Jane Anonymous

St. Martin's/Wednesday Bks. Jan. 2020. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250303707.
Gr 10 Up–Seventeen-year-old “Jane” was popping into work for a last-minute gift when she was abducted. Held in captivity for seven months, Jane was fed through a cat door, instructed to bathe and keep her room clean, and given stars for good behavior. Then Jane met and developed a deeply emotional attachment to fellow captive Mason, who visited while sneaking through the air ducts. But when Jane finally escaped and sent the police back after Mason, he was nowhere to be found. Jane is back home with her family now, but she left part of herself behind. As she works to readjust to life outside of confinement, difficult memories begin to surface, and Jane isn’t sure she wants to know the truth. Alternating between events Then and Now—during captivity and the present—Jane tells her story as an attempt at therapy. The teen’s struggle is at the center of the plot and includes believable coping mechanisms, realistic depictions of panic attacks, and detailed descriptions of her confinement, but the work does touch on the suffering of side characters as well. Knowing from the beginning that she survives her ordeal allows readers to focus on the details of Jane’s captivity and recovery. Though this close examination may lead some readers to decipher the work’s conclusion beforehand, the ending is no less compelling because of it.
VERDICT A story about lingering trauma, loss, and the journey toward healing, this gripping crime novel could be a documentary from the Investigation Discovery channel. A must-read.

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