Among the most striking portraits of teenaged angst in recent memory, Rose by Any Other Name introduces listeners to an unlikely and unlikeable anti-heroine: Rose is prickly and pompous, sarcastic and sanctimonious. At the 10-minute mark, listeners may find themselves a bit put off by Rose’s snarky self-righteousness and constant complaining. Ten minutes more, however, and audiences will be seething with curiosity and anticipation, as details of Rose’s traumatic past and dark secrets begin to unravel. Rose is no ordinary teenager, and as she sets forth on her summer vacation it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary road trip. Performer Rebecca Macauley finds a fitting teenaged voice: rebellious, rambunctious, and unapologetic, Macauley nevertheless betrays Rose’s insecurity and self-loathing, simmering beneath the surface.
This is a warm, generous novel that stresses family dynamics - it is a rich portrait of a feisty young girl who faces up to love, loss, and life's big issues.