Jane Was Here by Sarah Kernochan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There's a story behind why I ended up reading this book. I was on my annual holiday down in Constantine Bay, Cornwall, back in May this year. I was reading an interview with Clark Gregg in Empire Film magazine. He was featured because his recurring character, S.H.I.E.LD. Agent Phil Coulson, was returning in The Avengers. The article revealed a couple of surprising things about him. As well as learning that he is he married to Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), I discovered that he has had quite a successful screenwriting career as well - The Harrision Ford and Michelle Pheiffer movie What Lies Beneath being referred to specifically as something he co-wrote in the article. Anyway, "what has all of this got to do with anything?" you may ask. The very next day, I noticed that a lady who had begun to follow me on Twitter that day had a profile which described her as an Oscar winning filmmaker, screenwriter and author of paranormal suspense thriller Jane Was Here. My new follower's name was Sarah Kernochan. Intrigued, I searched google to find out if she had done anything I had heard of. Indeed, she had. Her first screenwriting credit had been for the Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger movie 9 1/2 weeks. She also co-wrote the 1993 Richard Gere and Jodie Foster movie Sommerbsy, but I was amazed to learn that she was credited with co-writing What Lies Beneath. It struck me as an astonishing coincidence, and it just goes to show how small a world it is with so many unlikely connections emerging within such a short space of time. It had only been the day before that I had been surprised at Clark Gregg's involvement in What Lies Beneath and now I had been found by the lady who had passed the draft onto him to take forward (I sent her a message about it at the time and she replied that she had only met him once. She did the draft and he took over when she left to work on another film.) So, it just seemed right that I bought her novel. It was like something from that Kiefer Sutherland TV show, Touch.
It took about a month, but the novel arrived. After reading it, I felt compelled to share my story and what I thought about the novel.
Jane Was Here is a multi-layered story about the arrival of a young woman in a small town affecting the lives of many of its residents. Whilst it has the potential to seem like the author has chosen to fill sections of the novel with pointless plot strands shooting away from the main plot, nothing is unnecessary and everything is ultimately significant. The young woman brings a mystery with her, which imaginatively fuses the past with the present whilst addressing reincarnation, religion and fate. It may be Sarah Kernochan's screenwriting talent that contributes to the vivid way in which this suspenseful tale is told. The reader is compelled by the twists thrown along the puzzling path towards the far-reaching climax. As Past and Present powerfully collide, the author masterfully takes the reader on a breathtaking ride. With a mixture of well-formed characters, this is one recommended read that fate thankfully brought to my door.
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