Book Review: Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel (ARC)

Darling Rose Gold

Author: Stephanie Wrobel

Publication Date: 17 March 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Psychological Suspense

Pages: 320

Publisher: Berkley Publishing

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.

Before I even start this review, I just want everyone to take a moment to just gaze at this beautiful book cover. I am absolutely obsessed with it. It’s funny because it appears soft and delicate, but be warned this book is dark and disturbing and an absolute mindfu*k.

I will preface this review to say that prior to reading Darling Rose Gold, I actually had no idea about the Gypsy Gold and Dee Dee Blanchard case. I am not sure if I was just living under a rock when everything happened, but that case was never on my radar. That being said, I see the similarities in the story, but overall they are not one in the same.

Patty Watts was imprisoned for five years for Munchausen by Proxy. For eighteen years, she convinced her daughter Rose Gold (as well as their entire community) that she suffered from a myriad of illnesses. When Patty’s time is up, Rose Gold (along with her baby in tow) decides to take her mother in. However, Patty quickly learns that Rose Gold is no longer the pliable, obedient daughter she once was. She feels like Rose Gold is up to something, but is Rose Gold really capable of betraying her own mother?

Rather than being a mysterious thriller, this book is more of a gripping psychological suspense that sinks its teeth into you from the first few pages and doesn’t let go until the very end. The story alternates between Rose Gold’s and Patty’s POVs. Neither one of these characters are likable. You will get frustrated with both of them.

I was utterly fascinated by the notion that the behaviors of Patty were ultimately responsible for Rose Gold’s manipulative and devious personality. I found myself constantly wondering about the nature versus nurture argument for both of these women. Patty came from an abusive and dark past. Is that why she did what she did to Rose Gold? Was Rose Gold justified in her actions following what her mother did to her?

Overall, this is a fantastically dark and twisty read that really delves into human psyche. If you love getting wrapped up in the inner workings of characters’ minds then you definitely need to read this one.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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