What Rose Forgot – Nevada Barr


I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

As a big fan of The Anna Pigeon series, I was excited to receive a copy of this new novel for review, but fearful that I would not care for the book as I do her others. I needn’t have worried. While very different, this new character Rose Dennis, had me giggling, if not laughing out loud through her escapades and sheer will – she is the kind of Gram I hope to be one day!!

Rose Dennis greets us in this novel as she comes to consciousness while crawling through the autumn woods. She takes stock of the world around her, the track marks on her arms and the hospital gown she’s clothed in, and comes to realize that wherever she is, she has not been here before. She approaches a couple of boys playing, and they offer her water, and call for help. Rose is then returned to the Memory Care Center from which she escaped but has regained enough of her senses to overhear snippets of conversation that lead her to believe she is being drugged against her will. She begins pocketing her pills and saves enough to add them to the night nurse’s soda – and then escapes again.

Once again free she makes her way to her granddaughter’s home and hides in her fort. Eccentric on a good day, Rose is slowly regaining her strength and is determined to hide from family and the authorities until she, with the aid of her granddaughter ‘Grasshopper’, and her ‘not a hacker’ computer whiz sister, can discover how she came to be locked up and sedated in a nursing home. She returns to the home she once shared with her late husband, and soon, someone breaks in with the intent to kill her. Now on the run once more, she is moved to a friend’s home with a giant teepee in the back yard.

As Rose and Grasshopper investigate and follow each lead, they find themselves in perilous (and hilarious) situations and hiding from the law as they attempt to gain answers as to who is behind Rose’s captivity. Rose also takes the opportunity to attempt the rescue of another elderly gentleman whom she fears has undergone the same fate, breaking several more laws in the process. She makes one last stop to revise her will before she turns herself into the police with the information she’s found – and tips off a greedy killer in the process…

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting! Ms. Barr has created a unique and quirky character in Rose, and I really hope to see her and Grasshopper again in an encore novel, and I await the return of Anna Pigeon as well!