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Rosie Colored Glasses

by Brianna Wolfson

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7110281,093 (3.8)None
Eleven-year-old Willow is enraged by her parents' joint-custody arrangement after she expressed a preference to live exclusively with her mother, Rosie. She adjusts to life with her father, Rex, and struggles to make sense of her changing world. When her mother's actions becomes more turbulent, will Willow be able to accept the dark underpinnings of the manic behavior?… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
3.5 stars

Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson is a poignant novel about a family's disintegration that results from wife and mother Rosie Thorpe's undiagnosed (and self-medicated) bipolar disorder.

Twelve years ago, straight as an arrow and self-disciplined Rex Thorpe meets free-spirited and impulsive Rosie Collins. Despite the VAST differences in their personalities, Rex is swept away by the quixotic, fun-loving young woman and they embark on an unexpected romance. They move in together in the quirky apartment that Rex selects not because it fits his personality, but because it so perfectly embodies Rosie. Following their marriage and birth of oldest daughter Willow, Rex moves the family from the eclectic apartment to a house that is in Rosie's opinion, bland and sterile. Despite her disappointment in their new abode, Rosie is a happy wife and mom but with the birth of youngest son, Asher, she sinks into a deep depression. This is beginning of an endless cycle of the highest of highs to the lowest of lows but it is Rosie's attempts to self-medicate that lead Rex to end their marriage.

Now the dust has settled, it is poor Willow who is feeling the worst effects of her parents' divorce. She and Asher are shuttled back and forth between their mother and father's homes. Even worse, she desperately misses her warm and loving mother's attention since her father is much more regimented and parents his kids with rules and schedules instead of compassion or affection. Willow is struggling to make sense of her new life amid teasing and bullying by her classmates. She is also dismayed by the slow downward spiral of her fun-loving mom as Rosie falls once again in depression and turns to very unhealthy means to try to cope.

The chapters alternate between Rex, Rosie and Willow's points of view and weave back and forth in time. Willow's chapters are the most poignant while Rex and Rosie's detail the course of their relationship from dating through their divorce. Willow is an incredibly sympathetic child whose parents do not seem to recognize that she is more than unhappy over their divorce; she is in desperate need of counseling to help her navigate her new "normal". It is also quite troubling that no one at school attempts to try to intervene or address Willow's schoolmates' shabby treatment of the poor young girl. Equally shocking is the fact that Rex does not seem to be aware that the very things that make Rosie so unique are symptoms of undiagnosed mental problem that is crying out to be addressed. And how on earth could Rex allow his kids to spend time with Rosie without any supervision since he DIVORCED her because of her behavior in the first place???

Rosie Colored Glasses is an interesting novel but it is not a light or happy read. Willow is a very relatable character and it is quite easy to understand why Rosie is the parent she gravitates toward since she is not close to Rex. Brianna Wolfson's debut is based on her own personal experience which makes it all the more poignant to read. The novel ends on an uplifting note but the rest of the story is far from happy. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Willows parents are a study in contrasts. Rex is solid, sturdy and stern. Rosie is flighty and impulsive. In Willows teenage mind Rosie is the fun parent and Rex is the stern task master. Willows parents divorce and she is shuttled between two homes. After the birth of Willows brother, Rosie became depressed and addicted to pain pills. After countless attempts at rehab Rosie makes a decision that devastates her family. Willow learn that sometimes what appears to be bright and fun is actually a mask to cover up a lot of pain and what appears to be stern and unyielding is what’s really needed. This is so heartbreaking and so beautifully written. ( )
  cdyankeefan | Jul 4, 2019 |
I wanted light and funny, but got sad and depressing. This was steamrolling in a direction I did not want to go so I put it aside. I may be wrong, and it will turn around completely, but I was getting sadder and sadder reading the story so stopped about 2/3 the way through. DNF
  bookczuk | Jun 12, 2018 |
Good book. Interesting issues of drug abuse and mental illness. ( )
  shazjhb | Apr 29, 2018 |
Rosie is an Asshole. Rosie has some serious issues. Rosie is the reason I kept reading this book.

This turned out to be a very sad tale and I felt so bad for Rosie. My afternoon with her was perplexing, wonderful, sad and very entertaining.

I can't say anymore without giving anything away. I can't do that. You need to read it. I will say that I did shed tears while reading this. A lot of tears.

Thanks to Harlequin (US & Canada) and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. ( )
  debkrenzer | Mar 28, 2018 |
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Eleven-year-old Willow is enraged by her parents' joint-custody arrangement after she expressed a preference to live exclusively with her mother, Rosie. She adjusts to life with her father, Rex, and struggles to make sense of her changing world. When her mother's actions becomes more turbulent, will Willow be able to accept the dark underpinnings of the manic behavior?

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