Rose Madder - Stephen King

Lately, I have been leaning towards easy, light reads. For me, Stephen King novels always provide this and are usually entertaining. I decided to read Rose Madder as Gem recommended it and it had been sitting on my bookshelf for a while.

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Year: 1995
Rating: 4/5
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...

Dear Mr King,

Rose Madder was so much better than the last book I read by you, Cell. If you remember my last letter, that book made me really mad. I wasn't speaking to you. I was very disappointed. This book, however, has renewed my faith in your ability to write good stories. 

In this novel, Rosie Daniels has spent the last 14 years being abused by her husband. She has been subjected to every violent, depraved act you can think of. I really felt for Rosie.. she'd been through so much. So when she decided enough was enough, and got up the courage to flee, I was so happy. 

Rosie was such an endearing character. Despite her years of being victim to domestic violence, she was tough. She'd reached a point where she was able to leave, seek out the help she needed then work hard at getting back on her feet. I was cheering for Rosie throughout this whole novel.

When Rosie met Bill, a lovely, caring, kind man who really liked her, I was thrilled! If anyone deserved some happiness in her life, it was Rosie. To me, that is the sign of good characterisations - the ability to make your readers really care about your characters. You did just that with Rosie. 

Another sign of good characterisation is the ability to make your readers hate a character and you achieved that with Norman Daniels. Norman was pure evil. He was a corrupt cop that went home at night and beat his wife. Absolute scum of the earth. All I wanted was for HIM to be subjected to a good beating. 

When he started tracking Rosie.. and getting closer.. and closer.. I was panicking. This aspect of the story was really scary because you just knew, if he got his hands on her, she'd be dead. 

Needless to say, my absoulte favourite part of this story was when Gert (one of the ladies from a refuge that helped Rosie) gave Norman her own dose of revenge. Most brilliant scene I have read in a book in a long time! 

My only criticism is, funnily enough, the part of the storyline containing the painting, Rose Madder. I felt this story was scary enough without any added supernatural elements. The suspense of Norman chasing Rosie.. for me that was enough. 

Since I enjoyed this novel so much, I think I will read more of your books Mr King. I look forward to the next one. 


What is your favourite Stephen King novel? What should I read next?

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