When Angela discovers a mysterious letter containing a life-shattering confession in a stack of forgotten letters, she begins to look for the intended recipient. Her search takes her to the 1970s and 80s, when a group of daring women operated an illegal underground abortion network known only by its whispered code name: Jane.
As a teenager, Dr. Evelyn Taylor was forced to give her baby up for adoption. Swearing she’ll do everything she can to make sure other women have the right to choose, she joins the Jane Network to provide safe but illegal abortions. There, she crosses paths with Nancy, who was told that if she ever found herself ‘in a position’, she should ask for Jane. Nancy soon becomes the Network’s newest volunteer, desperately trying to help others.
Over the years, Evelyn, Nancy, and Angela’s lives intertwine to reveal the devastating consequences that come from a lack of choice, and the buried secrets that will always find a way to the surface and threaten everything one knows to be true.
Heather Marshall’s phenomenal debut is inspired from historical events surrounding The Jane Collective and R v Morgentaler which ruled that abortion was unconstitutional as it violated women’s rights.
The book explores the events that lead to changes in law through a fictionalised tale of three women connected across several decades. However, this story is not about abortion or adoption but about a mother’s love and a women’s right to choose.
In tracking the long-lost letter, the story travels back and forth through time. Marshall builds a crackling mystery as the events of the three women’s lives intersect. The risks they take feels as if your heart is permanently lodged in your throat. The challenges they overcome is a powerful and inspiring depiction of their courage and bravery.
It is evident in the overlapping of facts with fiction that the author has put in an enormous amount of research behind this book. Her strong, well-defined characters and the emotionally charged plotline keeps you engaged from the first word to the last.
This is an invaluable piece of writing, extremely relative to the times we live in when decades of hard work for women’s rights is being erased before our eyes. A riveting story that merges history with the present, this is a book that needs to be read by women of every generation.
Book 32 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.
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