Book Review: JANE WAS HERE by Sarah Kernochan

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Publisher: Grey Swan Press
Released: June 14, 2011
Source: Review copy provided for being a part of the author’s book tour
Rating: ★★★★


A mysterious young woman called Jane appears in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in this place, yet she has never been here before in her life. Searching for an explanation, she arrives at the unthinkable: that she is somehow connected to a beautiful girl who disappeared from the town in 1853. Is she recalling a past life? Jane becomes convinced of it. As she presses onward to find out what happened in this town over 150 years ago, strange and alarming things begin happening to some of the town’s inhabitants. A thunderhead of karmic justice gathers over the village as Jane’s memories reawaken piece by piece. They carry her back in time to a long-buried secret, while the townspeople hurtle forward to a horrific event when past and present fatally collide.


Wow, this book really pulled me in. It was a dark, eerie story about reincarnation and karma punishing the sins of past lives. A mysterious young woman calling herself Jane wanders into the town of Graynier. No one knows who she is, and she doesn’t seem to know either. Jane shows up at the house that Brett Sampson is renting for the summer, telling him it used to be her home. She’s searching for clues to her past in hopes of discovering her true identity. Brett feels an unexplainable connection to this strange woman, and he agrees to let her stay with him. After Jane arrives, bad things start happening to some of the townspeople. Is Jane the cause of the trouble, or is there another outside force with an agenda of its own?

This is the second book I’ve read this year where I didn’t like any of the main characters, but I really enjoyed the story. I don’t think the reader was meant to like them. Their foul personalities and shameful behavior were integral parts of the book. I was engrossed in the story trying to figure out how everyone was connected to Jane. {I can’t go into more detail because I don’t want to risk giving away spoilers!}

Jane’s tale is not a pretty one, but it’s one that kept me turning the pages late into the night. The author is also a screen writer, and you can see that in the vivid descriptions of places and events. There were parts that were spooky and parts that were pretty gruesome. JANE WAS HERE is a suspenseful read that fans of dark thrillers would enjoy.

Favorite Quote:

When you get old, you know that everything comes and goes and then comes along again.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the book tour company in exchange for an honest review.

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