Mary Jane: a novel

Cori’s Pick:  Mary Jane: a novel by Jessica Anya Blau

Today I offer the third installment of summer Beach Read Season 2021!  I’m switching it up a bit with this recommendation in that it’s not a romance, but a coming-of-age story that I completely fell in love with.  It transported me to a decade that I was not around to enjoy, (but I really wish I had been) when music and love ruled the days and nights…for some.

Welcome to the world of fourteen-year-old Mary Jane.  She’s growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore in the 1970s and is the only child of her very straight-laced housewife mother and conservative lawyer father.  She listens to show tunes, goes to church, dines at the country club, and is basically a housewife-in-training under the careful and critical eye of her mother. 

Enter the Cone family.  Doctor and Mrs. Cone live in Mary Jane’s neighborhood and from the curb their well-kept home blends right in to the landscape with all of the others.  But when Mary Jane is hired by the Cones as a summer nanny for their five year old daughter, she steps into their living room and enters an entirely different world.  Mary Jane’s quiet and organized existence gets flipped upside down by the free-spirited and cluttered chaos of the Cone house, especially when a famous musician and his starlet wife arrive to live with them for the summer.  Before you know it, Mary Jane is experiencing life through a new lens and learning firsthand the world of sex, drugs and rock & roll!  But at the same time she’s realizing that there is more than one way to live your life…but the real question is, will her parents accept that?

This was such a great read! Include it in your July 4 weekend plans and whether that means you’ll be on the lake, at the beach or on your sofa is up to you, but bring this book! Enjoy and stay tuned, I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with Beach Read recommendation #4.