Monday, July 14, 2014

See Jane Run by Joy Fielding


Jane suddenly realizes that she does not know who she is. She is in a bloody dress and has $10,000 in her pockets. She checks into a hotel, buys some clothing and then hides the money. Then she goes to the police. They send her to the hospital for tests. The doctor thinks she has hysterical amnesia brought on by a terrifying act on her part. A doctor walks by her room and recognizes her. They call her husband. He is a pediatric surgeon. He seems nice. She goes home with him. But after a few days, Jane realizes that he should not be drugging her and keeping her away from her friends. Something is not right. Will she figure it out in time to save her life?

I enjoyed this book. Every time I had a theory of what was happening, the author proved me wrong. I never suspected the truth until it was revealed.

From the author:
One afternoon in late spring, Jane Whittaker went to the store for some milk and some eggs...and forgot who she was. Jane Whittaker has awakened to a nightmare. She doesn't know her name, her age...or even what she looks like. Frightened and confused, she wanders the streets of Boston wearing a blood-stained blue dress and carrying $10,000 in her pocket. Her life has become a vacuum, her past vanished...or stolen. And all that remains is a handsome, unsettling stranger who claims to be her husband, whispered rumors about a dead child whom she cannot recall...and a terrifying premonition that something truly horrible is about to occur.

Excerpt:
One afternoon in late spring, Jane Whittaker went to the store for some milk and some eggs and forgot who she was.
 
It came to her suddenly, without prior hint or warning, as she stood at the corner of Cambridge and Bowdoin in what she recognized immediately was downtown Boston, that while she knew exactly where she was, she had absolutely no ideawho she was. She was on her way to the grocery store to buy some milk and some eggs, of that she was sure. She needed them for the chocolate cake she had been planning to bake, although why she had been planning to bake it and for whom, she couldn’t say. She knew exactly how many ounces of instant chocolate pudding the recipe required, yet she couldn’t recall her own name. Furthermore, she couldn’t remember whether she was married or single, widowed or divorced, childless or the mother of twins. She didn’t know her height, weight, or the color of her eyes. She knew neither her birthday nor her age. She could identify the colors of the leaves on the trees but couldn’t remember whether she was a blonde or a brunet. She knew the general direction in which she was headed, but she had no notion of where she’d been. What in God’s name was happening?
 
The traffic on Bowdoin slowed, then stopped, and she felt people being pulled from her sides, drawn as if by a magnet to the other side of the street. She alone stood rooted to the spot, unable to proceed, scarcely able to breathe. Cautiously, with deliberate slowness, her head lowered against the collar of her trench coat, she glanced furtively over each shoulder. Pedestrians breezed past her as if barely aware of her existence, men and women whose faces betrayed no outward signs of self-doubt, whose steps carried no noticeable hesitation. Only she stood absolutely still, unwilling—unable—to move. She was aware of sounds—motors humming, horns honking, people laughing, their shoes alternately shuffling or clicking past her, then halting abruptly as the traffic resumed.
 
A woman’s angry whisper caught her attention—“the little slut,” the woman hissed—and for an instant she thought the woman was speaking about her. But the woman was clearly in conversation with her companion, and neither seemed even vaguely aware that she was beside them. Was she invisible?
 
For one insane second, she thought she might be dead, like on one of those old Twilight Zone segments in which a woman stranded on a deserted road makes a frantic phone call to her parents, only to be told that their daughter has been killed in a car accident, and who is she anyway to be calling them at this hour of the night? But then the woman whose mouth had only seconds ago been twisted around the word “slut” acknowledged her presence with an almost beatific smile, then turned back to her confidante and moved on.
 
Clearly, she was not dead. Just as clearly, she was not invisible. And why could she remember something as idiotic as an old Twilight Zone episode and not her own name?
 
Several more bodies appeared beside her, tapping their toes and swiveling on their heels, impatiently waiting to cross. Whoever she was, she was unaccompanied. There was no one ready to take her arm, no one watching anxiously from the other side of the street wondering why she had fallen behind. She was all alone, and she didn’t know who she was supposed to be.
 
“Stay calm,” she whispered, searching for clues in the sound of her voice, but even it was unfamiliar to her. It said nothing of age or marital status, its accent nondescript and noteworthy only for its undertone of anxiety. She raised a hand to her lips and spoke inside it so as not to attract undue attention. “Don’t panic. It’ll all come clear in a few minutes.” Was she normally in the habit of talking to herself? “First things first,” she continued, then wondered what that meant. How could she put anything first when she didn’t know what anything was? “No, that’s not true,” she corrected herself immediately. “You know things. You know lots of things. Take stock,” she admonished herself more loudly, glancing around quickly to ascertain whether or not she had been overheard.
 
A group of perhaps ten people was moving toward her. They’ve come to take me back to wherever it is I escaped from, was her first and only thought. And then the leader of the group, a young woman of perhaps twenty-one, began speaking in the familiar broad Boston tones that her own voice strangely lacked, and she realized she was as inconsequential to these people as she had been to the two women she had overheard earlier. Was she of consequence to anyone?

To read more, click here.

Pages: 364
Published: 1991

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