The appellation does not imply affection in this latest of the ""Reachfar"" novels about Janet Sandison and her friends, for Rose is about as thorny a personality as one is likely to meet. Taken on by Mr. Roy Andrews in 1935, at twenty-five, as his private secretary, Janet soon finds herself taken over by his daughter Dee. There follow two years in the post of Dee's governess in the Andrews' country house, Daneford. Rose, Dee's stepmother, first appears as ""a golden haired, cream colored Juno"" whose mind is filled with the more sordid side of sex and who can't may a kind word to anyone. While her beauty vanishes over the twenty-five years that Janet knows her, these traits do not; when they last meet, Rose, divorced by Roy, suffering from a heart ailment and alcoholism, is a grotesque coquette cared for by a devoted friend. But her cruel perception, as it once acted in Janet's favor, now does so for Dee, sparing her from marrying the same man who had once paid court to Janet. This twenty-twenty vision of a deteriorating personality makes up in perception what it lacks in pleasantness.