New Release Review | Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

Darling Rose GoldDarling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
Berkley | March 17, 2010

About the Book:

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.


Ugh… I really hate trying to review books like these. Darling Rose Gold falls in that category of novels which, when thinking objectively, I know is a d*mn good read. It was a pretty great thriller… for someone else.

Before I really get into why I feel that way, I want to be transparent. Technically I didn’t finish this book. My dissatisfaction started around 22%, but I didn’t realize I had to stop until I was at 60%. You’d think if I made it that far, I was obviously enjoying it. Well, that’s correct. There was a part of me hooked on the story. Even though I knew I had to quit, I flipped to 85% and skimmed to the end so I could at least give myself closure.

Clearly I had an investment in the story.

So, why was it not for me? Why am I rating it 2 stars?

This is where writing the review gets tricky.

My rating has nothing to do with the author, or the skill the book was written with.  The writing was good.  The plot, pacing, and twists were all excellent.  I liked where the author took it. There was just something about both main characters POVs that made me feel dirty.  Darling Rose Gold is about two extremely damaged and broken women.  They weren’t better for this history, they were the opposite.  They were horrible. I knew that going in.  That was the authors goal, and she achieved it.

I just didn’t anticipate my visceral reaction to being in that type of persons head.  It succeeded in raising my internal anxiety level, and not in a good way. It was an anxiety based on feeling icky. I couldn’t handle it.

It was because of that gut reaction that I had to rate this story lesser. Please don’t let that stop you from reading Darling Rose Gold. There is an audience for this type of book. There are people out there who love to be in the head of morally deficient characters the entire time.

Unfortunately, or maybe it’s fortunate, I’ve realized that person is not me.

A thank you to Berkley via NetGalley for providing an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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