A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel - Feature and Review


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 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 begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes. And 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 GoldDarling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel is a 2020 Berkley publication.

Crazy, unhinged mind trip!!

Rose Gold Watts' testimony against her mother, Patty, for keeping her sick for the duration of her childhood, due to Munchausen Syndrome, helped send Patty to prison.

Rose, has a sheltered, and skewed view of things after all she's gone through. She's not only damaged physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well.

Rose is now a parent herself, to a little boy named Adam. She purchases the home her mother grew up in, and now that Patty is out of prison, Rose insists she come stay with her.

Thus, begins an incredible, insane, tightly wound, cat and mouse game between mother and daughter as they attempt to stay one foot in front of the other with their own diabolical plans.

This story is a non-stop roller coaster of suspense. It’s an edge of your seat psychological thriller, with a constant feeling of dread, that toys with one’s mind and emotions at the same time. The dual narration is splendidly done and paints a vivid portrait of Rose Gold and Patty Watts.

There are nuanced undercurrents that examine the mother and daughter bonds, "Nature vs. Nurture', and challenges the reader to determine who to believe, trust, or feel empathy towards.
These connotations require the reader to look beyond the suspense elements, at something deeper and more complex than what appears on the surface.

The novel is well executed, effective, and left me feeling conflicted and unsettled.

This might be one of my favorite novels of suspense for 2020- plus, it gets an extra star for being a debut novel!

*Note: I listened to parts of this book on audio- and the narration is very well done- especially Patty’s role.



Stephanie Wrobel grew up in Chicago, but has been living in the UK for last four years with her husband and her dog, Moose Barkwinkle. She has an MFA from Emerson College and has had short fiction published in Bellevue Literary Review. Before turning to fiction, she worked as a creative copywriter at various advertising agencies. Darling Rose Gold is her first novel. 

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