Rosalind (Rose) is a toddler of 3.5 when her mother Jasmine pushes her against the hot stove. Horribly burned the little one starts to scream. Mother Jasmine mother, shocked by her act, dares not to call the doctor. A neighbor, coming at the screaming noise forces her to call a doctor. Of course, Rose has to go to the hospital, but the mother refuses to let go of the child and insists to take care of it herself. As a real nurse, she takes care of the child and feels valued by the compliments of the GP.
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This is not the first time that the mother feels so valued by physicians. Actually, appreciation and attention from doctors that's what this woman is living for. To receive this attention, she must have something to gain this attention with. A child is therefore the ideal option. A young child can not contradict, you can make it sick or pretend it is ill and it is easy to manipulate.
We read a horrific autobiographical hair-raising story of Rose. As a reader you want to intervene to protect the child from the abuse of the mother. It is incomprehensible that no one has intervened here. We read a loveless existence where the mother speaks about "it" when she talks about her daughter.
Each chapter title is a plant name and has a short description of this plant which is metaphorical for the characters in that chapter. The book is like a plant itself. The story begins at the roots and through the stem, thorns, leaves, bud and the rose we follow the life of Rosalind. A life where mother Jasmine, makes Rosalind sick, manipulates her, belittles her and is emotional blackmailing her. We read the gruesome account of a survivor of Munchausen by proxy, because that's what Rosalind's mother does. She commits child abuse through Munchausen by Proxy.
First we read the story of the mother. Then alternating the story of mother and daughter. After that, only the daughter tells her story. We read how Rosalind goes through an awfull time when her mother cooks up an incurable disease for her. The mother Jasmine manages to convince the child and doctors that she has a hypogammaglobulinaemia deficiency. The child is told that it will not live old bones. This results in Rose thinking she has no future and is suicidal in her teens. The reason she did not make that last step in front of the train was her dog. She could not live her dog with her abusive parent.
This is a tremendous powerful story of a woman who has overcome her youth. She does not consider herself as a victim but as a survivor. With her book she is commitment to spread knowledge about Munchausen by proxy, a terrible form of child abuse.
At the end of the book she writes, it 's not about what you've been through, it's about how you deal with it.
A book that you read in a day, but you will not really forget.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved it because I hated the mother so much. The writer is the victim or survivor and without real drama of hatred she managed to tell her story just as it was. Painfully accurate. It's a very confronting story.
Best scene in story:
Difficult. There are several scene. Two were breaking my heart. Little Rose being 4 or 5 years old is looking for love. Her mother won't give it. So the only way she knows to get a hug is to play 'doggy' at her grandma's. Pretending she a puppy that everybody wants to pet and everybody loves. She curls up at the lap of her granny to finally get a grownup to lover her.
The other scene is when she is about 12 and her mother manage to convince the GP to examen her internally to see if the young girl is still a virgin. The scene is really heart breaking.
Opinion about the main character:
What I like about Rose is her honesty and maybe na´vetÚ. I like it how she slowly rebells against her mother in little things and later verbally. I like her black humour that puts everything in perspective.