Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novella in exchange for an honest review
Rose’s Gold by WB Welch begins with several questions. Rose finds herself a prisoner with no recollection of the recent past or how she got to where she is. Who put her there? Why is she being held captive?
Finding herself in what appears to be a tower with a well-stocked pantry and a modest level of comfort, Rose must slowly unravel the mystery of her current predicament. Try as she might, her memory of the past is awash with fog.
While this story begins to take on the form of a well-known fairy tale concerning another tower-dweller, the focus is at once noticeably shifted. Rose, whatever her circumstance may be, is not a passive victim waiting for rescue. As she formulates a plan of escape, she makes the best of her circumstances in the tower, keeping herself fed and her mind busy, staving enough as best she can the mentally-draining effects of isolation.
As the story delves into Rose’s struggle with loneliness, self-doubt, and the dread that comes with an uncertain future, it was impossible for me to not draw comparisons to the feelings of being trapped that I know many have experienced during the ongoing pandemic. Whether or not this was intentional I can’t say but the theme of potentially never being able to experience the outside world as it once was definitely hit home for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novella. The mystery surrounding the protagonist’s confinement kept my interest until the end and, without spoiling anything, I can say that I was surprised as the revelations at last came to light. If you enjoy fairy tales, especially those of the Grimm variety, then I definitely recommend Rose’s Gold.