“Jane’s Away” by Clare Hawken
Green Gables Book Review’s thoughts:
First, THIS COVER! It is so eye-catching and different from most of the covers out right now. I love it and that’s what drew me to read the overview of Jane’s Away.
My favorite character is Jane and Roger’s grandson, nearly three-year-old, Alfie. I love that he can’t say his “r’s” and how he keeps everyone on their toes. BUT… he has so much energy! I needed a nap after reading about Roger’s first day with him!
Love the setting, love the idea of this book, love all the characters, love the “firmness” of Jane, love seeing Roger’s transformation through the book.
Totally 5 stars. It is “tough love” but not in the usual way that people think of those words.
About the book
Roger, is looking forward to his retirement. He is looking forward to traveling and free time to do whatever he wants. He has a good life, a commanding personality, and he and Jane have been married for nearly 40 years. That little mistake of his years ago is just a shadow in his mind.
His, wife, Jane has other plans. Jane is tired of Roger. She is tired of him not listening to her and taking advantage of her, and his smugness. Finding out his secret from years ago was the last straw.
When Roger goes to pick up Jane at the day-surgery center after she had a mole removed, he realizes he drank way too much at his retirement luncheon. So much, in fact, that he can’t figure out where Jane is. The hospital is no help, and he even gets escorted away. Confused, and intoxicated, he heads home, thinking Jane will be there waiting for him.
He gets home and the lights are not on, there’s no smell of dinner and no sound of Jane. Roger is a bit concerned but knows she will turn up soon. He must have confused the location of the place of her mole removal. His phone calls to her are not being answered. The next day, after Roger talks with their sons, he begins to worry. Has Jane been kidnapped? Will he need to sell something to get ransom money? The house? Investments? Roger, Sam, and Andy wait for a ransom message to arrive.
An email does arrive, but it is not a ransom, it is from Jane! And, it is simple a To-Do list. Roger is soon trying to navigate life. He is taking care of young Alfie, who he feels is quite messy and spoiled, and shrinking his clothes in the laundry, and cleaning up after their dog, Killer.
From here on through, the book is filled with laugh-out-loud moments as dignified Roger tries to fill Jane’s shoes. He soon finds that he had no idea about Jane’s day-to-day life. And, he starts to wonder about the real reason behind Jane’s being away.
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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About Clare Hawken: (from her website bio)
I grew up in Zambia and had an idyllic childhood reading books in the sunshine. After going to boarding school in Cornwall when I was eleven, which was an enormous shock to my system – Penzance in the winter is not a sunny place – I read Modern Languages at university.
After several years of working in London, I went to Australia on holiday and fell in love with Sydney. Living there was like a fairy tale compared with working on the grimy outskirts of London and as a result, Sydney seems to find its way into my writing even when the setting is on the other side of the world.
Once I had children, I had more time to write. And it was also time to come home, if only to avoid the 24-hour flights to see family with my kids asking, ‘Are we there yet?’ before we’d even taken off. We now live in Wiltshire in the middle of fields, which required a rapid update to my Sydney wardrobe of shorts and flip-flops.
Apart from writing, I enjoy reading voraciously across a wide range of genres; other people’s gardens (green-fingered I am not); kitchen discos with my increasingly reluctant children; and walking the world’s most stubborn springer spaniel.