Book review: Miss Jane by Brad Watson

When Jane Chisolm was born on a farm in rural America, she was, as her doctor often told her, a ‘normal girl’. There was only one thing that made her different — a genital birth defect, that made her incontinent and unable to have sex.

Growing up with a guilt-ridden mother, a distant father, a self-involved sister, and a condition that made socialising with other people tricky, Jane’s childhood was never going to be easy. However, thanks to her determined and curious nature, and the help of a kind doctor who took Jane under his wing, she survived.

This book tells the story of her early life and the obstacles she faced — an attempt to attend school, the impact of the Great Depression on her father’s farm, his deteriorating mental health and her first romantic relationship. Written by author Brad Watson, who drew on the story of his own great-aunt to write the novel, this book invokes a deep sense of empathy with Jane, who’s a truly lovable character.

Miss Jane

Brad Watson

Book review: Miss Jane by Brad Watson

Picador, €15.47; ebook, €5.65


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