Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. Simon & Schuster. March 2020. pb, 320 pp.; ISBN #: 9780593100066.
Rose Gold spent her first eighteen years of life as an ill child. She had every disease one could think of, had to drop out of school because of the taunting of other children, and had the support and assistance of everyone in the neighborhood. But it turned out that her mother Patty was just a really good liar and was responsible for her daughter’s ill health, now known as Munchausen disease. It’s an illness that binds mothers to their children in a very sick way, literally. Patty was even quite good at spouting medical knowledge and suggesting solutions to doctors and nurses in offices and the local hospital.
Patty eventually serves five years in prison for her lies and has a plan for her daughter who is the one who turned her in to the police. Meanwhile, Rose finally meets the father she thought was dead, the father with another wife and other children. He says he wants her in his life but the reality turns out quite different. Rose refuses to accept this.
While all this is going on, even Rose’s good friends turn out to not be that loyal. Rose deserves a break and the reader will definitely be rooting for something better to happen to her, not realizing how surprised they are about to be. At one point, there are some flashbacks in Patty’s life that make the reader feel a bit more compassionate about why she’s like she is. This is definitely a very dark, stark and twisted tale.
Patty develops a complete plan by which she thinks she will have the last laugh over Rose and the snooty neighbors. Patty, however, is not as sharp as she thinks because it’s really Rose who has a remarkable plan to get vengeance for her lost years of normal living.
All the appearances of “darling” are just that, appearances. For those who love thrillers, this is your book. Quite a contemporary fiction creation! Enjoy!