“They say a grudge is a heavy thing to carry. Good thing we’re extra strong.”
Rating: 2/5 stars
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.
This was truly something else. I was really excited to dive into this because I’m a bit of a true crime buff and pretty familiar with Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s case (which this book is largely inspired by) but once you’re actually inside these characters heads it’s a very dark, messed up world that just left me feeling all types of wrong.
What I Liked
🖋 Writing. This was truly the one thing I feel the story really had going for it. I absolutely cannot take away the fact that the author did a fantastic job of bringing this story to life and getting readers to hate her characters while still being invested enough to see how it pans out. Despite me not really liking the overall story the writing had me finishing this in about two sittings. Wrobel tells the story of Rose Gold and Patty’s toxic relationship with flashbacks from the past and moves on to the present which unravels the story almost flawlessly (the keyword here is almost).
What I Didn’t Like
👨👩👧👦 Any of the characters. Every single one of the characters in this book are truly horrible. Granted, they aren’t written to be likable characters but it was so hard to sympathize with anyone. Even Rose Gold, who was raised majority of her life believing she was seriously ill was just a terrible character and I disconnected with her pretty quickly when she faked having an illness to try and go on a camping trip with family. But as the story unravels the characters just get progressively worse and worse and the ending will leave you trying to decipher who the actual monster of this story is.
📈 Rushed ending. As stated in what I liked I thought the writing was really good…but the ending? Not so much. Not only was it a bit predictable but it was so incredibly rushed. It was really enjoyable to have the story unravel the way it did and then all of the sudden it’s “BAM! here’s the big climactic part…THE END.” Definitely a bit of bummer for me.
*light spoilers ahead*
👶🏻 Child abuse. While I do love a good revenge tale it is NEVER at the expense of a child’s safety which is why so much of this story was unenjoyable for me. I’ll leave it at that to avoid any major spoilers but this definitely turned my stomach more than once and left me feeling highly unsettled for majority of the book. And it’s one of those instances where the more you think about the ending…the worse it makes you feel.
tw: child abuse, self harm, kidnapping, abandonment from a parent, Munchausen syndrome by proxy
Until next time,