What Rose Forgot is a standalone book written by Nevada Barr, full of wonderful characters and plenty of plot to engage readers. Rose Dennis is an outgoing and unique woman in her 60’s. She enjoys meditation so when she awakes at the start of the book and finds herself in an unfamiliar environment she is not concerned right away. She tries to center herself and end her session but soon discovers that something is very wrong. Her left elbow is sore and she notices a puncture wound. The might explain her vertigo. Then she discovers that she is leaning against tree bark and she feels this against bare skin because she is dressed in a hospital gown. Rose is thirsty, she is confused and can’t remember how she got here.
Longwood Memory Care Unit
Rose is taken back to where she escaped from, and she is shocked to see that she is a patient at the Longwood Memory Care Unit. As she finds out what her normal routine was at Longwood, she finds that she made a friend and his name is Chuck. Chuck seems to be as confused as Rose is, but she just as a feeling that things are not right. She overhears people talking outside her room and one person says that she’s “not making it through the week”. Rose feels that she is being drugged, and she needs to make a successful escape before something horrible happens to her. So she quits taking her medication and hides the unused pills in her room.
How is Rose going to convince anyone that she is is not actually suffering from dementia? Someone in her family has drawn up the papers to commit her to Longwood. The local authorities are on the side of the nursing home. Even Rose isn’t completely sure about what is happening. Rose finds her way to her thirteen-year old granddaughters home. Mel is very smart and mature for her age. She is also very, very honest with Rose.
Rose starts off staying in Mel’s outdoor half-pint house. Mel listens carefully when Rose tells about her experience, but Mel shares with her that she hasn’t been acting right since her husband died. Mel wants to help her, but she also understands that she has wandered away from Longwood again, and she might need to tell an adult and get her back to a place that is supposed to take care of her. After listening to Rose’s story, Mel enlists her friend Royal to help them figure things out.
Rose also remembers that she has a sister Marion who is a recluse and has computer skills that she can use to help Rose even though they don’t live close to each other. Rose explains her story to her sister and as the evidence starts building up, she believes her and gives her money for her time on the run, and finds out details for Rose about the events she is now experiencing.
The Danger is Real
Rose has returned to her home because she needs some time to gain her strength back and make plans. When a would-be killer shows up at her home in the middle of the night, Rose knows that she is not imagining things. She knows that someone is trying to get rid of her for good. Mel, Royal, Marion, and some other special characters all play a role in helping Rose to discover the truth of the situation.
This book is very different from Nevada Barr’s other books, but What Rose Forgot is a fresh new book that readers are going to really enjoy. This book is full of action and mystery but it also has a great cast of characters that bring humor to the situation and have honest conversations about a wide variety of topics that can hit home for all of us. Pick up your copy of What Rose Forgot and add it to your fall reading list.
Disclosure: Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.