Mary Jane blog tour

Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this “delightful” (New York Times Book Review) novel about a 14-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, 14-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. 

In Mary Jane, Jessica Anya Blau shows her extraordinary gift for taking us back in time and experiencing this fateful summer alomgside Mary Jane and her extraordinary array of fascinating and diverse characters. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, and the pain, of growing up and I absolutely could not put this book down…

Am so happy to be on today’s Blog Tour of #MaryJane today. I really needed something that would take me away from it all thos week, and this book absolutely did the job. I love Barbara Trapido and this book gave me the same sense of having spent time with a fascinating and eclectic array of characters that make you feel like you wish you could live in the story alongside them.

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I absolutely loved this book. It’s a warm and uplifting read that will genuinely draw you into its world and make you feel part of the Cones’ bohemian amd memorable word as she tries to navigate adult life and all the curveballs that it throws her.She was desperate to experience life outwith the confines of her boringly straightlaced and suburban family – and she finds out that sometimes you need to be carefulmexactly what you wish for…

Mary Jane herself was a fantastic character that you can totally believe in. When I was reading about her summer and the many areas to navigate as she tries to throw herself into adult life, it’s an easy sentiment to connect with – I’m sure lots of you will have had that feeling when you think you’re a lot more grown-up than you actually are and end up in situations that you could never have anticipated. The job working for this eccentric family sounds very different on paper than the reality and you will be creasing up, hearing about some of the situations she finds herself caught up in.

Her experiences with the family – with the rock star, Running Water and his wife Sheba in the household and other more liberal practices being explored through her innocent eyes is one of the best things about this book. You will have had lots of these moments yourself where you’ve ended up finding things in common with people you’d never have imagined and this coming -of -age tale does it so much better than most. I loved the way that you are transported back into the fasgion, music and pop culture of this time and enjoyed the kick of nostalgia you get to experience as you get taken back to an entirely groovier time…

Jessica Anya Blau can really write. This is a beautifully written period pirece that absolutely captures some of the thoughts and feelings of a young girl on the cusp of adult life.  It presents a picture of a unique, hilarious and memorable young woman and captures a moment in time perfectly. I would absolutely love to see this on our screens in the future. When you read the other reviews on the blogtour, you’ll see how much everyone else has loved it too, so you don’t just have to take MY word for it…

Get yourself a copy here and enjoy this insight into the Cones world alongside Mary Jane this summer!

Writer On The Shelf

Jessica Anya Blau is the author of US bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and three other critically acclaimed novels, most recently The Trouble With Lexie. Her novels have been recommended and featured on CNN, NPR, The Today Show and in Vanity Fair, Cosmo, O Magazine, and many other US magazines and newspapers.