Order from

My Life at Rose Red

Author: Stephen King? - Unknown
Review by: CL5 Amanda Sielu Paris

Let's get one thing straight and off the bat. No one really knows who wrote this book. Some swear it wasn't Stephen King and some "know" it's him that wrote this. Some think that it's his wife, who is apparently also an author, and some think it's some poor, penniless writer who agreed to this hoax. What do I mean by hoax? This book is just surrounded by controversy. ABC ran a special on Rose Red, the house where all this is supposed to take place, and there was even a website created for this college located near the home. It began to get around, not long after the book's release and the special premier, that it was revealed that Rose Red, Ellen Rimbauer, Steven Rimbauer, and Dr. Joyce Reardon never existed. You have to get over that fact first; It never existed! Rose Red is actually Thronewood Castle and it contains none of what is described in the book.

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.