Miss Jane- Brad Watson (Picador 2016)

Well, this was a longer than anticipated absence courtesy of BT and EE internet providers who between them have messed up my phone-line/ broadband order ensuring that three weeks on I have no landline signal, no broadband and no mobile phone signal and with no sign yet of there being any change of plan.  I was persuaded to buy a little EE mobile router, but guess what, with a poor phone signal it is erratic to say the least.  I have just discovered I can get two little bars of reception power if I sit on the steps in the garden- not ideal in November but I have missed blogging so much and I just had to tell you about this little gem of a book.



American short-story writer and novelist Watson has written a captivating tale about an extraordinary woman.  Set in Mississippi in the early years of the twentieth century Jane is a late child for farmer Chisholm and his wife.  She is born with a genital defect which is untreatable and will impact her life.  The local doctor Thompson is fascinated by her from birth and this is the tale of her learning to adapt and fit in with the rural society where she can only ever be an outsider.

I loved this book.  Strong characterisation and written with a calm melancholy which drives the reader forward.  In many ways the defect which runs Jane’s life is a side issue to a story of rural life and survival.  Jane’s sister Grace wants to escape the confines of the farm as soon as possible whilst Jane is more content with a simpler existence.  At times it reminded me of the 1935 Pulitzer Prize winner “Now In November” by Josephine Johnson which I recently read as a republished Apollo Classic but this was more involving.  Jane is a character who I will remember for some time and the warmth and respectful treatment that she is given by this highly-skilled writer is something to cherish.


Miss Jane was published by Picador in November 2016

I apologise if over the next couple of weeks if reviewsrevues becomes a little spasmodic.  This if for the reasons I’ve  outlined above.  Apparently my next review of whether I can have a phone line is on December 2nd and internet connection a week after that.  (I really don’t understand it- there was a phone line at the property to begin with which they disconnected). This is a further delight in a move which seems to have been stressful at every turn!!  Normal service will hopefully be resumed as soon as possible.  Thank goodness books are giving me some moments of sanity at the moment!!




4 thoughts on “Miss Jane- Brad Watson (Picador 2016)

  1. Monika

    Hi Phil,

    Nice to hear from you.Where shall I start? Didn’t need to move a house and trouble waiting only with a change of providers…Ian loves his footie.That’s why. I dread to change anything, fearing the previous provider would be better to communicate with….That’s where it all starts.This time no start up letter, difficulties getting in contact…I could continue.Nobody told us that we need to install our broadband ourselves…no advice on positioning the router (now if I want to watch the iplayer – only BBC- unwatchable-interruptions in viewing due to slow broadband because it is upstairs (I pull it through my laptop), but must again ourselves set up on demand facility……,no paperwork to tell you how fast it is…but fast to send a reminder that we have already accessed limit? I didn’t even know, we were signed up to any with limit…Installing broadband (in our case) straightforward, just follow the instructions…But you are a final user, not half techno geek…The phone engineer just set up the main land line…completely ignoring our extension, where our “special” phone apparatus is -all inserted phone numbers…Had to fork out extra £75 privately, the company wanted £130.For this, they should be slaughtered by Watchdog, or similar programs. Daylight robbery. On a pensioner’s income? (which is fixed with minimal increases) Ian’s daughter has the same provider and no problems…We were just the ones completely hit with majority of issues…

    Hope you get it sorted soon, make sure you are ruthless ,and you demand to have all the paperwork,… with a living soul, because they know how to hide…

    I love short story, because it is short. True talent to present your work in a succinct way. It adds to the story. Can’t stand verbal d….(can’t spell it.)



    1. I could feel my blood pressure building as I read this, Monika. Everything is made to sound so easy in internet providers advertising but it’s not. Still no landline and internet access in sight with so many things to sort out with the new house which need to be done online – arrgh!


  2. Monika

    Patience, Phil. Without sounding patronising, that’s the only weapon we have…I am still waiting for the technical specification of the internet speed…and its capacity…


  3. Pingback: Top 10 Books Of The Year – 2016- Part 1 (10-6) – reviewsrevues

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