Son of Rosemary
By Ira Levin
If you have read Rosemary's Baby
and wondered what happened next, all the answers can be found in Son of Rosemary.
Yes, that's right there is a sequel, but it was a long time
coming—about thirty years in real-time and thirty-three in the story.
If you are reading this review the chances are that you have already
read the first book, if you have not I would strongly
recommend you read it first rather than try and read Son of Rosemary as
a stand-alone novel. The story is easier tol understand when you are
familiar with the details surrounding the conception and birth of
A lot has happened since Rosemary gave birth to her son, the only
problem is she has missed most of it because the coven caused her to
fall into a coma twenty-seven years ago when her son, Andy, was just
six. Most of the coven members are now dead and, just a couple of
paragraphs into the book, the last remaining member, Dr Shand, gets
mowed down by a taxi. Not good for him, but very good for Rosemary
because as soon as this happens the spell is lifted
and she awakes in her nursing home bed.
When Rosemary wakes up she has no idea how long she has been
unconscious and she is shocked when she looks in a mirror and
discovers she now resembles her Aunt Peg. The main thing on
her mind though, is her son, Andy.
Andy is not hard to find. Everyone seems to be wearing 'I Love Andy'
buttons. Of course, Rosemary doesn't realize that the Andy in question
is her son, but when she sees him on the TV, there is no doubt in her
mind. His horns have gone and his tiger-like eyes are now blue, but it
is Andy all right. With his long, blond hair and the beard and
moustache, Andy looks more like Jesus Christ than the Son of Satan and
Rosemary soon finds out that her son has had a huge positive impact on
the world and now heads an organization called God's Children.
Rosemary also discovers that she is famous in her own right. Not many
people return to the land of the living after being in a coma for
twenty-seven years. Rosemary is front-page news and when she is invited
onto a talk show she has a big announcement to make: Andy is her son.
Most people are probably more than a little sceptical about Rosemary's
statement, but the people at God's children are watching and they get
in touch with the show's host immediately. Andy is also watching and he
has a question for Rosemary. When Rosemary answers Andy's question
correctly there can be no doubt about her claim and mother and son are
Son of Rosemary
is 255 pages long and the story starts off very well. While I was
reading it, like Rosemary, I began to have my doubts about where Andy's
true allegiance lay. The Devil has always had big plans for his son and
although Andy assures Rosemary that he is going against his father's
plans, I was never quite convinced about it and it wasn't until I was
reaching the end of the book that I found out for sure if he
was a saint or a sinner.
Up until this point I had been enjoying reading Son of Rosemary and
had found out the truth about Andy, so that little mystery was solved.
Then, in the final few pages, Levin totally destroyed everything that
had happened in the rest of the book and I felt incredibly let down by
the ending. I am not going to say what happens, because I don't believe
in adding spoilers to my reviews, but suffice it to say that I was not
a happy chappy. I felt like I had wasted my time by reading the book.
To be honest, the ending of Son
of Rosemary makes a mockery of the first book. It spoils
everything and, to my mind, it would have been better if Levin had
never written a sequel at all than to end it all like this.
But . . .
I am only human, so I sometimes miss things, or don't understand things
correctly. I wondered if that could be the case with Son of Rosemary, so
I did an internet search and read a few reviews of the book, especially
those on Amazon. A lot of people seem to feel the same way as I do
about the book, but there are those who have different ways of
interpreting the events at the end of the story and, to be honest, some
of these interpretations do make sense, but . . . do you know what? The
ending still sucks. It is weak, it is a cop-out, and I just don't like
it. Everything had been building up to a big finish. The story should
have ended with a bang. Instead it was just a whimper and I was the one
doing the whimpering. I was expecting resolution, but found
only confusion. There is even an
anagram that turns up early on in the book and its meaning seems to be
integral to the plot. No answers to this are ever provided. When I read
a novel I don't want to have to think too hard about things. Reading
offers escapism. In a mystery novel, for instance, I will try and
figure out the mystery, but I know that if the answer eludes me it will
be provided at the end of the book anyway. Son of Rosemary
does not do this because Rosemary cannot solve the anagram. Maybe you
can. It is Roast Mules and I no longer care what it means.