Profoundly moving, wonderfully crafted and a splendid conclusion to the Fallen Angels series, ONE PERFECT ROSE is Mary Jo Putney in top form.

When Stephen is told he has but a short time to live, he resets his priorities and decides to travel before setting his affairs in order.

Stephen wanders the by-roads, experiencing life. When he saves the life of a boy traveling with a theater troupe, he is given a wonderful chance to see the world in a new way. Stephen joins the lively troupe, with their many personalities. Each individual intrigues him, but none more than Rosalind, their eldest daughter. Practical, pragmatic and kind, Rosalind is just the type of woman Stephen needs and as they work together, playing parts on stage, their lives take on roles of their own more exciting than any Shakespearean drama or comedy.

Before long, they can not deny their love, and even in the face of tragedy, find happiness. It is through this love that they are able to find a way to "cure" Stephen and uncover a frightening and shocking scheme.

Poignant, tender, intriguing, brimming over with details of the theater and the era, ONE PERFECT ROSE is a sheer pleasure to read. A feast for the heart and mind, Mary Jo Putney has created a meaningful novel. SENSUAL (June, 380 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin