SRQ Book Club: Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau

Arts & Culture

Mary Jane: A Novel is the perfect summer time fiction read set in Baltimore, Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware during the oxymoronic 1970’s. A decade duly described as an oxymoron considering it was both an era of candid innocence (think of the t.v. shows like All in the Family), and a period of wild decadence ie. Playboy Magazines, swingers and drugs.

Mary Jane is an only child teen stuck in the middle of these extremes with two conservative parents still clinging to ‘traditional’ values. When she gets the chance to nanny for a summer for two liberal by-products of the 60’s types, she realizes just how uptight (and prejudicially close minded) her parents are. This is not to say that her employers are innocent or perfect, yet their honesty helps Mary Jane discover herself as an individual simultaneously converging with the universal epiphany that parents are simply fallible humans rather than gods.

For people who came of age in the 1970’s, this book is a retrospective blast involving all the kitsch of the ‘70’s, Bonne Bell lip gloss, Aqua Net hairspray, to starch ironed sheets, just to name a few. A fun subplot involving a celebrity couple reminiscent of Cher and Gregg Allman, who move in with the groovy parents whom Mary Jane works for, introduce her to everything from sex talk, risque fashions (think crocheted bikinis), and the rock and roll musical Hair.

Many times, people come into BookStoreOne yearning for a book that’s not bleak or trauma filled and Mary Jane: A Novel is the ticket for a fun, but poignant walk down memory lane. Mary Jane: A Novel is available now at BookStoreOne Sarasota at 12 S. Palm Avenue

Click here for more information.

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