Synopses & Reviews
Advance Praise for The Rose Variations
“The Rose Variations is an elegant symphony of a novel, shaped by a lovely complexity, informed by humor and grace. Congratulations to Marisha Chamberlain for her fine debut.”—Roxana Robinson, author of Cost
“In this richly absorbing novel Chamberlain creates a heroine so vivid, so complex, so passionate that she walks right off the page and into the reader's mind and heart. I loved following Rose through her various vicissitudes, romantic and musical, and through her many relationships with friends, colleagues, students and lovers. The Rose Variations is one of those rare novels that captures the complexity of a life lived over time, and does so in beautiful, eloquent prose. A brilliant debut.”—Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street
“Rose MacGregor is my kind of heroine—funny and serious, dreamy but brutally practical when it’s called for; someone blissfully inconsistent—like the rest of us. What more can one ask than that a novel presents us with a unique personality such as Rose’s?”—Judith Guest, author of Ordinary People
“Who’d have thought it possible? There’s news about love and work in Marisha Chamberlain’s The Rose Variations! It’d be hard to find a more contemporary view of the sexual dilemma, but I couldn’t help thinking how much Shakespeare, Mozart, and Jane Austen would have savored this novel.”—David Huddle, author of The Story of a Million Years and La Tour Dreams of the Wolf Girl
In 1975, twenty-five-year-old Rose MacGregor moves to St. Paul, Minnesota, with nothing but a few books, her cello, and a temporary professorship at a Midwestern college. The only woman in the music department, the other professors refer to her derisively as “the Girl Composer,” but she believes that a brilliant career writing music lies ahead.
Passionately focused on her art, she also longs to find love, but her fierce independence always seems to get in the way of romantic relationships. Struggling with loneliness and ambition, she gets tangled up with a gay colleague, a self-made stonemason, a lesbian cellist, and the troubles of her wayward younger sister, before finally finding happiness.
Marisha Chamberlain is a playwright, poet, fiction writer, essayist, and screenwriter. Her book of poems, Powers, won a Minnesota Voices Award. She lives in Hastings, Minnesota. This is her first novel.
"In her first novel, poet and playwright Chamberlain tells the vibrant story of Rose McGregor, a talented composer navigating academia in the early days of feminism. A temporary appointment as the token 'Girl Composer' at a Minnesota college puts 25-year-old Rose on her own for the first time; the older of two New Hampshire sisters, Rose has always been the plain, responsible one, caretaker to sister Natalie, but finds her professional and personal lives blooming in the cold weather of St. Paul. She falls in love with Guy, a stonemason who wants to whisk her off to his farm, but the affair falls apart. From there, Rose joins eccentric cellist Lila Goldensohn, who has turned her country home into an all-female retreat. Living off the land without the distraction of love, Rose returns to composing until Natalie unexpectedly arrives, pregnant and in distress, to overtake Rose's life again. Following Rose's music career to the city, the West Coast and back again, Chamberlain makes a charming, quirky fugue of Rose's pursuit of love, independence and success." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Rose always found harmony in her music. Why couldn't she find it in her life?
About the Author
Marisha Chamberlain is a playwright, poet, fiction writer, essayist, and screenwriter. Her work has won the CBS/Dramatists Guild National Award and Best of American Public Television at the British Film Institute and appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. Her book of poems, Powers, won a Minnesota Voices Award. She lives in Hastings, Minnesota. This is her first novel.