Rose Penski

Roz Perry, Author Naiad Press $8.95 (170p) ISBN 978-0-941483-37-7
Perry's astute eye fails to galvanize this sentimental first novel about a lesbian couple facing breast cancer. The women offer a potentially intriguing contrast as whimsical Rose assumes the role of healer when disease leaves vulnerable her resilient partner, Adelle. Perry's attempts to clarify the power of female nurturing and to resolve the meaning of love through Rose and Adelle's subtle melding of personas are defeated by the lackluster narration of the first two-thirds of the book and her overweening affection for Rose. Relying on disjointed flashbacks and generalizations, Perry tends to tell rather than dramatically communicate the idiosyncrasies of her protagonists, cataloguing objects--Adelle's wardrobe, Rose's menus--instead of exposing their significance to the characters. In the far more compelling final portion of the work, Adelle begins her treatments, the women's balanced domestic world is disturbed by the arrival of Adelle's vulgar, womanizing father--and Perry's writing assumes, too late, vitality. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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