Author: Sarah Kernochan
Genre: Mystery, horror
Pages: Hardback, 396
Opening Lines: "The night is pale, humid, with a few begrimed clouds. The moon has hung around so long it's ignored, unremarkable as a thumb-tack."
"A mysterious young woman calling herself Jane turns up in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in this place, yet she has never been here before in her life. Upon her arrival, strange and alarming things begin happening to some of the town's inhabitants. As Jane's memories reawaken piece by piece, they carry her back to a long-buried secret, while the townspeople hurtle forward to a horrific event when past and present fatally collide."
~ Jacket copy
Thoughts: Jane Was Here is definitely the kind of book I would normally pick up when it is sitting on the shelf. It was not a stretch that I literally jumped on the opportunity to be part of a book tour for this book. According to the jacket copy, it has all the elements of a good mystery, and the cover is a good draw with bones!
The book follows the path of several different characters: Marly, the town "whore"; Hoyt, who I might call the town screw up and barfly/alcoholic; Brett, a man caught up in Jane; Collin, a boy desperately wanting to connect with his father; Jane; and, to a lesser extent,Gita. One way or the other, all of these characters get wrapped up in Jane and her story. From the title, it might seem that Jane is the main character; however, I would argue that, at some level, all of these people are a corner stone for the story. Okay, let me rephrase that, Collin and Gita help move the plot forward and are catalysts for several things in the book. While their story is connected to Jane, they are not as wrapped up in her as the other characters. It is hard to explain without spoiling the books, and spoiling it would do a disservice to the book!
The major victory of this book are the characters. Even though they are all connected to Jane's story, I felt that each character was fleshed out and given enough time in the book. I felt connected to all of the them. The author provides enough background to each character to make them more sympathetic; however, she does not spend a lavish amount of time plotting out their full histories. She sets the stage beautifully and gives the audience just enough to paint their own picture of the characters. To me, it was the same with her scenery. It was there, fleshed out, but it didn't take over the book.
The book presented a growing sense of exigency. The plot continued to move forward, and the audience can feel Jane's anxiety about finding her true identity.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was hard getting anything done, because I could not put this book down. The book presented a growing sense of creepiness, which was a nice bonus! If you're interested in a good mystery, I highly recommend this book. It is a page turner.
About the Author
Sarah Kernochan received early acclaim for her Academy Award winning documentary Marjoe. She then recorded two albums for RCA as a singer-songwriter. In 1977, her first novel Dry Hustle was published. Returning to film, she scripted the the film Nine and ½ Weeks, Impromptu, Sommersby, What Lies Beneath and All I Wanna Do, which she also directed. She received a second Academy Award in 2002 for her short documentary Thoth. 2010 brought the re-issue of Dry Hustle as an ebook, and a third album of songs. 2011 brings us to Jane Was Here; Sarah’s first love and teenage ambition – a novel about reincarnation.
Check out the tour stops: http://crazybooktours.blogspot.com/2011/09/novdec-tour-jane-was-here-by-sarah.html