Looking For Jane
By: Heather Marshall Narrator: Sarah Borges
Simon & Schuster
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 02/07/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars +(ARC)
#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
This “powerful debut” (Hello! Canada) for fans of Kristin Hannah and Jennifer Chiaverini about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter, a mother’s love, and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose—inspired by true stories.
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 harrowing police raids and 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).
Heather Marshall's debut LOOKING FOR JANE, is superb! Timely, powerful, beautifully written, and researched, a haunting look at the state of Canada and its history regarding women's rights inspired by true stories.
There are three intriguing interwoven timelines of three women whose lives are bound by a long-lost letter. A mother's love and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose.
2017: Angela Creighton discovers a mysterious letter containing a life-shattering confession. She is determined to find the intended recipient, going back to the 1970s.
1971: Dr. Evelyn Taylor as a teen, was forced to give up her baby for adoption. Later, she joins the Jane Network as an abortion provider determined to give other women a choice she never had.
1980: Nancy Mitchell discovers a shocking family secret that she was adopted. When she becomes pregnant, she has nowhere to turn. She discovers Jane and Dr. Taylor.
Meticulously researched, the characters jump off the page. This is a powerful and moving debut that deals with emotionally charged topics. From adoption, abortion, miscarriage, suicide, and abuse. The author handles these issues with compassion and sensitivity.
A critical and timely book when we are faced with rights today. A story of motherhood and choices. The author dives deep into the laws and resources to support this cause.
Today many women are forced to look for "a Jane" to help. Every woman should be able to make decisions (or options) about her own body instead of being forced into something that goes against their will. We all have to join in the fight for justice.
I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the Author's Note and more about The Maternity Home System, The Jane Network, The Fall of Roe, and more.
Deeply compelling, from shocking secrets of a buried past, a maternity home, and a secret network of healthcare workers for the rights to choose with two rules:
Rule # 1 Call hospitals and ask for Jane.
Rule #2 Never use your real name.
Three generations of women linked: mothers and daughters —supporting one another —this one will steal your heart.
Highly recommend. For fans of Kristin Hannah and Patti Callahan Henry. Top Books of 2023.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars ++
Pub Date: Feb 7, 2023
“Marshall vividly brings to life the dangers involved with operating Jane… a page-turner… readers will be moved by the courage and thoughtfulness with which these characters face their dilemmas.” —Publishers Weekly
“Marshall makes an absorbing debut with a timely novel about the complexities of pregnancy and motherhood… [a] deftly braided narrative, Marshall keeps the tension high as she reveals the devastating consequences of denying women autonomy over their bodies. A charged topic handled with sensitivity and compassion.”
“A confident debut that offers a fascinating, often disturbing insight into the state of Canadian women’s reproductive rights in our recent history. . . . Timely.”
— The Globe and Mail
“A powerful debut . . . an emotional but compelling story, inspired by real events, which takes an eye-opening look at abortion, its costs, and a not-so-distant chapter of Canadian history.”
— Hello! Canada
“Masterful . . . A poignant celebration of motherhood, and a devastating reminder of the consequences of denying women the right to choose. Fierce, beautifully written, and unforgettable.”
— FIONA DAVIS, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace
“Heather Marshall has pulled off a remarkable feat with this vital and incisive tale. It is at once an urgently necessary read and a pleasure to spend time with. The characters felt like friends, their story deeply essential to my own existence. A brave, generous, capable exploration of what it means to be a mother, to be a woman, and to stand up for inexorable truths.”
— MARISSA STAPLEY, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky
“An original and poignant story that holds a mirror to the ongoing fight for women’s rights. In reflecting on a dark spot in Canadian history, Heather Marshall speaks to the power of solidarity and of brave women who dare to take a stand.”
— ELLEN KEITH, bestselling author of The Dutch Wife
“A heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and shocking story about women’s struggle for reproductive choice in Canada.”
— ADRIENNE CHINN, author of The English Wife
“A masterful debut about motherhood and choices, the things we keep, the things we lose, and the things that stay with us and change us at our core forever. . . . 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 of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“Marshall shines a spotlight on the unsettling truths and heartbreaking realities faced by women of every generation. Looking for Jane is a compelling, courageous must-read about motherhood and choice.”
— GENEVIEVE GRAHAM, USA Today and #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child
“A beautifully written meditation on the lengths mothers will go to for their children as well as an eye-opening history of women. It is an ode to the doctors, nurses, and volunteers who fought for the rights of future generations to have a say over their bodies. This gracefully entwined story of three generations of women, societal mores, and mothers and daughters stole my heart.”
— JANET SKESLIEN CHARLES, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library
“A compelling story of three women whose lives become entwined as they each fight for the right to make their own choices about their bodies and motherhood. Beautifully written, with a cast of strong female characters I was rooting for from start to finish. I loved it.”
— CAROLINE BISHOP, author of The Other Daughter and The Lost Chapter
About the Author
Photo Credit: Amanda Kopcic
Heather Marshall was born and raised in Canada, where she lives with her family and their giant cuddlebug golden retriever.
After completing two Master’s degrees, Heather worked for several years in politics and communications before finally turning her attention to her true passion: storytelling.
Aside from writing, some of Heather’s favourite things include lavender, old houses covered in ivy (preferably with a good ghost story), cups of tea, bingeing episodes of Frasier, and roaming dusty bookshops with her husband.
Her debut novel Looking for Jane was an instant #1 bestseller and dominated the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail bestseller charts for 18 weeks, including 5 consecutive weeks at #1! Stay tuned for her next novel, which will hit shelves in 2024.
Visit her website and connect on social channels at HeatherMarshallAuthor.com.