Run Rose Run
By Dolly Parton and James Patterson
What it’s about?
From America’s most beloved superstar and its greatest storyteller—a thriller about a young singer/songwriter on the rise and on the run, and determined to do whatever it takes to survive.
Every song tells a story.
She’s a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her.
She’s also on the run. Find a future, lose a past.
Nashville is where she’s come to claim her destiny. It’s also where the darkness she’s fled might find her. And destroy her.
Run, Rose, Run is a novel glittering with danger and desire—a story that only America’s #1 most beloved entertainer and its #1 bestselling author could have created.
What I think:
I really wanted to love this book. Dolly Parton is an absolute queen and I was so excited when I heard that she had written a book.
This is a classic rags to riches story. AnnieLee Keyes turns up in Nashville with nothing but a voice that could make her a star. She is sassy and determined. She refuses to take no for an answer and is determined to take her destiny into her own hand. She has a voice, the look and the talent to be a star, but she is hiding dark secrets and is cagey about her past.
Ruthanna Ryder is the retired queen of country: the huge star with a massive back catalogue of hits and a wardrobe full of sequins. When she hears AnnieLee singing she takes her under her wing and sets her off on her road to stardom.
Ruthanna is clearly the Dolly-inspired character. She is relentlessly generous with her money, her time and her experience, even when AnnieLee is actually quite rude and ungrateful.
Where I struggled with the book is that I didn’t really warm to AnnieLee. Her confidence comes across as simply arrogance. Rather than acting like someone starting out and taking all the opportunities that come her way, she is demanding and at points refuses to take the advice of people who know far more than she does. For some reason every sticks with her and continues to find her adorable and wants to help her.
This is a book of two halves. Or even thirds. The majority of the book is how AnnieLee gets her break in the music industry. There’s a lot of song writing and rehearsing. AnnieLee is always amazing. The action part comes towards the end of the book and to be honest I found it really over the top. I won’t say too much in case you are planning to read it, but it turned into an action thriller that was so out of place with the first two-thirds of the book it all seemed implausible. It gets dark very quickly.
Despite the darkness, AnnieLee seems to recover remarkably quickly and the epilogue is pure fairytale.
I have given this a generous three stars – because it’s Dolly Parton and I liked the way that song lyrics are incorporated into the story. I didn’t like the thriller aspect of the book and never really warmed to the main character. Ruthanna is a much more interesting character than AnnieLee.
Thank you to Netgalley for my gifted digital copy. If you love Dolly Parton, country music and Nashville then this is one for you.