Janet's Reviews > The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red

The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer by Joyce Reardon
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Jul 06, 2011

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Read from July 06 to 10, 2011

I really liked this book for some reason. I would have given it a 5 except I did not like it that I was quite a ways through the book when the presented author of the "diary" said I was to be cursed. Eaa gad! All jokes aside I did feel uncomfortable every time she recorded it was to be seen by no one to the extent she wanted it mentioned in her will and wondered about what had gone through the minds of her descendants when they authorized the publishing of this book. Dominant Y I guess. The other problem was the statement that this diary is confirmation of a haunting. I found no such confirmation. I also found no confirmation that it is or is not a diary. It is hard to believe any real author could have left the storyline so gutless.
I wondered if it did seem a bit male. It lacked a true relating of the struggle this woman would clearly have been enduring. I was never really grabbed by it. She must have been smothered, trapped and terrified. She saw her only identity as those children who were stripped from her without any regard for her grief and yet even this did not quite grab me. Perhaps I was a participant in her shuttling it off the Rose Red. She was at least partly aware of other possibilities. She stated her suspicion that her husband did away with April and was going to do away with her. I think John Rimbauer institutionalized that girl without the knowledge of his wife. She seemed to quickly leave that behind.
One of the saddest things in this book or me was the treatment of Sukeena. The book never really touched on this and/or it was the perspective of Ellen Rimbauer which caused me intense dislike. I live in the Seattle area and grew up here. I did not see a black person in the area until I was grown. Sukeena was never going to blend. She was very far from home and anyone she knew. She had no choices. She was dependent in every way. She was as subject to the cruelty of John Rimbauer as his wife but she had no such status and clearly had to have understood that. She was not a friend, confidant or even maid. Sukeena was a slave in every sense of the word. She would have had no choice but to have sexual relations with Ellen Rimbauer or her husband or the other grossness. From that perspective Sukeena was undoubtedly picking up on the the clues her mistress/master presented.
I am left wanting to know what happened to that girl. Really. Never mind the spooky stuff. Has anyone done any research on girls about that age entering institutions that year?
Still, I must say I really did enjoy the book. Go figure.
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