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My Life at Rose Red: The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer    Editor Joyce Reardon order for
My Life at Rose Red
by Joyce Reardon
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

My Life at Rose Red reads like a diary. The reader is asked to believe that this is, in fact, the diary of a young woman who married in 1907 and, after an extended honeymoon trip around the world, lived in a 65,000 square foot mansion ... castle, palace, whatever one calls something that big. Her occasional guests are not the only ones to get lost in this vast acreage of a house. Ellen herself makes a wrong turn now and again and happens upon a room she hadn't seen before.

Sounds idyllic. But was it? A workman is murdered; a woman disappears into the very walls of the house. Ellen comes to think of the mansion as a live being, one who demands that the construction of the house should never stop. Ellen and her 'handmaiden' - black Sukeena - exist day by day in a pulsing house and with a man whose sexual appetites know no boundaries. More people disappear. The partner of Ellen's husband is a suicide. Then the truly unthinkable happens.

But I can't tell you what that is. You must read the book to find out for yourself, and to decide whether this is, indeed, a work of fact or fiction.

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