by Joanne Kukanza Easley
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Pub Date 19 Mar 2020 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2020
A Note From the Publisher
“With an authentic voice and a true sense of place, Joanne Kukanza Easley delivers a powerful read in Sweet Jane.” –Johnnie Bernhard, award-winning author of A Good Girl, How We Came to Be “A multi-layered tale of a woman’s search for her place in the world despite the challenges of growing up with an alcoholic mother.” –Francis Hicks, author of The Long Ride: Learning About Life from an Outlaw Biker
Average rating from 7 members
A big Thank you to Black Rose Writing, Joanne Kukanza Easley and Netgalley for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.
This was a great debut novel for author Joanne Kukanza Easley.
By age six, Jane, a lonely and precocious child, knows vodka makes Mama mean. After years of dodging her drunken mama, Jane runs away at sixteen — during the Summer of Love. Despite seventeen years of keeping secrets while searching for love in dysfunctional relationships, Jane looks good on paper: married, graduate school, coin-carrying member of AA. But her carefully constructed life is crumbling. Returning for Mama’s funeral catapults her back to the events that made her the woman she is.
I loved that the author touched on Jane's experiences at Haight-Ashbury during the "Summer of Love" in 1967, and dropped some famous names at the time.
My emotions ran all over the place while reading this book. I felt anger towards her mother for what she did to her, but later felt sad for her. I even found myself chuckling a couple times.
The themes of the book cover alcoholism, self-respect, forgiveness, and honesty. I would recommend this book to anyone.
This was a good debut novel. If you enjoy family dramas, especially those that involve struggles with addiction, this book does a good job of placing the reader in the midst of that chaotic and tragic setting. I liked that the author mentioned songs throughout the book and thought that detail added an extra later to Jane’s character. I also enjoyed how well the author described West Texas. I’ve never been to Texas but I could envision it clearly as I read. My only criticism is that some of the dialogue felt awkward and even unnecessary. There were moments that I became a bit bored reading through some of the dialogue.
A drunken mother makes childhood ugly. Jane runs away at sixteen, determined to leave her fraught upbringing in the rearview. Vowing never to return, she hitchhikes to California, right on time for the Summer of Love. Seventeen years later, she looks good on paper: married, grad school, sober, but her carefully constructed life is crumbling. When Mama dies, Jane returns for the funeral, leaving her husband in the dark about her history. Seeing her childhood home and significant people from her youth catapults Jane back to the events that made her the woman she is. She faces down her past and the ghosts that shaped her family. A stunning discovery helps Jane see her problems through a new lens.
My emotions ran high in this book, Sweet Jane. It has everything in the stages of alcoholism, self-respect, forgiveness, and honesty. I being from Texas felt her back story so much. It had a true painting of growing up here.
This book will help many at any age. Forgiveness is the biggest.
Thanks to NetGalley for the copy to review. I will be buying these for friends, some in A.A. , Alon, etc.
Sweet Jane by Joanne Kukanza Easley is a book that takes you on an emotional journey with the main character. Jane has lived her life by moving forward and never really dealing with the past. Her home life was horrid. There were several incidences that were not her fault, but left her scarred for life. However, she was strong and moved on. Life seemed to have turned around totally for her, until her mother died.
I loved Jane as a character. I found the character and her struggles were so well done, that I was able to connect with her.The slow reveal of her past is what calls you to understanding her. Keeping her past a secret and not sharing the information can lead to problems with relationships. Especially when that is seen from a child’s eye. I found her struggles and searching important and I wanted to celebrate when she did. Allowing Jane room to grow while on a journey of self-discovery can be hohum, but I didn’t feel that way. I found it interesting and surprising.
Sweet Jane was a poignant read. The main character and the journey us what kept me totally involved with the story. Sweet Jane by Joanne Kukanza Easley was a good read.
I loved this book!!!! Journeying with Jane through her past and present was an emotional roller coaster. The way she rose from the ashes to overcome her past, then facing her demons and going forward was inspiring and brilliant!
So well written!!!!! Well done!!!!
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