Review: What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr

What Rose ForgotAuthor: Nevada Barr
Released: September 17th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Warnings: Elder abuse, Kidnappings, Drugging
Rating: 3 1/2 kitties

I received a copy of What Rose Forgot through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

What Rose Forgot is the newest thriller from Nevada Barr – so you just know that this novel is full of action and chilling events. This novel is a standalone piece, so even if you’ve read nothing else by Nevada Barr, you’re safe to pick this one up and start reading.

Rose is not your ordinary grandmother. For one thing, the last few years have been…different for her. Until one day she woke up in a hospital gown, with no idea of where she was or how long she had been held there. She just knew that she had been drugged – and that she needed to get out. And fast.

What follows is a whirlwind of an adventure, as Rose uncovers who did this to her, along with the how’s and why’s. She makes friends and enemies along the way, and in general, has to be the most quirky little old lady you’ll ever read about.


“Here’s the thing, since I’ve stopped taking the red capsules, my mind has gotten much clearer. I think I’m being intentionally drugged.”

Spoiler Warning

Warnings: What Rose Forgot touches upon some heavy subjects. But most of this you can guess from the description alone. There’s elder abuse, drugging and holding people against their will, and other elements that fit this general theme.

What Rose Forgot was a fun and thrilling read – the perfect escape when you’re looking for something completely new and different. I hadn’t read anything by Nevada Barr before now – but I’ve heard plenty of her work before. And thus knew that this unique read was worth checking out.

I originally picked up this novel because I loved the idea of Rose – an atypical protagonist with a lot to tell us. And frankly, Rose was hilarious, though the trials she went through were significantly less so. Rose went through so much during this novel – more than the average person could hope to deal with and come out on top. Yet she persevered.

I want to emphasize that this was a fun read; there are several occasions in this novel that require you to suspend your disbelief. So it won’t be a good fit if you’re looking for a highly detailed thriller novel. But it is charming, in its own way. I think Rose gets most of the credit there.

The whole plot ended up being something much larger than I expected – which is saying something, given the premise. There was a lot of meat hiding behind the darker tones, and it allowed for some freedom and experimentation on the writer’s part. And it certainly gave Rose more to deal with!

I’m glad that I picked up What Rose Forgot. I won’t say that it was my favorite novel of this year, but it was an enjoyable and quick read. And I’m still utterly charmed by the main character. I almost wish she’d get her own mystery series…

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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