Mary Jane

Mary Jane

by

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"Almost Famous" meets Daisy Jones and 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 strait-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 Show Tunes 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. 

Title:Mary Jane
ISBN:9780063052291
Format Type:

    Mary Jane Reviews

  • Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE, DON'T MISS THIS ONE***4 ½ rounded up. I would not compare this book to another as it can stand on it’s own merit!!This was a refreshingly fun and ultimately hopeful book, perfect ...

  • Olive Fellows (abookolive)

    Click here to hear my thoughts on this book over on my Booktube channel, abookolive.This is an adorable coming-of-age story set in 1975 Baltimore. Mary Jane Dillard, the title character, is a 14-year-...

  • Angela M

    3.5 stars rounded up .This is a great summer read, a coming of age story of a fourteen year old girl in the mid ‘70’s set in Baltimore, MD. It is though, reflective in a broader sense of what was ...

  • Diane S ?

    4.5 What a delightful story. Its been a while since I read a book that made me smile and that upon finishing I felt content, satisfied. A coming of age story with a young fourteen year Mary Jane, whos...

  • Susanne  Strong

    Is it possible to come of age in a mere summer? For fourteen-year-old Mary Jane, the answer is a resounding yes.The year is 1970, the place is Baltimore. Mary Jane Dillard is a teenager whose life is ...

  • Larry H

    4.5 stars, rounded up.Looking for a terrific coming-of-age story about a teenager who realizes there’s more to life than her sheltered upbringing? Read Mary Jane , the new novel by Jessica Anya B...

  • Barbara

    This is one of my favorite novels this year! I thank GR friend Holly for her terrific review which brought this to my radar. What a delight it was to be engrossed in the summer of 1975 with the sweet ...

  • Caroline

    ***SPOILERS HIDDEN***I couldn’t find the magic in this story about an adolescent who one summer works a babysitting gig for a free-spirited family. The protagonist and narrator is Mary Jane Dillard,...

  • *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    4.5 rounded up to 5 StarsThis gem of a book was like buried treasure. The synopsis had some seductive elements such as the setting of 1970, being a teenager...and music-of course! I grew up in the six...

  • Marilyn

    I did not hesitate to give Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau 4.5 very strong glimmering stars after I finished reading this amazing coming of age book. It was so hard for me to put this book down once I ...