I could say that Smarties Gold Medal winning author Sally Grindley’s book is about a Romanian gypsy being integrated into a dysfunctional recomposed English family. Orphaned during a road accident, she has to find her way into the affections of a money-hungry man, an attention-seeking girl and a guilt-ridden woman. She has to surmount the obstacles of race and language, understanding that she is sometimes discriminated against only because she is a dirty gypsy. She has to construct her own identity, sometimes in deliberate negation of the English family around her.
All of that would be true. And then, we could deal with the authenticity of the depiction of the Romanian girl, the life of a gypsy (as depicted in literature) and other stereotypes. Everyone would have an opinion and become excited about voicing it.
Yet, maybe my name is ROSE is about none of this. Maybe it is, very simply, the beautifully-told story of a frightened child trying to find her voice in a strange new world. Her name is Rose. That’s all there is to that.