Reading stories like this simply makes my heart ache. I cannot fathom the idea of purposely hurting my child — let alone so systematically and over the course of an entire childhood. The scariest thing is that people with Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP) don’t even see the wrong in what they are doing. For more information about MSBP, so that you can better prepare yourself for what you will read in this story, I recommend this page from the University of Michigan.
I’m not gonna lie. When I first saw this book, I was leary that it might be a rip-off of a “ripped from the headlines” TV series I had watched [The Act]. In that series, Gypsy Rose Blanchard, was a chronically ill child who, as it turned out, actually had a mother who suffered from MSBP. Thankfully, though, the rest of this story [aside from the MSBP and the coincidence of “Rose” being a part of her name] stood very much on its own. Though MSBP could never be truly “understandable” to me, the flashbacks to Patty’s childhood helped me to better understand the factors that contributed to her mental health issues. Likewise, flashbacks to both the childhood of Rose Gold and the time when she was first on her own, after her mother went to jail, helped me to see how Rose Gold had been shaped into the woman she had become and to make the choices she made. Yeah, I am a little hauted by this story. But, I am also eager to see what else Wrobel will publish and hope it won’t be long until I see another book listed on her Goodreads page…
(Disclaimer — This book is technically considered a book for adults, but I see this having crossover appeal for young adults, since the story primarily takes place during Rose Gold’s teen and “new adult” years.)