Title: Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 319 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Mothers never forget. Daughters never forgive.
In her compulsive, sharply-drawn debut, Stephanie Wrobel 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.
Darling Rose Gold is a clever mystery by debut author Stephanie Wrobel.
At the age of eighteen, Rose Gold Watts testified against her mother Patty Watts after figuring out her mom is responsible for the myriad of illnesses she suffered most of her life. Five years later, Rose Gold shocks their small town when she allows her mom to move in with her following her release from prison. On the surface, Rose Gold appears to have fully recovered from her mom’s abuse, but has she really put her anger behind her?
Rose Gold is holding down a full time job and she is a proud homeowner. She has a long distance boyfriend and she is still good friends with childhood friend Alex Stone. But she has struggled to catch up with her peers due to her sheltered childhood. Despite many of the positive changes in her life, Rose Gold struggles to make friends and some of her reactions when thwarted are a little vindictive and irrational. Rose Gold is resentful of what her mother put her through, but a year before Patty’s release, she has a change of heart about not having contact with her.
Patty is not at all repentant for what she did to Rose Gold. In fact, she does not even admit she did anything wrong. So when her daughter appears at the prison the year before her sentence is up, Patty is absolutely delighted to see her. And when Rose Gold invites her to stay with her after her release, she does not hesitate to say yes. But misgivings set in upon their arrival at Rose Gold’s newly purchased home. Pushing aside her feelings of unease, Patty is determined to wrest control of her daughter’s life again but has she underestimated Rose Gold?
The chapters alternate between Rose Gold and Patty’s points of view. Patty’s chapters take place in the present whereas Rose Gold’s flashback to the previous five years. Patty is manipulative and increasingly suspicious of what her daughter is up to. Rose Gold is initially an empathetic character as she tries to make up for lost time. However, it soon becomes obvious that Rose Gold is willing to do anything to hold onto people she cares for. That is until they fail to live up to her expectations.
Darling Rose Gold is an interesting mystery with a unique premise. Rose Gold and Patty are damaged individuals and their relationship is somewhat toxic. But it is fun watching them match wits and attempt to outmaneuver one another. Who will win this unhealthy war? Expect some shocking plot twists as Stephanie Wrobel brings this mystery to a diabolical conclusion. Fans of the genre will enjoy this fantastic debut.