Jane

Description

149 pages
$15.95
ISBN 1-55128-067-1
DDC C813'.54

Publisher

Year

1999

Contributor

Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras teaches communication arts at the University of Calgary.

Review

The publication of this book is timely given the current media focus on
both male and female teenage violent crime. Jane is a disturbing
psychological thriller that shocks and offends, yet also enlightens and
touches.

The narrator is Jane, a young woman who is at once terrifying and
pathetic. Her narration is addressed to her manipulative, self-centred,
and evil boyfriend, a perspective that underlines his unhealthy
centrality in her life. As the novel progresses, we learn about the
abusive home environment and the other factors (such as peer pressure
and popular culture’s depiction of romance) that have slowly eroded
Jane’s self-esteem. So diminished is her sense of her own power that
she tries to rationalize her boyfriend’s sexual dalliances with other
girls: “I think there are ones I never met, from your nights out with
the boys and your prowling around alone. ... None of them mean anything
special. Only I can call myself your fiancée. I’m the special one.”

This dysfunctional relationship leads not only to Jane’s loss of
identity but also to murder. It is at this point that we enter a
frightening and sordid world where reality is not easily discernible.
Jane provides much insight into today’s troubled youth but should be
avoided by those in search of a light read.

Citation

MacDonald, Judy., “Jane,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/7792.