Book Review

Book Review: Looking for Jane by Heather Marshall

Looking for Jane touched me in so many ways. Heather Marshall did a great job with this story of motherhood and everything that it entails. She introduces us to Angela Creighton, Dr. Evelyn Taylor, and Nancy Mitchell. Each of their story lines begin disconnected, but poignant in their own lives. In 2017, Angela and her wife are going through invitro, trying to have a baby. In 1960, Evelyn is an unwed teenager, sent to St. Agnes, to hid her baby from the world and give it up for adoption. In 1979, Nancy is a young adult meeting her cousin who plans to have an illegal abortion.

All these women’s stories start with a wayward letter found by Angela in a piece of antique furniture at the place she works. The first line of the novel reads: “It was a perfectly ordinary day when a truly extraordinary letter was delivered to the wrong mailbox.” Angela’s quest to get this very important letter to its rightful owner spurs her journey, and she’s diligent in searching for the woman in her letter. She has endured several miscarriages and desperately wants a child and the mother who wrote the letter touches her soul.

As we follow their lives and their stories unfold, the theme of motherhood and a women’s desire to become a mother or not is woven artlessly into the plot and I was pulled in by their individual tales. I wanted Angela to accomplish her goal and become pregnant. I wanted Evelyn to get through her trial of being an unwed mother and have a wonderful life. I wanted Nancy to save her friend and find love. I learned a lot about how women’s lives were treated before I was born. The way we had no choice in so many of our major decisions and the dedicated women who tried to change the world. I studied the mothers in this story and how their choices affected themselves, those around them, and those they loved.

In Heather Marshall’s note, Looking for Jane is “about motherhood. About wanting to be a mother and not wanting to be a mother, and all the gray areas in between.” This book explores all areas of motherhood and all the forms and fashions of being a mother. It is not one to be missed and brings the current struggle for a women’s and man’s choice in parenthood decisions into a full circle of understanding. I give this book a big 4.5 Stars!!

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