Rose Daniels knows how to take a beating. After fourteen years married to Norman, she’s had plenty of practice. It wasn’t the broken rib that made her leave him though or the beating that caused her to lose the baby. It was a few years later that Rose received her wake-up call and decided to get out while she still could. That wake-up call, believe it or not, was just one drop of blood.
Once Rosie has decided to go, she knows that she has to go straight away before she changes her mind. She takes Norman’s cash card, draws out $300, and gets a bus to a city 550 miles away. That may not be far enough though because Norman is a cop and finding people is part of his job.
Things could have turned out very differently for Rosie, but fortune smiles on her and she finds a place to stay, a job, and even some new friends. She also meets one very special friend, Bill Steiner.
On the day that she first meets Bill, Rosie also finds a very unusual picture in a junk shop. The picture is called Rose Madder and from the very first moment Rosie sees it, the picture asserts a power over her. She has to have it and exchanges it for her engagement ring—a straight swap.
Rose is happy with her picture and happy with her new life and—all in all—things are going very well for her, even if there does seem to be a little more to her new picture than meets the eye. Rose Madder is the least of her problems though. Norman is looking for her and he is getting close. Norman wants to talk to his rambling Rose. He wants to talk to her right up close.
I enjoyed reading Rose Madder. Mine was the paperback version, it ran to 595 pages and I read it in just 3 sittings. I had intended to take a little longer over the book—I had other things I wanted to do—but, once I started on the last 250 pages, I just couldn’t put it down because, among other things, I wanted to know whether Norman would kill Bill. I was convinced Rose would be okay, but how happy the ending would be was another thing entirely and I just had to know the outcome. I also needed to know more about what happened with the Rose Madder painting.
There are some very interesting characters in the book, and it would be difficult not to like them. It would be even harder not to hate Norman and the more I read, the more I wanted to see him get what was coming to him. I’m sure other readers will feel the same.