prowess of V. C. Andrews will leave you turning the pages long after you should have put it down. Will Cathy discover who the Lady in Black really is? Will Bart succeed in John Amos’s plans to exact his own revenge on everyone? Will Chris and Cathy’s secret be exposed to the world?
When the book begins, Cathy tells us about their move and where they are now. Then she hands the narration over to Jory and Bart since it is “their story now.” The first couple of chapters are easy enough to follow, as they are titled with the name of the child telling the story. But as the book progresses, you have to figure it out on your own, which isn’t too difficult for the most part. I did find, however, that reading Bart’s part of the story was a little more difficult to follow than Jory’s simply because he is a younger child and prone to not only exaggerations, but also to imaginative tall tales. His vernacular is also a little hard to follow, though that tends to get easier the more you read into the book.
All in all, I would say that this book would get a three star rating from me. It was well told. The plot line wasn’t as intricately woven as the previous two books, but it still kept me hungry enough to keep reading until I was finished. If you enjoyed the first two books, Flowers in the Attic (my review found here) and Petals on the Wind (my review found here), then you should enjoy the third book in the saga, as well.