by Nathan Warner
If you pick up Rose Marolt’s new book, “The Garden,” you’d probably read the back flap: “Every young woman dreams of marrying the man of her dreams, having a beautiful home, children and happiness. But when Dorothy married her tall, dark, handsome man, little did she know she was on a journey of terror and heartache. Every thought and every word she spoke would be her death sentence and our legal system couldn’t keep her safe.”
“The Garden” is the story of Marolt’s mother and her battle against domestic abuse. Though the events described in ink are real, they are told through a fictional lens. The pages reveal the dark hours spent behind the bright facade of her mother’s marriage, set in the remote wilderness of the iron range.
“My father was a logger,” Marolt said, “and our home was in the middle of a swamp near Highway 65 back when it was a dirt road.” She added that their nearest neighbor was more than 4 miles away.
At one point, Marolt’s father shot her mother and killed a man, but the sheriff would not prosecute her father.
“It underscored for us the reality that the law is not always there to protect the people who need it most,” Marolt reflected. “Battered wives don’t always get the protection they need, and many are too afraid to come forward – this was my mother’s concern and it is also mine.”
A 22-year resident of Zimmerman, Rose published under the name Elizabeth King. She said she never intended to write a book about her mother’s life, but that slowly changed when her mother began writing notes 20 years ago about her life.
“She always said I should write a book about it,” Marolt recalled, and when her mother died in 2010, she poured herself into the task of writing her mother’s story.
Marolt had never written anything before, and she had to learn a lot about writing while researching across the Internet for a good publisher fit.
“I knew I didn’t want to self publish,” she said, “because it requires a lot of work.” Finally, she found Publish America, a traditional publishing company that seemed the perfect fit. Officially published April 2, “The Garden” can be found on Amazon.com.
Marolt said writing “The Garden” is a huge accomplishment for her and was a fun challenge, but she doesn’t see herself making a career out of writing. Currently, she’s writing another book on a completely different topic, enveloped in secrecy. For now, Marolt would like people to read her mother’s story, and she’d like to see it made into a movie ultimately.
“I’m not sure what actors would fit the roles, though,” she reflected. “I was thinking about that today because my father was a very large man.”
When asked about why she chose to title her book, “The Garden,” Marolt smiled wryly.
“You’ll have to read the book,” she replied.