Please join us on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7 PM PDT for an online author chat with Jessica Anya Blau discussing her novel, MARY JANE.
Our discussion will be webcast on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85002210763.
MARY JANE by Jessica Anya Blau is just plain awesome!
It takes place in Baltimore in 1975 and is a coming-of-age story of fourteen year old Mary Jane and what happens during that summer when everything she had always believed is turned upside down.
Mary Jane takes a summer nannying job with Cones and their precocious five year old daughter Izzy. What she doesn’t know is Dr. Cone is psychiatrist who specializes in addictions. When a rock star and his famous wife move into the Cone’s house for a 24 hour a day intensive therapy to kick his heroin addiction Mary Jane’s eyes are opened to a completely different world.
MARY JANE is a celebration of what family is. It’s also a book about letting go and learning how to really love each other despite their flaws and to embrace your own talent and creativity.
"I LOVED this novel....If you have ever sung along to a hit on the radio, in any decade, then you will devour Mary Jane at 45 rpm." —Nick Hornby
Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this funny, wise, and tender 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.
About the Author
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.