Macdonald's 30th doorstopper proves once again that a born storyteller can rise above genre clichés by sheer dint of good humor and a wealth of passions. Set in 1912, Rose of . . . strikes gold with Lucinda-Ella "Rose" Tremayne, a lady's maid for teenaged Fenella Carclew, who is a mistress of mimicry and hits off Fenella's "howwid," "Fwench," "impwess," and "pywamids" perfectly. As in Tamsin Harte (2000), the characters are still pondering Howard's End when Rose lands a job as assistant stage manager with Lord Gordon Fitzroy's Players and one night must go on to replace Fitzroy's wife, who plays a Bohemian Jewess thuppothed to thpeak with a lithp. Rose is such a success that she becomes a lead and tours England and America with the Players.