Seeds of Yesterday

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Seeds of Yesterday
First edition cover
Author V. C. Andrews
Country United States
Language English
Series Dollanganger Series
Genre Gothic horror
family saga novel
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 426 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-671-72948-9 (1990 reissue)
OCLC 438301681
Preceded by If There Be Thorns (1981)
Followed by Garden of Shadows (1986)

Seeds of Yesterday is a novel written by V. C. Andrews. It is the fourth book in the Dollanganger Series. The story is once again written from the point of view of the main character, Cathy, following her from the age of 52 until her death a few years later. Cathy was born in April 1945, meaning the events in the book occur between 1997–2001, which was thirteen years into the future at the time the book was originally published in 1984. The film adaptation aired April 12, 2015 on Lifetime.

Plot summary[edit]

The story begins fifteen years after the events in If There Be Thorns. Cathy and Chris arrive at the home of their son, Bart, which is oddly an exact replica of Foxworth Hall (which burned down in Petals on the Wind) to celebrate Bart's twenty-fifth birthday. They have planned to move to Hawaii after the birthday celebration. They meet a man named Joel, who is their uncle, Corrine's brother, who was long thought killed in an avalanche. Joel explains that he was taken to a monastery to recover. He spent several years in the Italian monastery and decided to remain there. He contacted Bart after learning of Corrine's death and now works as the head butler at Bart's request. Joel gives Bart bad information about God and punishment. Bart looks at Joel as a father figure; a fact that troubles Cathy greatly. Bart is still bitter towards his mother and uncle for their incestuous relationship, so their stay is not pleasant. He has grown into a handsome young man, but is extremely jealous, power hungry and bitter that Chris is the guardian of his money until his thirty-fifth birthday.

Bart's brother Jory visits and eventually moves in with his wife. Jory, who is almost thirty, has been married to Melodie, his childhood sweetheart and ballet partner, for nine years. Soon after their arrival, they announce that Melodie is pregnant. Bart is jealous of Jory, whom he always believed to be Cathy's favorite child. Bart also shows an unhealthy interest in Melodie. Bart and Jory's sister Cindy, who is now sixteen, arrives and it becomes clear that Bart does not like her either. Cathy tries to make the best out of the situation, but any happiness ends when Jory is in an accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and unable to dance. Melodie does not deal well with Jory's disability and withdraws from him. Cathy tries to help Melodie reconnect with Jory, but discovers later that Melodie has turned to Bart for comfort and passion – the two have been having an affair. Cathy is enraged, but when she confronts Bart he says he loves Melodie, and Cathy is unsure what to do. Bart believes Melodie loves him too, but soon realizes it is an empty relationship and he is just a replacement for Jory. Jory finds out about the affair, and although hurt, tries to reconcile with Melodie, but she rejects him. Melodie goes into labor on Christmas Day, and gives birth to twins, Darren and Deirdre, whom Cathy says resemble her deceased twin brother and sister. Melodie has little interest in the babies, and Cathy cares for them, hoping Melodie has postpartum "blues" and will come around. But Melodie, not wanting to deal with two children and a disabled husband, abandons Jory and the children and moves to New York.

Cathy tries to console both her sons and to keep a firm hand on the pretty and free-spirited Cindy. Bart, under Joel's influence, bans Cindy from premarital sexual acts under his roof. He physically assaults two boys he catches Cindy with. Cindy later mentions to her mother that in her fear she kneed Bart in the crotch to make him stop but his rage was so great that he didn't even flinch at what should have been crippling pain. When confronted about his hypocrisy a number of times throughout the story, Bart never attempts to justify his actions but instead responds with anger and resentment towards Cathy and Chris, always blaming them for his problems. After a long period of torment from Bart, and Joel, Cindy leaves to go to a school in New York.

Cathy and Chris hire a beautiful nurse, named Antonia "Toni" Winters, to help Jory recuperate. They hope Toni and Jory will end up together, but Bart begins spending time with Toni and they become lovers. Bart seems happy with Toni and tells Cathy that Toni told him she loves him. Cathy notices changes in Bart as a result of this relationship, including Bart withdrawing from Joel and being pleasant to Cindy when she comes to visit. Eventually Joel manages to influence Bart again and it sours the relationship. Toni sees the dark side of Bart after he begins to criticize and become possessive of her, and the relationship ends. Soon after, Toni falls in love with Jory and they begin a relationship, which brings Jory out of the depression that followed his divorce.

Cindy returns for another visit and tells Cathy that she ran into Melodie in New York. Melodie had remarried immediately after her divorce from Jory was final and resumed her dancing career. She is happy to hear that Jory and Toni are together. Bart builds a chapel, in which he commands the family to attend Sunday sermons, presided over by Joel. Cathy and Chris eventually become disgusted by the "fire and brimstone" sermons and tell Bart that they will no longer attend. Bart secretly starts bringing the twins to the chapel, where they are made to pray for forgiveness for being the "Devil's Issue", which Cathy overhears, reminding her of Cory and Carrie. She confronts Bart, and tells him to leave the twins alone, also telling Toni never to let them out of her sight, unless she knows they are with Jory or herself. After again catching Bart bringing the twins to the chapel, Cathy decides it is time to leave, after two years in Bart's home. Chris agrees it is time to leave and to take Jory, Cindy, and the twins with them. Cathy tells Bart of her plans, and that while she loves him, she cannot be around the kind of person he has become. A furious Bart says her leaving him again is proof that she never understood him.

Cathy waits for Chris to come home from work so they can leave, but he never shows up. Chris has died in a car wreck, and Cathy realizes how similar Chris' death is to that of their father. Bart gives a moving eulogy at Chris' funeral, is remorseful and admits that he really loved Chris and that he was a good father. Cathy is heartsick at the loss of Chris, becoming distant from her family. Jory tells his mother that Bart needs her, that she needs to be there for him as he is trying to make amends and be a better man. Cathy does come back for Bart's sake, and she and Bart become close. Bart finds his place as a televangelist who does much good and travels the world spreading his positive ministry. Bart and Cindy also make peace and Cathy sees them together singing. Joel has gone back to the Italian monastery to live out his remaining days. Jory and Toni wed, and Toni becomes pregnant; Jory tells Cathy that if they have a boy they will call him Christopher, and if it is a girl they will call her Catherine. Despite all these good things and the family becoming closer than before, Cathy is still depressed and does not want to live without Chris.

Cathy goes up to the attic and sits by one of the windows and, after decorating the room with paper flowers, dies. As she passes away, she remembers Chris, her mother, grandmother, and siblings, and how their innocence was stolen. Jory and a servant find a letter in Cathy's hand that she wrote, saying that no one needs her more than Chris does, that her final manuscript is in her private vault and anyone can do with it what they will, and that it was never too late for Bart to realize that he had the right father. It is determined that Cathy died of natural causes, but implied by the author that she died of a broken heart.

Characters introduced[edit]

  • Joel Foxworth: Corinne's brother (actually half-brother, according to Garden of Shadows). He was previously mentioned in Flowers in the Attic. He was thought to have been dead but claims he was living at an Italian monastery the whole time. Like John Amos, he fills Bart's head with false beliefs about God and Hell, which he does to gain Bart's trust and earn part of Bart's inheritance. He dies of cancer.
  • Cynthia "Cindy" Sheffield: Cathy and Chris's adopted daughter. She had become an orphan at age two in If There Be Thorns after the death of her biological mother, Nicole, who was a student at Cathy's ballet school. Cindy is described as very beautiful but boy crazy and free-spirited, which often gets her in trouble. She becomes an actress. At the end of the book, Cathy sees Bart and Cindy together and feels for them the same happiness as for Jory and Toni. She is still alive.
  • Antonia 'Toni' Winters: A nurse whom Cathy and Chris hire to take care of Jory. She has a short affair with Bart, whom she saw as handsome and charming but breaks up with him after seeing his dark side. She then falls in love with Jory, who is already in love with her, and they get married. She becomes the step-mother of Deirdre and Darren. At the end, she becomes pregnant; Jory says they plan to name their child Christopher or Catherine, after his parents. She is still alive.
  • Deirdre and Darren: Twin children of Jory and Melodie, born on December 25. Jory's second wife Toni becomes their step-mother. They resemble Carrie and Cory in appearance and personality, which causes Cathy to sometimes confuse the two sets of twins in her mind. Unlike Carrie and Cory, however, Deirdre and Darren are healthy children treated well by their grandparents. Joel, who had brainwashed Bart, also begins to brainwash the twins but he gets caught. They are both still alive.
  • Melodie: Jory's first wife and former dance partner. Mother of twins Deirdre and Darren. She loved Jory for mostly shallow reasons and is unable to cope when he's injured during a performance and left paralyzed like his father Julian. She begins an affair with Bart, whom she uses as a substitute. She divorces Jory and abandons the children to restart her dance career with a new partner whom she marries. She is still alive.
  • Trevor: The only servant whom Bart hasn't fired by the end of the book. He finds Cathy's body and letter in the attic. He is still alive.

Film adaptation[edit]

Premier Sunday April 12th 2015 at 8pm eastern time on Lifetime.