Book Review: Darling Rose Gold

DARLING ROSE GOLD | Stephanie Wrobel
03.17.2020 | Berkley
Rating: 4/5 stars


For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed that she was seriously ill. She was allergic to practically everything, used a wheelchair, and visited the hospital on a regular basis. Rose Gold’s community came together to support her when times got tough by holding fundraisers and being a shoulder to cry on. Despite taking hundreds of tests and seeing multiple doctors, the cause of Rose Gold’s issues was never discovered.

It turns out that Rose Gold never had a thing wrong with her. She never had any of the diseases or ailments her mother said she had. Patty Watts is a gifted liar who convinced doctors that Rose Gold was going through things that she was causing by secretly drugging her daughter. After serving five years in prison, Patty is looking to reconcile with Rose Gold and it seems she’ll get her wish. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold lets Patty move in, however, what they don’t see is that Rose Gold has changed. She’s never going to let Patty keep her down again.


DARLING ROSE GOLD is a story of Munchausen by Proxy, which is a syndrome where a caregiver makes up or causes an  illness in a person in their care. This disorder recently became more widely known in the media through the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case and HBO’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s SHARP OBJECTS.

When I first started reading DARLING ROSE GOLD I could feel the inspiration from Gypsy Rose’s life pouring out of the pages. To be honest, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t end up loving this one because I was obsessed with this real life case. I’ve watched every show and documentary available. Wrobel sold me when she started to move further into the story of Rose Gold and Patty being reunited. For me this was the point where the characters started coming into their own and being more original.


Wrobel utilizes one of my favorite writing features with the use of alternating points of view between Rose Gold and Patty. She extended this formating by playing with the timeline a bit. Each of Patty’s sections are in the present day, whereas Rose Gold’s sections start in the past and lead to the present. This flip between timelines is what gives the reader a full look into how Rose Gold has evolved to be the person she is today through coping with her mother being sent to prison. I loved getting to know each of these characters and their many flaws as the story progressed and they two timelines converged.

DARLING ROSE GOLD is truly a perfect binge read in my opinion. The pacing isn’t insanely fast, but the material is intriguing and captivating. Wrobel makes sure to leave the reader wanting more information from each of our main characters as the narratives alternate, which inevitably leads to reading late into the night for answers! I love that Wrobel wrote this story with an underlying sense of tension throughout. You never knew what was going to happen because everyone was continuously avoiding the truth. If you’re in the mood for a crazy story about a mother and daughter, this is definitely the book for you!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

A huge thank you to Berkley for my free copy of this book!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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