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2 April 2014

Rose Madder
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date
novel, fantasy

From the Blurb:
Roused by a single drop of blood, Rosie Daniels wakes up to a 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 n 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…

This is a novel from Stephen King which I absolutely loved as it combines 'real life and suspense/drama with the supernatural. As so often with King, everyday common objects (in this case a painting) have supernatural powers or are involved in supernatural events. Contrary to common believe, Stephen King does not only write horror and bloods/guts. This book is not his only novel which features domestic abuse.  (Dolores Clairbone comes to mind as the other main one, but I do know there are others who have some features of domestic violence in them).

Rosie has suffered from domestic abuse on the hands of her husband Norman for many years, she has lost her child while pregnant when he beat her up. But her husband is a cop, and she just knows running away from him is not an option, that he will track her down. But one day, something just clicks, and she runs away. First stop - local bus station. Where to go? She has no money but took his credit card. All she can think of is how to best disappear and make him not find her, she is that much terrified. She eventually arrives in a city and is lucky enough to encounter kind people and ends up in a women's shelter where she makes friends which will be her lifeline in the following months. Rosie than goes to a pawn shop and is strangely attracted to an old painting, she has to take it with her. And she will learn that the painting has a life of its own and she is able to travel into the painting. Inside the painting, she will meet people who resemble her real life. The people she will meet in the painting will take her into a different world. And all the while, her husband Norman is on the hunt for her and it isn't long before he can sniff her out.

I so much felt for Rosie, and I felt her fear which was terrifying. The horrors of domestic violence and living with someone who is a psycho abuser. She knows he is hell-bend on tracking her down and trying to kill her. How great did I feel for her when she did start her new life. King made me feel all the emotions with Rosie. A new man does come into Rosie's life, but for me, he was almost a secondary character and only served for the purpose of the book as one of the persons who will be there for Rosie, same as the friends she makes in the women's shelter. Important, but really, for me the story is all about Rosie. And than comes the painting. What an idea… being able to step into a painting, but what will Rosie find, and is it really an escape?