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Granny Reads: A Review of Run Rose Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson

Run Rose RunRun Rose Run by Dolly Parton 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dolly Parton partnered up with super bestseller writer James Patterson to write this fast-moving story of a young singer-songwriter's arrival and assent in Nashville's country music scene. AnnieLee Keyes is petite, gorgeous, naive, ambitious, and altogether a 'firecracker'. But she also comes with "secrets" and a bag full of demons from her past. The reader will find that the novel is primarily a mystery story with some pretty interesting 'action' as well.  (Click here or on image left to to to book on or click here to go to

Because it carries a strong theme of writing music for the country audience, there is also a lot of the "values" innate to that industry: cowboy heroes, no flagged LGBTQ+ characters, identifiable violent villains, some with shotguns, and a stark contrast between the super-rich and the very poor and all that says for the reader niche. There are quite a few mini-philosophical moments where one of the lead heroines, the successful music industry retiree/mentor, trots out her belief that it is important to have "desire" for fame, and not to give in to fear and shyness. Also a lot of references to fashion labels and the like that suggest that the American Dream is alive and well in the Heartland. No meaningful (analytical?) mention of a variety of current events and social issues, government or politics or the recent (ongoing?) Corona Virus. 

This book was published this year, 2022, and has many vague references to technical aspects of the country music industry, smart phones, the Internet, etc., but for all intents and purposes, it could well be set in the 1990s or early 2000s.

Apparently Patterson favours a 4-6 page chapter and there are 96 chapters in this book. It appears to make for quick reading. Read a chapter, attend to your kids or put some dishes in the washer, read another chapter, check your email, etc. The book gets read, the other jobs get done.

While I am not an adherent of country music, I have a lot of respect for Dolly Parton as a dynamic "entertainer" who has done everything from song-writing (over 3000 songs-- that is a lot of writing!) to performance as a musician and actress, and administration in the biz as a producer and director/ She is also involved in a literary endeavor for children from disadvantaged homes and has provided millions of books for these children to read. So, while I found the storyline less thought-provoking than the sort of content I usually consume, I enjoyed reading the book. I saw bits of Dolly Parton-- or what I know about her-- in the two female protagonists. Because she is a mentor and leader, she could write insightfully about the older successful woman. Because she came from humble beginnings with ambition and compassion, she could write convincingly about the younger woman. "Write about what you know" is always a successful piece of advice to an author.  And Dolly Parton knows a lot about the country music scene and those who populate it.

Bonus for Dolly's Fans: There are nearly 30 pages of previously unpublished song lyrics written by Dolly Parton at the end of the book.

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Dolly Parton Felt Christmas Ornament-- See More Here

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