Mary Rose is real, or so I have been told. This book’s synopsis advocates her existence, and the woman manning the Sourcebooks booth at PLA assured me of the same. I want to believe them—I do believe them—because her story is raw and powerful. The knowledge that it happened makes it even more meaningful.
At first, I struggled to accept that Mary Rose wrote these diaries as a teenager—that they did not jump from the imagination of an adult with a college degree in writing—because her words are so well-crafted. They have some technical imperfections, but her cinematic way of assembling scenes and describing her world seems like something out of a novel, not a journal. I am sure the editors of Dear Nobody helped by cutting parts that detracted from the story’s dramatic effect and re-ordering entries, but the words are hers. I never write so vividly when journaling, so I admire the amount of time Mary Rose must have put into recording her life.