Not knowing any of this when I sat down to watch the mini-series named simply "Rose Red" in January 2002, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Ellen and Steven became two of my favorite characters. I've never been a real big Stephen King fan, but I'm a huge fan of haunted house stories. That's exactly what this whole book and the whole mini-series was about. If you approach from that angle, then you can move on to the real content of the book.
The story is about a young and beautiful twenty-year-old Ellen who marries John Rimbauer, one of the wealthiest men in Seattle, Washington in the early 1900's and 20 years her senior. After a year-long honeymoon, they return to their almost complete house, which has already caused the death of one man and the insanity of another in just it's building. They move in and right away Sukeena, Ellen's friend and servant, feels something is wrong. And then people begin disappearing. Ellen calls on a pyschic who reveals that the house itself promises to keep Ellen alive if she continues the building of the home. But then the house seems to turn on her and that's when Ellen realizes she can't leave. She claims the house knows this. Ellen pours her heart out in this "diary" of her fears of her home, her husband, and the fears she has for her children caught in the middle of it all.
Ellen really held my admiration and attention in the movie although she was the cause of most of the cast's fears. Beyond the grave, she held this poise about her. The book really doesn't shatter this image I had of her, but it sure rasied my eyebrows on some of it's subjects. The more I read, the less I believe it was a diary, even if I had wanted to pretend. And some of the subjects really shouldn't have played as big as a part as they did. Ellen was truly in her element when she fighting the house and struggling to protect her children, but this side was shown rarely. I enjoyed the thrills, but the spills made it hard for me to enjoy.