In Fidelity: A Novel

by M.J. Rose

Published by Pocket Books

368 pages, 2001

Buy it online




Where Roses Fall

Reviewed by Lynne Remick


It's been five years since therapist Jordan Sloan caught her photographer husband with a model in his dark room. It's high time she started moving on.

In Jordan's case, getting on with her life won't be easy: A college-aged guy named Cooper who practices Zen has captured the love of her 17-year-old daughter, Lily. The man who murdered her father is being released on parole. Her mother has moved to California and practices far-eastern religions that Jordan doesn't understand. One of her difficult patients is trying to probe into her personal feelings. Her husband still sends her lilies on her birthday and hasn't had a serious relationship since the separation. And, someone is stalking her.

Ever since her ex-boyfriend Dan Mallory murdered her father, Jordan hasn't been able to go near roses and their blood-red petals -- a fact commonly known by her family and friends. Then roses show up on her birthday instead of the usual lilies, with a card from her husband. Now, Jordan doesn't know whom to trust. Could it be her husband? A patient? Dan Mallory? Suddenly, Jordan's life is plagued with fears and shadows. As she sorts through them, what will be left, standing alone in the darkness?

When you are young you fall in love with love itself and do not want anything from anyone but your beloved. Later on, it takes great courage and a little bit of stupidity to fall in love and then you need all the help you can get from everyone around you...

Love is a tricky disease to cure. Any therapist, who predominately treats women, like I do, knows that. While men can fall hard and feel its sting, women are love's victims in a more profound way. Frankly, I was a bit tired of love. Of its vicissitudes and masks. Of its early bloom and all too easy decay. If I could have invented an antidote, I would have been the first one to take it.

Once again, M.J. Rose has penned a timely piece of fiction that is so real and inspiring you sometimes feel you're reading an autobiography. Similar to Lip Service, Rose's first novel, In Fidelity deals with a woman's sexual desires and repression, as well as her revolt against her husband.

Compelling, tantalizing, inspiring, mysterious, thought-provoking and erotic, In Fidelity offers a little bit of everything and does it very well. As Jordan Sloan questions life, deals with her father's death, her mother's progress, her husband's infidelity, her patients' fears and her daughter's coming of age, we learn -- not only about Jordan's motivations, but about our own.

In Fidelity's finely woven threads connect in a superb plot that thrills and chills on the way to a higher understanding. Authors like M.J. Rose, a talented writer who understands the woman's mind and motivations and can get the truth on paper, are few and far between. | January 2001


An avid reader, established reviewer and writer of poetry, non-fiction, fiction, historical romance and children's book, Lynne Remick can always be found with a book in her hand. She lives in New York with her fiance Michael, her son Kevin, her Schipperke Dante, a feral cat named Sahara and a spoiled hedgehog named Nike. There, in a little house once owned by her Great Grandparents, she reads, writes stories, book reviews, writing columns and poetry.