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Book Review – Rose Madder

September 26, 2019
Rose Madder Book Cover
Rose Madder Hodder and Stoughton 595 Pages (Source)

Book Review – Rose Madder

| Book Review – Spoilers possible, tread lightly | 


So I’m going to be honest – I had no intention of doing another book review post this week. The plan according to my blog schedule was to do a book recommendation post on this AMAZING and INSPIRING book I had found. But I’ll tell you a secret. I haven’t finished the book yet. I could write a pretty solid post on what I have read, but it doesn’t feel right to me to do a recommendation post without finishing the book. So I promise promise promise that I will bring another book recommendation post to you soon. But for now we’re keeping it in the spooky season with my one and only: Stephen King. You’re going to love Rose Madder.

Goodreads Synopsis – 

Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to the chilling realisation that her husband is going to kill her. And she takes flight – with his credit card.

Alone in a strange city, Rosie begins to build a new life: she meets Bill Steiner and she finds an odd junk shop painting, ‘Rose Madder’, which strangely seems to want her as much as she wants it.

But it’s hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder. Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman is a corrupt cop with a dog’s instinct for tracking people. And he’s getting close. Rosie can feel just how close he’s getting… (Source

Stephen King + Me

I learned in my late teens/early twenties that I had a strange love affair with the weird and the macabre. I don’t know what I didn’t pick up on this sooner or tried exploring things I didn’t know much about but I feel like it was rather late. That being said I was scared of horror/thriller/suspense when I was very young. To this very day I can’t watch the Blair Witch Project. But then I found Stephen King. His books + Movies +TV Shows + short stories really helped me to embrace my love for reading. They’ve also helped me hang onto it during some rougher times. 

Last year in October, we were able to take a trip up to Maine and it was amazing to see the towns and places that really inspire his writing. You almost get a sense of the story more-so because of this. I’d love to work on my world building to his degree but that’s for another post. 

I can’t say that I have all of King’s books. Or even half! He’s an incredibly prolific writer. But what I do have I cherish and can’t wait to help another reader that may be stuck or needing an extra hand in getting out of a rough spot with his books. 


Rosie was a character that I was not prepared to love. I also wasn’t prepared to have such a strong connection with her. Typically I feel sorrow for downtrodden and abused characters – a feeling that authors probably aim for. But Rose Madder was an entirely different story. You could tell that there was more inside of her wanting to be strong, wanting to fight back. Those are the characters that I want to BE. But sometimes you have to go through the downtrodden to get to the strong. 

Honestly, I think out of all of Stephen King’s characters she probably reminds me of myself the most. But I haven’t read all fo his books yet so don’t quote me on that! To see the books I have read just ask, or check out my Goodreads. But back to Rosie – she was a butterfly! She morphed from this caterpillar that had no idea who she was without a man to someone that could take care of herself, a career and a home and friends. Those are all dreams and goals for any adult, but also not having to rely on someone for all your needs to be met can be so fulfilling as well. I think King did a great job showing this. 

The Villain

If you ever have read a Stephen King book you’ll know that sometimes that villain is obvious, sometimes it’s not, sometimes there’s multiple. The thing to realize is that it’s almost always something to do with a flaw in being human. This one I would say had multiple that you could say were villainous but we’re going to talk about Norman.

Norman being Rosie’s abusive ex thought he had a right to her, that he owned her. This is going to rub most people wrong right off the bat. But his relentless nature is also what drove me mad. When you know someone is in the wrong and can’t or won’t see it and won’t give up. I also love how King utilized the dream world to create Norman into what he actually was: a bull. A Bull Bully. This is another facet of his world building that is so amazing, he can connect everything together and have it make sense.

Edge of Your Seat

I can’t say that this book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout it’s entirety but it did in the moments that counted. The very beginning was hard to read but was one of those that was able to suck me in. When it comes to action or fight scenes the amount of detail that King provides in all of his books really helps these moments to come alive. I fully believe that he puts the right amount of detail in so we’re not left guessing but it’s not too much just to up his word count. The scenes out of Egypt are more vivid thanks to this than I think another author could have done. Overall this had the right about of draw you in for me. 


Did I feel like the outcome of the book was what I wanted? Yes and no. I think that he could have left Rose and Bill living happily ever after and I would have been content. But that’s not necessarily his style. They did mostly live happily ever after but only after she let her rage burn out. I think that after that thought it has a sense of closure. One that everyone needs even after reading traumatic instances, even if they didn’t happen to us. 

About the Author

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and   Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1971, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers. King is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the American Letters and the 2014 National Medal of Arts. Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities. (Source)


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