Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fantastic! I loved it!
Jane Anonymous is abducted after stopping at the boutique where she works to pick up her best friends birthday gift that she had forgotten to bring home. The store is closed but the guy looks nice, he is handsome and seems genuine about it being his 1 year anniversary with his girlfriend, so she lets him in. He gets her with chloroform after she turns around to wrap up his gift.
The story is told from the ten months after the day she was abducted when she is back at home. She was held for over seven months and she is trying to come to terms with what happened. She came back in pieces as she describes it (PTSD in psychological terms), but she refuses to talk to the psychologists she tried because of different issues, one used candles that smelled like the ones her captor “the monster” used, another treated her like she was crazy.
So Jane decides to write about her experience as a form of therapy, both her time in captivity and since she got home. So the book goes back and forth, then (from her kidnapping forward) to now (present). As Jane tries to understand everything that happened to her and work through her trauma, we as readers are finding out what happened in the order it happened and also finding out how it is affecting her now that she is at home.
As you would expect, Jane is having trouble adjusting at home. She went through various types of physical and mental torture while in captivity, though I won’t give any spoilers as to what those were but to say it wasn’t a standard kidnapping. The book had my emotions going all over the place, I was feeling for Jane so much.
I felt so bad for her when she was free but trying to recreate her own room to be more like the room in captivity. She knew it is better being free, but almost feels safer in that room where nobody can get her or talk to her. I cried throughout half of the book because it was heart wrenching.
Because I can’t sleep.
Because Memory can’t catch me if I keep a fast pace.
Because my parents’ door is closed, but Night can’t shut me out.
Because I’m not supposed to be out at this hour, especially after everything, especially all alone—and so it feels a little like power.
As Jane gets further in her story and continues to struggle with being at home, her Mother tries to get her back to normal by forcing her to go out or to see her friends. Her Mom can’t heal until Jane heals, which puts more pressure on Jane. Jane struggles with her feelings for Mason who was one of the other people held captive and was able to cut a small hole in the wall so they could hold hands. Her struggles with the reasons for why “the monster” took her were hardest of all.
“What do you feel most nervous about?”
“Facing the truth, I guess.”
“The truth about . . .”
“What happened when I was taken.” I study her face, trying to figure out if she knows my story, if she saw it on the news or read it in the papers.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.