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Jane Was Here Reviewed By Sandra Shwayder Sanchez of Bookpleasures.com
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Sandra Shwayder Sanchez

Reviewer Sandra Shwayder Sanchez: Sandra is a retired attorney and co-founder of a small non-profit publishing collective: The Wessex Collective with whom she has published two short fiction collections (A Mile in These Shoes and Three Novellas) and one novel, Stillbird.

Her most recent novel, The Secret of A Long Journey is soon to be released by Floricanto Press in April 2012 and her first novel, The Nun, originally published by Plain View Press in 1992 is being  reissued in a 2nd Edition with additional material by PVP in March 2012.


 
By Sandra Shwayder Sanchez
Published on April 8, 2011
 

Author: Sarah Kernochan

Publisher: Page of Wands Press

ISBN: 978-0-615-42203-9






Author: Sarah Kernochan

Publisher: Page of Wands Press

ISBN: 978-0-615-42203-9


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The author’s illustrious experience in music and film is evident in her skillful handling of the complex constellation of stories that make up this karmic mystery thriller. The brief prologue is both elegant and foreboding, an acapella rendition, melodic in a minor mode. Then the full chorus of strange, sad characters begins with an operatic intensity that is maintained throughout Part I: Marly’s falsetto, Hoyt’s throbbing bass, Brett and Collin harmonizing here and there and the faintest hum of Jane’s sad, timid, romantic and oft interrupted song becoming increasingly strong until it dominates them all.  Part II is a waltz played on a 19th century harpsichord complete with linguistic trills and entirely epistolary.  Part III crescendos as each character rushes to discover his or her destiny with glimpses of the sometimes gory details of past life behavior.  The casting from the 21st century characters for the 19th century drama is surprising but completely logical.
 
Serious literature is supposed to provide food for thought as well as entertain, and Jane Was Here, while working on the adrenalin, also works on the mind.  Jane raises questions about the purpose of reincarnation:  If only we could come into our present lives knowing what sins of omission or commission we were guilty of in our most recent past lives, perhaps we could make amends before it became too late. Conversely, if the losses and disappointment of this life are the price we pay for those past life sins, will we then be born again into some future life and finally be able to realize our most cherished dreams? And if we do, will we even know enough to rejoice over the ultimate reward?  Or is virtue truly its own reward? I sense (and would hope for)  a sequel coming, featuring the  character of Collin so perhaps these questions raised by Jane will be addressed therein.
 
To discuss the plot in greater detail would spoil the element of discovery that is such an essential part of the enjoyment of this novel, however I will say that Jane Was Here is an excellent selection for book clubs interested in discussing the universal mythologies of good and evil, comparative religions, American history and politics, and, of course, that which inspires all story telling: human psychology.
 

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