Run, Rose, Run


“Run, Rose, Run” is about an aspiring country singer named AnnieLee. She moves to Nashville, trying to shake a dark past and make it big in music. She gets help from charismatic country star Ruthanna, who wears wigs and fake nails (here’s looking at you, Dolly).

From the book flap: “A thriller from American’s most beloved superstar and its greatest storyteller (Dolly Parton). A young singer-songwriter on the rise and on the run is 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 American’s #1 beloved entertainer and its #1 bestselling author could have created.”

My review:

“Run, Rose, Run” is a novel that tells the story of a young woman named Rose who dreams of becoming a country music star but faces numerous challenges along the way. Dolly Parton, a legendary country music singer-songwriter, and James Patterson, a bestselling author known for his suspense and thriller novels, collaborated on the book to bring their unique perspectives and storytelling styles together.

The story follows an aspiring country singer named AnnieLee who moves to Nashville to pursue her dream of making it big in music. Maybe it’s just a personal preference on the part of this reader, but if you forget her name, don’t worry, it appears annoyingly in one iteration or another in the first line or first paragraph in practically all of the 96 chapters.

Despite what the book flap promises, this was not a “thriller” nor was it “glittering” for me. I had no problem reading along and hearing Dolly Parton’s voice but for me, the suspense was missing. The 465-page novel was a bit of a slog as the story meandered along seemingly without any interesting direction. The characters lacked any strength or power beyond the predictable and boring generalizations commonly assigned to those among the Southern poor, downtrodden, and abused. Sadly, I found the plot to be simplistic and predictable and I was disappointed in the book’s ending. However, if you’re a fan of Dolly Parton (and I am) or James Patterson, it might be worth checking out “Run, Rose, Run” but be prepared for a straightforward story that may not deliver the suspense and drama you might expect from these two storytellers.


8 thoughts on “Run, Rose, Run

  1. I’ve read James Patterson’s earlier work and enjoyed his Alex Cross series, but I haven’t read any of his collaborative works. Thanks for the candid review–might have to give this one a miss.

  2. When authors or stars of any branch of entertainment get big enough no one ever bothers to say “no” or throw them at an editor. Something Faulkner covered in “Mosquitos” in 1927. In her own field, I don’t care who you are, you don’t tell Dolly, or for that matter Willie Nelson, how to sing a song. But storytelling in a longer form than 3 minutes is a whole other thing. And I hate books about the music business unless written by someone who was there. Zappa’s book is hilarious and rings true. I can’t imagine Patterson having the voice or Dolly the balls to tell this story and still get it on the shelves at Walmart. Now, sittin’ on the porch, lettin’ Dolly tell it? Hell yeah. But this ain’t it. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. A good and fair review. Books with predictable plots are generally a waste of time no matter how famous the author. I thought collaborations with Patterson were sold as James Patterson books and not books written by James Patterson.

  4. Too bad the book is a flop, but we do appreciate your heads-up. And you’re right about it being the work of two storytellers, and I would add “accomplished.” Dolly’s “Jolene” or “Coat of Many Colors” are heart-wrenching ballads.

    • Thank you, Mike. Dolly has written so many hit songs such as the wonderful ones you mentioned maybe my expectations concerning this novel were so high and so added to my disappointment.

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