Letters to Rosy by C. Ellene Bartlett is a tale of intrigue, kidnapping and mysteries of the past. The story unfolds through letters between two aging friends who do not want to take their secrets to the grave.
Rene Dubois, who is now living in Germany and Roselee Payton who resides in America were teenage friends in the fifties and sixties in Bartsville, Georgia. They each harbor dark secrets from the past and decide to unburden themselves in a series of letters to each other. Rene writes to Rosy and tells her about Ken Mitchell whose daughter, Sasha, disappeared. His wife, Marsha, was consumed by grief and died in a hospital. A year passed and Ken went on a cruise and met a woman named Bridget who he became interested in. He also met a man whose daughter looked exactly like his missing Sasha except for her hair color. Rosy writes back. She tells Rene the story of Mendy Arnold who was kidnapped along with her six year old daughter, Misty. The child was forced to watch her mother being raped. Meanwhile her husband, Trevor, was having an affair with a woman he met that morning. Both women are anxious to hear how the tales conclude and eagerly await the letters.
Rene and Rosy have riveting stories to tell, although the situations are sometimes implausible. The plot is complicated by too many supporting characters and it is often hard to stay focused. Adding to the confusion is the head hopping - changing the point of view frequently. It pulled me out of the characters thoughts and emotions before I had a chance to connect with them. The characters never came alive for me and the back history on each character, slowed down the pace. A list of characters is included at the beginning of the book and it did help me keep everyone straight. Despite the technical flaws I read through to the end, anxious to see how Bartlett tied it all together. It was an ending I didn't see coming. The author certainly shows promise in this debut novel and I'd be interested in reading her future works.
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC (November 24, 2008)
Paperback: 196 Pages