Book review: Rose Gold was sick for her entire childhood. As a teen, she figures out why.
DARLING ROSE GOLD
Author: Stephanie Wrobel
Berkeley, 320 pages, $26
“Darling Rose Gold” is a tense thriller from debut author Stephanie Wrobel.
Ipecac syrup can be, in the right hands, a useful emetic to bring about vomiting when it is suspected that a person has ingested a poison. (It is now no longer approved by the PoisonControl Center as an in-home remedy.) Patty, Rose Gold’s mother, spoon-fed the medicine to her daughter to make her vomit and made her appear sick.
Patty did other things to her daughter that caused her to have a fever, sore throats and many other ailments. She convinced doctors of many things, one being that she needed a feeding tube by the time the girl was 2. Then she tried to starve her by only putting half the amount of food into the tube. This slowed the girl’s growth. Her hair began to fall out. She fainted. Patty dragged her around from doctor to doctor and instructed the child what to say to them.
Finally when she was 16 the light came on for Rose Gold: The illnesses were caused by her mother. This is a mental disorder called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy resulting in a parent causing child abuse. She decided to speak against her mother in a court of law and it was largely her testimony that sent Patty to prison for aggravated child abuse for five years.
Rose Gold gave birth to a child while Patty was in prison and decided to buy a home where her mother could live along with her young child. Is this a recipe for danger?
Writing the chapters alternately in the voice of the protagonists, Wrobel does a good job of building suspense as the book comes to a climax.
Mims Cushing lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and has written three books.