Since hearing about the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case years ago, I've been intrigued by Munchausen by Proxy. "Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSP) -- or Munchausen by proxy -- is a psychological disorder marked by attention-seeking behavior by a caregiver through those who are in their care."

Inlay terms, the illness manifests itself in *usually* mothers who make their children sick so they are always needed. It's really interesting, really sad, and I feel like it's something not talked about enough. However, it has been more heavily discussed in pop culture over the past few years and the latest entry is in the form of the novel "Darling Rose Gold". 

This novel has been on my radar for a very long time and was released in March of this year but I just finished reading it last month. It was nothing like I expected... it was so much better.

Publisher's Summary

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.

My Thoughts

Patty Watts abused her daughter Rose Gold for her entire life. Rose Gold gave the testimony that sent her mother to jail for 5 years but now, Patty is getting out. 

When Patty Watts gets out of jail, she goes to live with her daughter Rose Gold and her new grandson. 
Rose Gold purchased a new house just to home Patty and it just so happens that the house is the one Patty grew up in, which messes with Patty's head. The rest of the novel is spent with Patty and Rose Gold questioning each other and trying to accept each other in this new way of life.

That is... until we see both of them for who they truly are. 

Darling Rose Gold is told in two points of view, Patty and Rose Gold. We see their pasts and their presents, we see how they ended up where they are and why they are the way they are. While Patty was doing the abusing, Rose Gold was planning her revenge and she had a lot of time to plan it. 

The ending of this novel was not what I expected. It came fast, it came as a shock and it left you wanting more. It was truly the last thing I thought was going to happen and it made the book that much better for it. 

I will say, that this book reeked of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard. While I do think Darling Rose Gold was inspired by the famous case, it was eerily similar. I listened to a podcast episode of Bad on Paper with the author of this book, Stephanie Wrobel and it was incredibly interesting. If you read this book, I highly recommend listening to the episode.

If you are into mysteries and thrillers, I think you will really enjoy this book. It was unlike anything I've read recently!

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