A dark, shocking, and unputdownable thriller debut about a mother and daughter—and the lengths to which a daughter will go to find independence.
“Nobody wants to hear the truth from a liar.”
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.
The release of 58-year-old Patty Watts from an Illinois prison kick-starts Wrobel's diabolically plotted debut. It wasn't until Patty's daughter, Rose Gold, turned 16 and gained internet access that she realized her mother had been poisoning her since infancy; Rose Gold's undiagnosable illness was actually ipecac-induced vomiting resulting in crippling malnutrition. Rose Gold's testimony not only helped convict Patty, but pitted all of the dying town of Deadwick against her, so it's a shock when Patty finishes her sentence and moves in with Rose Gold now a 23-year-old single mother to two-month-old Adam. Patty is determined to win back the neighbors and regain control of her daughter's life; unbeknownst to Patty, however, Rose Gold has plans of her own. Rose Gold's past-tense narration, which chronicles her rocky path to independence, alternates with present-tense chapters from Patty's point of view documenting her postincarceration transformation from predator to prey. Propulsive pacing, a claustrophobic setting, and vividly sketched characters who are equal parts victim and villain conspire to create an anxious, unsettling narrative. Psychological suspense fans will be well satisfied.