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Tuesday, March 29, 2022


If you like romantic novels with a certain predictability inherent in them to provide easy reading, then “Run Rose Run” could well be for you! (Review by Barry Meehan)


She’s a star on the rise, singing about the hard life behind her.

She’s also on the run.

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.”

So reads the back cover of Run Rose Run, a novel by Dolly Parton and James Patterson. Well, both are credited with writing the story, but it’s not like anything I’ve read from James Patterson before, so one wonders just how much input he had in the creation of this somewhat overlong tale of a young girl destined to be the next country superstar, helped along the way by the retired Queen of country music.

It must be said that the blurb sounds all too familiar, and there is certainly nothing outstandingly exciting in the writing that keeps one turning the pages, but this is just my personal opinion.

I suppose the novelty comes with the book being written by the legendary Dolly Parton, who gives us an insight into the world of country music in Nashville – the back-stabbing, the greedy agents who set out to take any newbie singer for a ride, promising them the world, the bars and the dives that have launched many a career, the rigors of touring etc.

Unfortunately, as one reads the book, one gets the feeling it’s all been done before, no matter what the chosen occupation of the heroine – the new arrival on an established scene, the dangerous dark past, the reluctant hero who shuns the limelight, the fading star, the supportive musos etc. etc.

Parton has even created an album of 12 original songs made specifically for the novel. A good marketing idea, I suppose, and I wish her luck with both the book and the album.  Below are the lyrics from Big Dreams and Faded Jeans (all lyrics are printed at the end of the novel)


“Out on my jeans, my favourite shirt

Pull up my boots and hit the dirt

Finally doin’ something I’ve dreamed of for years

Don’t know quite what to expect

A little scared, but what the heck

My desire is always greater than my fear

Chorus: Big dreams and faded jeans

Fit together like a team

Always busting at the seams

Big dreams and faded jeans

Just my old guitar and me

Out to find my destiny

Nashville is the place to be

For big dreams and faded jeans.”


Please note that as I have said, this review is my personal opinion. If you like romantic novels with a certain predictability inherent in them to provide easy reading, then Run Rose Run could well be for you!

Run Rose Run is published by Penguin Random House. ISBN  976-1-529-13568-8 - Barry Meehan