Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this delightful (New York Times Book Review) novel about a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for - who...Read More
Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this delightful (New York Times Book Review) novel about a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for - who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.
In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family's subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she's glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane's mother says. In a respectable house.
The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it's a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane's mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job--helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.
Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she's always known and the future she's only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she's going to be.
Jessica Anya Blau was born in Boston and raised in Southern California. Her novels have been featured on The Today Show, CNN and NPR, and in Cosmo, Vanity Fair, Bust, Time Out, Oprah Summer Reads and other national publications. Jessica's short stories and essays have been published in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies. Jessica co-wrote the script for Love on the Run starring Frances Fisher and Steve Howey. She sometimes works as a ghost writer and has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College and The Fashion Institute of Technology. Jessica lives in New York.
"I LOVED Jessica Anya Blau's novel. Mary Jane is about an oppressed teenager being given a jolt of life and joy by an eccentric found family of therapists, a child, a rock star and a movie star in the 1970s....If you have ever sung along to a hit on the radio, in any decade, then you will devour Mary Jane at 45rpm." - Nick Hornby
"This novel is a week at the beach with rock stars, it's a three-part harmony at a kitchen table, it's finding a family where you fit in. Jessica Anya Blau is a smart, generous, sensitive storyteller, and Mary Jane is a loving, sexy, funny, and beautiful book." - Gabriel Brownstein, author of The Open Heart Club
"I dare you to find a more winning novel than Jessica Anya Blau's Mary Jane. Filled with humor and sharpness and so much light, this book introduces an amazing cast of characters, all so unique and finely observed, held together by the clarity of Mary Jane's voice. It evokes those rare moments when your world is on the precipice of change, almost a dream, and how thrilling it is to push your way toward something new." - Kevin Wilson
"Blau's coming-of-age charmer will hit all of the nostalgia notes." - Parade
"Blau's intelligent, witty novel captures the essence of the '70s with humor and immensely appealing characters. Highly recommended." - Library Journal
"A charming and poignant tale of desire, image, Americana, and chosen family." - Booklist
"Both poignant and tremendously funny...unendingly charming and fun." - Shelf Awareness
"Delightful...Blau is a deft hand with comic juxtaposition and domestic fantasy. She keeps it light, she keeps it moving and she's got terrific visuals...You can watch the movie in your mind. Lady Gaga as Sheba? I'm already casting it." - New York Times Book Review