Mary Jane

Mary Jane

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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

  • Regina

    Let me start with what Mary Jane is not. Despite the bold publisher blurb, it IS NOT “Almost Famous” meets Daisy Jones and the Six. At least they get the next bit right when they call it a “funn...

  • 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 ...

  • MarilynW

    Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau, Caitlin Kinnunen (Narrator)It's 1975 and fourteen year old Mary Jane lives with her well to do, straight laced to the max, mom and dad in an affluent Baltimore communit...

  • Liz

    Oh my, did this bring back some memories. I grew up in Northern Baltimore, amidst the whole WASP private school, country club deal. It took going away to college to understand what an enclave it 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...

  • 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-...

  • Tina

    Absolutely superb! It's going down as one of my favourites for 2021The story is wonderful and compelling. I listened to the audible version and the narrator was magnificent with all the voices and exc...

  • Jen

    Upping this to a 5 - Everyone needs a little Mary Jane in their lives! And because this is such a memorable and fun one, I'm giving it the stars it deservesAh, Mary Jane. No, not the weed, but the 14 ...

  • 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 ...

  • Holly  B

    3.5 StarsThe summer nanny, Mary Jane sees some chaotic and shocking things when she meets the Cone family!This was an enjoyable, amusing little getaway.It is all about the characters. Mary Jane is fou...