Looking for Jane: Book Review

Very few books have fired me up as much as Looking for Jane, the debut novel by Heather Marshall. Is it historical fiction or a contemporary view of current events? With everything happening in the world of women's reproductive rights it feels a bit more like a glimpse into the present, which is why this hard-hitting historical fiction is a great reminder of why fighting for our rights as women is SO important. Looking for Jane challenges readers to stop and think about what they might do in a variety of situations. This powerful new novel is on my list of the Best Books Published in 2023, and on the Best Of lists of many of my Bookstagram besties. Don't sleep on this one!

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Looking for Jane Book Review

Quick Look⁣

  • historical fiction ⁣
  • triple POV/timelines⁣
  • check trigger warnings
  • feminist fiction at its finest ⁣

Pub Date: February 7, 2023⁣

Thank you ever so much to @Netgalley and @atriabooks for the gifted copy!⁣

Publisher's Synopsis

2017: When Angela Creighton discovers a mysterious letter containing a life-shattering confession, she is determined to find the intended recipient. Her search takes her back to the 1970s when a group of daring women operated an illegal underground abortion network in Toronto known only by its whispered code name: Jane.

1971: As a teenager, Dr. Evelyn Taylor was sent to a home for “fallen” women where she was forced to give up her baby for adoption—a trauma she has never recovered from. Despite the constant threat of arrest, she joins the Jane Network as an abortion provider, determined to give other women the choice she never had.

1980: After discovering a shocking secret about her family, twenty-year-old Nancy Mitchell begins to question everything she has ever known. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she feels like she has no one to turn to for help. Grappling with her decision, she locates “Jane” and finds a place of her own alongside Dr. Taylor within the network’s ranks, but she can never escape the lies that haunt her.

Looking for Jane is “a searing, important, beautifully written novel about the choices we all make and where they lead us—as well as a wise and timely reminder of the difficult road women had to walk not so long ago” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

My Review

Shut. The. Front. Door. This book is absolutely incredible, y'all!!! I cannot stress this enough: THIS BOOK IS ESSENTIAL READING. It’s full of triggering content, some of which will ruffle feathers, but the point the author makes with the story of these three women is powerful and very relevant. Superb storytelling, relatable characters, and an eye-opening glimpse into history = unforgettable historical fiction.

I implore every woman, regardless of her political leanings, to read this book. Looking for Jane is about being a woman, about motherhood, and about women supporting women. There is truly something for everyone in this book, which is why it's so powerful. Marshall treads carefully on sensitive topics but carries a big stick which she uses to hit readers right over the head. 😂 I can see why some might be put off by the content, but the author's ability to show all sides of the issues gives voice to everyone in a meaningful way.

My Rating

No matter how you feel about reproductive rights, Looking for Jane should be required reading if you have ovaries. This book is such a powerhouse debut, and I honestly cannot wait to see what Heather Marshall writes next! Do not sleep on this book, especially the author's note at the end.

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About Carlie

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