#ATBR2020 – Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

This has been on my radar ever since I saw the cover. Holy crap – March is coming hard with the exciting suspense and thriller novels.

Thanks to Berkley Pub for the free early copies in exchange for our honest reviews

DARLING ROSE GOLD – Stephanie Wrobel (Releasing March 17th, 2020)

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Book Description:

Sharp Objects meets My Lovely Wife in this tightly drawn debut that peels back the layers of the most complicated of mother-daughter relationships…

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.

Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.

Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars 

A Rose by any other name… would probably still be abused by her mother.  Holy hell you guys.  For those who were fascinated with the Dee Dee Blanchard/Gypsy Rose case, this is the book for you.  I was absolutely fascinated with that case, watched The Act on Hulu and also the documentary, Mommy Dead and Dearest.  This book *almost* feels like the sequel to that story.. only the mother is still alive, fresh out of prison and now living with her daughter, Rose Gold, again. WHAT.

Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy is when an illness is faked by the caregiver – typically the mother.  In this case, Rose Gold has grown up, has testified against her mother, Patty, who has now served 5 years and is getting out of jail.  Who is picking her up? Why Rose Gold of course.  It is her mother after all.  What comes next are backstories of what Rose Gold went through after her mother went to prison and also the POV of Patty, currently, trying to get back in Rose Gold’s good graces while also proving her daughter absolutely still needs her.

This book will simultaneously fascinate and abhor you.  I flew through these pages and was hooked from the very first page.  I’m glad we get to see more of the aftermath of what could happen.  Even when the perpetrator is caught, there are always lingering effects.  I wasn’t trying to figure out where the story was going to go – I was just living it with the characters.  The ending was unexpected and I absolutely loved it.  Highly recommend

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars 

Talk about a debut! DARLING ROSE GOLD was a completely binge read – if it wasn’t 2am I would have continued reading. The alternating POV’s, shorter chapters, and incredibly complex relationship between Rose Gold and her mother kept me glued from start to finish. I have always been fascinated by the books that include Munchausen syndrome by proxy and what I loved about this one in particular is that it takes place after her mother is caught and the abuse is stopped.

Patty Watt is being released from prison – she had just served 5 years for child abuse after her daughter, Rose Gold, testified against her in court about how she was malnourished growing up and how she discovered that her mother had been poisoning her food to keep her sick. Despite all of this, Rose Gold picks her mother up from prison and insists that she stay with her and her newborn son.

Has Patty really changed her ways? Has Rose Gold actually forgiven her mother? I don’t want to ruin anything with this book because it is SO GOOD! I did not expect that ending and I loved every second of it. The chapters alternate between Patty in the present day and then Rose Gold during the years her mother was in prison and how she was adjusting to life after the trial.

Stephanie Wrobel created so much suspense and had you questioning everything. Make sure you clear out some time in your schedule before picking this one up because it is so addictive. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a good psychological thriller/suspense. You will find yourself questioning the characters and what you think you know. I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next!

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