thoroughly entertaining | engaging | witty
what it says on the cover …
Handsome, successful husband. Adorable daughter. Chairwoman of the PTA. Security for her ailing mom. Jane’s got everything life has to offer. Including the lie that could destroy it all.
See Jane smile.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jane Osborne appears to the world like she has a charmed life. Her daughter attends private school. Jane chairs the PTA. Even her marriage to Dan, the handsome, prominent surgeon, is blissfully happy. Her universe is stable, and her future is fixed … just like that smile. Because it’s all a ruse. Unbeknownst to anyone, after eighteen years of marriage, Dan’s revealed that he’s been living a double life and is in love with a man. But for the sake of his career, Jane must keep that secret, secret.
See Jane lie.
With their livelihood on the line, Jane agrees to maintain appearances. But soon the weight of Dan’s deception and the pain of his betrayal get the better of her. Something’s got to give.
See Jane snap.
Quite publicly. And a bit unlawfully. With brutal honesty, Jane must confront her choices head-on and determine—for herself—if the facade of stability she’s been protecting is worth the price of her own sanity and happiness.
PUBLISHED: 7th September 2021
SHELF: Fiction | Romance | Humour
AUTHOR: Bethany Crandell
FORMATS: Paperback | Kindle | AudioBook
Thank you to #NetGalley and Montlake Publishing for this advance-proof kindle copy of #SeeJaneSnap by @bethanycrandell
my review …
Regular readers of my book reviews will know I’m a beady-eyed magpie when it comes to punchy book covers. And I think you’ll agree that the design of See Jane Snap really does pop. It’s this artwork that first caught my attention when I was browsing through NetGalley on the lookout for new releases to add to my reading list. Head duly turned, I immediately clicked the link to find out exactly what this enticingly-titled book was all about, and the blurb (see above) clinched my initial attraction.
With oranges playing such a dominant role in the design, I couldn’t help wondering how that tallied with the story. Well, I didn’t have to wait too long to find that out. If ever there were to be a literary prize for ‘most imaginative use of citrus fruit’, then the author has got herself a golden gong! Priceless and hilarious, the scene was so outrageously superb, I thought I’d treat you a bite-sized snippet:
The orange smacks the rear window, then rolls down to the ground with a thud. Damn, that felt good. She slams on the brakes. “What the hell are you doing?” she yells out her window. Given the circumstances, her question is probably fair, but all my rational thoughts are gone — buried beneath the jarring hum that’s now pulsating through my body, my veins infested by wasps and hornets searching for a way out. But there’s no way out — no way that doesn’t involve me beating the shit out of her car with fruit! I grab another orange and throw it. This one hits her back bumper. Yes. “Stop it!” she screams. Another one. It hits her tire. YES! “Stop doing that!”
Orange-gate quickly developed into a scene even more entertaining, however, proving the author wasn’t just front-loading her novel with a singular, albeit generously big, laugh … oh no, See Jane Snap is a riot of laugh-out-loud scenarios, witty quips, and spirited observations from start to finish.
But, this novel isn’t all about the giggles; there are emotional depths which are tempered by the warmth of the humour. The author astutely taps into the myriad impacts of infidelity, the beauty of true friendships, the complexities of a chronically ill parent, sibling conflict, and mother-guilt, all exacerbated by what we’ve recently come to know as imposter syndrome.
Jane made for a joyously relatable character, especially once she sheds her initially alienating air of snobbish self-importance. Witnessing her turmoil in the face of Dan’s infidelity really raised my hackles … he’s an ego-centric piece of work. If only every other aspect of Jane’s life were running as smoothly as she’d like everyone to believe; whilst Dan’s breaking her romantic heart, twelve year-old Avery is breaking her maternal heart, falling in with bad company and testing her pre-teen boundaries with hormonal determination. And then there’s Jane’s younger sister; serial-employee-stroke-serial-unemployee, serial man-eater, unpredictable aunty, and reliably in need of regular cash handouts.
See Jane Snap makes superb use of the idiom, every cloud has a silver lining. In Jane’s case there were quite a lot of clouds to be honest, but her silver linings were pretty plentiful too. Being arrested by the disarmingly gorgeous Detective Chavez for one … ok, so this might not sound like a positive situation, but believe me when I say the encounter was uproariously funny, and also became the precursor for dramatic positive changes in Jane’s life. Without that arrest Jane wouldn’t have been referred to the Women’s First Offenders Group where, once she’d loosened the vice-like grip on her handbag and prejudices, she meets Iris and Burty. In these insalubrious circumstances the three women forge an unlikely but heart-warming friendship, cemented by brutal honesty, a close encounter with a man in a crocheted willy warmer, and a shared love of pie.
At some indiscernible point in the book I found myself softening towards Dan! I blame the author’s ruthlessly empathetic storytelling for this. This wasn’t a turn-of-the-page transformation for the philandering so-and-so, and there were still plenty of moments when he deserved to pilloried with over-ripe oranges just as much as the unsuspecting woman in the supermarket car park, but little by little the truth of Dan’s story is revealed, and the author magnanimously gives her bad guy a chance to redeem himself. Admittedly this makes for a rather cheesy-cosy, neatly packaged ending, but there are times when cheesy is perfect, and this happens to be one of them.
See Jane Snap was a remarkably easy story to get drawn in to, and I positively romped through the pages. It’s an entertaining and cathartic page-turning tribute to the sharp eye and stylish wit of the author, Bethany Crandell. I honestly can’t think of a better way to have acquainted myself with her writing, and I’ll be making a point of adding her two other novels (Summer on the Short Bus, and The Jake Ryan Complex) to my reading list.
I wish I had some mysterious secret to reveal in hopes that you’d find me interesting, but I don’t. When it comes to me, what you see is what you get. And what you get is an irreverent, sarcastic and emotional gal who writes stories about characters with these same traits.
I live in San Diego with my husband, two teenage daughters, and two darling and ridiculously destructive puppies. I live and die by my routine, watch more than I read, and do my best brainstorming while blowing my hair dry. They’re called “hairdryer epiphanies”.