Rating:

miss jane book coverReviewed by Meredith Kelly

Miss Jane by Brad Watson was an exceptionally well written book. The prose was beautiful and the novel had a gentleness about it. I especially enjoyed reading about Jane’s love of nature and how she seemed to flourish whenever around it.

Birds, reptiles and a few other mammals – and some people like Jane Chisolm – are born with a posterior orifice that serves as the only opening for the digestive, reproductive, and urinary tracts.

Forced to wear diapers her entire life, this did not stop Jane from realizing happiness–a feat considering that her home life was also less than ideal.

Her mother, a depressed woman, turned Jane’s care over to Grace, her much older daughter, almost from birth. Her father, who tried his best, did not know how to handle the home situation and turned to moonshine as his sole, sad, solace.

Jane’s only friend, the older county doctor, was steadfast with his support and tried to help her with understanding and improving Jane’s rare medical condition–help she always declined.

Jane did have a beau for a short time, Elijah Key, whose family owned the farm next to theirs. Jane first met Elijah while wandering in the woods one day. The question of community center’s dances came up and later that fall, Jane finally made up her mind to go to one. She made sure she had nothing to drink that day so that she wouldn’t have an accident and asked her father to drive her. She enjoyed herself immensely even though no one asked her to dance at first. By the second dance, however, Elijah and some of the other boys got up the nerve to ask her. She loved being in Elijah’s arms.

Elijah started coming over on Sunday afternoons and they would take walks down to the pond and talk and laugh as they did so. Unfortunately, Jane’s parents were concerned that they were getting too serious and that the boy would break her heart. They told Jane that she would be moving into town to work with her sister. The last time she saw Elijah she told him that she wouldn’t be seeing him again…

I loved this book for its simplicity and would highly recommend it to any book club, or simply anyone who enjoys a good read.


Meredith has been an avid reader since childhood and loves to talk about books. A bit of a Luddite, she has only recently become acquainted with E-Reading and online book reviews. She finds exposure to such a wide audience of opinion on books fascinating.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by W.W. Norton & Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.