Marisha Chamberlain has created a splendid character who is complex and compelling in Rose MacGregor. It's 1975,
and twenty-five year old Rose has accepted a temporary professorship in a small Midwestern college. She's talented,
ambitious and lonely. Writing music is foremost in her plans and hopes for the future.
Rose has romantic interludes with a fellow teacher who turns out to be homosexual, an unemployed stonemason, a
lesbian musician, and a piano tuner, but both love and friendship are elusive and perplexing with many emotional
challenges. When Rose's sister arrives to add her problems to the mix, the story becomes even more complicated as
the characters react with each other.
Chamberlain has created a rich, engrossing novel with a multitude of quirky characters with both funny and
serious interludes that steep you in an emotional involvement which is rare in a contemporary novel. It is unique
It isn't the kind of novel that absorbs you to the "can't-put-it-down" point, but I found myself continually
drawn back to the elegant prose of The Rose Variations. I will certainly be watching for future books by
this author with great anticipation.