Looking for Jane: A Novel (Hardcover)
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February 2023 Indie Next List
“The life-changing choices faced by the women in Looking for Jane could not be more relevant. Stretching across five decades and three generations, this powerful novel is for anyone who cares about a woman’s right to decide her future.”
— Beth Stroh, Viewpoint Books, Columbus, IN
#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
“Clever and satisfying...has the potential to remain pertinent for generations.” —Associated Press
This “powerful debut” (Hello! Canada) for fans of Kristin Hannah and Jennifer Chiaverini about three women whose lives are bound together by a long-lost letter, a mother’s love, and a secret network of women fighting for the right to choose—inspired by true stories.
2017: When Angela Creighton discovers a mysterious letter containing a life-shattering confession, she is determined to find the intended recipient. Her search takes her back to the 1970s when a group of daring women operated an illegal underground abortion network in Toronto known only by its whispered code name: Jane.
1971: As a teenager, Dr. Evelyn Taylor was sent to a home for “fallen” women where she was forced to give up her baby for adoption—a trauma she has never recovered from. Despite harrowing police raids and the constant threat of arrest, she joins the Jane Network as an abortion provider, determined to give other women the choice she never had.
1980: After discovering a shocking secret about her family, twenty-year-old Nancy Mitchell begins to question everything she has ever known. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she feels like she has no one to turn to for help. Grappling with her decision, she locates “Jane” and finds a place of her own alongside Dr. Taylor within the network’s ranks, but she can never escape the lies that haunt her.
Looking for Jane is “a searing, important, beautifully written novel about the choices we all make and where they lead us—as well as a wise and timely reminder of the difficult road women had to walk not so long ago” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).
About the Author
Heather Marshall lives with her family near Toronto. She completed master’s degrees in Canadian history and political science, and worked in politics and communications before turning her attention to her true passion: storytelling. Looking for Jane is her debut novel. Visit her website and connect on social channels at HeatherMarshallAuthor.com.
“Clever and satisfying . . . [Looking for Jane] has the potential to remain pertinent for generations.”
—The Associated Press
“Marshall vividly brings to life the dangers involved with operating Jane… a page-turner… readers will be moved by the courage and thoughtfulness with which these characters face their dilemmas.”
“Marshall makes an absorbing debut with a timely novel about the complexities of pregnancy and motherhood… [a] deftly braided narrative, Marshall keeps the tension high as she reveals the devastating consequences of denying women autonomy over their bodies. A charged topic handled with sensitivity and compassion.”
"This timely novel about motherhood and choices is a must for all fiction collections."
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Masterful . . . A poignant celebration of motherhood, and a devastating reminder of the consequences of denying women the right to choose. Fierce, beautifully written, and unforgettable.”
— FIONA DAVIS, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace
“Heather Marshall has pulled off a remarkable feat with this vital and incisive tale. It is at once an urgently necessary read and a pleasure to spend time with. The characters felt like friends, their story deeply essential to my own existence. A brave, generous, capable exploration of what it means to be a mother, to be a woman, and to stand up for inexorable truths.”
— MARISSA STAPLEY, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky
“An original and poignant story that holds a mirror to the ongoing fight for women’s rights. In reflecting on a dark spot in Canadian history, Heather Marshall speaks to the power of solidarity and of brave women who dare to take a stand.”
— ELLEN KEITH, bestselling author of The Dutch Wife
“A masterful debut about motherhood and choices, the things we keep, the things we lose, and the things that stay with us and change us at our core forever. . . . A searing, important, beautifully written novel about the choices we all make and where they lead us—as well as a wise and timely reminder of the difficult road women had to walk not so long ago.”
— KRISTIN HARMEL, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“Marshall shines a spotlight on the unsettling truths and heartbreaking realities faced by women of every generation. Looking for Jane is a compelling, courageous must-read about motherhood and choice.”
— GENEVIEVE GRAHAM, USA Today and #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child
“A beautifully written meditation on the lengths mothers will go to for their children as well as an eye-opening history of women. It is an ode to the doctors, nurses, and volunteers who fought for the rights of future generations to have a say over their bodies. This gracefully entwined story of three generations of women, societal mores, and mothers and daughters stole my heart.”
— JANET SKESLIEN CHARLES, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library
“A heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and shocking story about women’s struggle for reproductive choice in Canada.”
— ADRIENNE CHINN, author of The English Wife
“A powerful debut . . . an emotional but compelling story, inspired by real events, which takes an eye-opening look at abortion, its costs, and a not-so-distant chapter of Canadian history.”
— Hello! Canada
“A confident debut that offers a fascinating, often disturbing insight into the state of Canadian women’s reproductive rights in our recent history. . . . Timely.”
— The Globe and Mail