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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Rosie Sees the Light is a contemporary fiction novel written by Carol Fogel. One look at the tired visage of Jesus waiting for her on the other side of the White Light had persuaded Rosie that no, it wasn’t time for her to enter the light, not time yet at all. Still, when she came to from the stroke she had suffered, Rosie was stunned to find out that her son, Alex, had sold her house and dumped her into an old folks’ home, assuring her that it would be like being on vacation. Waiting to die with the other old people, and being force-fed bland food and far too many medications was not how this formerly vibrant and still intelligent woman wanted to live out her days. Rosie decided one day that she had had enough. She needed one more adventure before she did enter the light. Rosie planned it all quite carefully with the attention to detail she had always used while attending adult classes and raising her son on her own. When the time came, she flushed her night-time meds down the toilet, arranged the dowdy old clothes, which Alex’s wife had picked out for her, under her covers to look as though she were sleeping, and she went out to find her life again.
Carol Fogel’s literary fiction novel, Rosie Sees the Light, follows a most remarkable 73-year-young woman as she takes a bus down to Mexico and proceeds to reclaim her time in the sun. I couldn’t help but fall in love a bit with Rosie, even as Cap and every other man she meets on her adventure does. She’s feisty, courageous and determined -- and smart as a whip to boot. I also became increasingly enchanted with, and intrigued by, Mexico and Mexican culture as I read this most engaging book. There’s such a massive difference in the vibrant lives Rosaria, Mario and Pajarito live compared with their senior peers moldering away in assisted living facilities north of the border. Fogel’s villagers care about each other, and the scenes where Rosaria is reading aloud her romance novels to just about everyone in town are unforgettable. I’m hoping that someone in the film industry happens upon this stunningly good book as I’d love to see it turned into a movie. No matter what your age, gender or national origin, this book speaks a universal language, and it is heady stuff indeed. Rosie Sees the Light is the best fiction selection yet for this new year, and I suspect it will stay my favorite for some time to come. It’s most highly recommended.