Mary Jane (Compact Disc)

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Staff Reviews

"Mary Jane is fourteen years old and comes from the perfect family.  They sing in the church choir, belong to a country club and have an immaculate house and yard. Ironing and meal planning is serious business.  Sure, her father barely acknowledges her and her mother never hugs her and neither of them ever say they love her. So that's just how families are.

Until she takes a summer job as a nanny to a neighborhood girl.  The parents are unlike anyone Mary Jane has ever known and the household is in disarray.  There are stacks of dishes and dirty clothes and every day they eat takeout food that she has only ever heard of.

When the father clears his calendar to treat a live-in patient for drug addiction, Mary Jane's world gets turned around. Now a household with a rock star and his famous actress wife, Mary Jane tries to normalize the household with set meals and clean laundry, they in turn expose her to new ideas that clash with everything she has known.  

Mary Jane is a fantastic character that you will think about long after you finish this book!"--Reviwed by Jennifer

May 2021 Indie Next List

“Mary Jane is 14 in 1975 and her summer nannying job is filled with surprises, spontaneity, and love as she is pulled into the family of the little girl she watches. A sweet and funny story of discovering yourself, your loved ones, and where you fit in. It really hit home for me.”
— Courtney Boches, Reads & Company, Phoenixville, PA


I LOVED this novel....If you have ever sung along to a hit on the radio, in any decade, then you will devour Mary Jane at 45 rpm. --Nick Hornby

Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-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, fourteen-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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781665076289
ISBN-10: 1665076283
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 11th, 2021
Language: English

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