A former feature writer for the Daily Express, Jane Green took a leap of faith when she left in 1996 to freelance and work on her book. She is now the bestselling author of over fifteen novels. Jane lives in Connecticut with her husband and their blended family of six children.
Packing for a holiday can be both exciting and a little bit stressful. To help make your holiday go as smoothly as possible, we asked some of our favourite authors to share their summer packing essentials.
Bestselling author Jane Green talks about home and what it means to her and her characters.
Time to dig out your whisk and practice your best flipping technique because pancake day is almost here!
Oh my - thank you SO SO much @MrsGiFletcher! And a happy, happy birthday to @WHSmith https://t.co/DhimYyafpc
by @JaneGreen - 21 hours ago
authorJaneGreen - 12 hours ago
For many years, I prided myself on my musical knowledge. Not a Thursday night went by during the seventies and eighties when I was not glued to the television screen for Top of the Pops. I remember watching Pan’s People and dreaming of the day when I too might own a pair of glittery stretch lurex leggings. I knew every song that came on the radio, and all the words.
Top of the Pops may be long gone, but up until recently, I still had my radio tuned to the pop station, still knew all the new artists and songs, still knew most of the words. I would always be a modern mum, I decided; my love of pop music would never leave.
Mysteriously, of late, I have found myself on long car journeys craving quiet, and conversation. I have been listening to podcasts, to Desert Island Discs and here in America, NPR. The more I have listened, the more I have forgotten to listen to music, and when I have done, it was through Spotify, and tended to be the music of decades gone by.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to watch The Grammy’s with the kids. I love nothing more than a good awards show, particularly the red carpet beforehand. I like seeing what the stars are wearing, and what they’re going to be singing. I sat through twenty minutes of the red carpet before the truth finally hit: I have officially aged out of the Grammy’s. In fact, I may have officially aged out of youth, because I didn’t have a clue who any of them were.
And worse than that, the clothes! Or rather, the lack thereof! “Why are their bosoms hanging out?” I kept muttering to myself, although somewhat gratifyingly The Rower kept overhearing, and he agreed. I felt a wave of pride at having raised him well. We both stared aghast at the screen, at a presenter who wore an evening dress that essentially consisted of two black triangles of fabric that somehow managed to barely cover her breasts, whilst forcing them together in a most unnatural way.
The show started and presenters approached the podium to announce the new categories. Best album, best newcomer, etc etc. With the exception of Adele and Beyoncé, I didn’t have a clue who any of them were. Frankly, neither did my kids. It all sounded like a lot of noise, with some very bad fashion thrown in for good measure.
I felt immeasurably old. I went into the kitchen singing some Jackson 5, realizing I never did buy those sparkly lurex leggings, and wondering if it might not to be too late. Even if they never leave the privacy of my bedroom, there is much bopping in front of the bedroom mirror that I could be doing, the sounds of the seventies, when music made sense to me, on my mind.
(First published in The Lady magazine)
authorJaneGreen - yesterday
Bagels or croissants?
authorJaneGreen - 3 days ago
It has been a bumper week for book releases this week, and so today we have another great giveaway for two lucky readers. For a chance to win a signed copy of each of these books, comment below on your favorite Sunday afternoon activity. Good luck!
From Alex George, the author of the “lyrical and compelling” (USA Today) novel A Good American, comes Setting Free the Kites, a powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope.
For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous—and fascinated by kites and flying. Robert and Nathan’s budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to come to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It’s there that Nathan’s boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge.
Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.
And from Amanda Eyre Ward we have The Nearness of You, a profound and lyrical novel which explores the deeper meanings of motherhood—from the first blissful hello to the heart-wrenching prospect of saying goodbye.
Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning they’d decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.
Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selection, hospital visits, and Suzette’s doubts over whether she’s made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself—one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them—Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland—to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.
Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.
Huge congratulations to Mindy Buettner Duval and Katie Williams Saba, the two winners of our giveaway of Christina Baker Kline's new book, A Piece of the World, and Pam Jenoff's new book, The Orphan's Tale. Happy Reading!
authorJaneGreen - 4 days ago
I have spent a good half my life hearing about hot flushes (here in America we call them hot flashes), but I haven’t really known what they felt like. I am almost always freezing. I sleep with an electric blanket every night, and spend my life with my arms crossed in front of me, shivering. Partly this is because of one of the boring old auto-immune diseases – Hashimoto’s – which means I don’t produce thyroid. Even though I take medication every day, I am still cold.
Not lately. Lately I have found myself sitting in restaurants, lifting the hair from the nape of my neck as I exhale loudly, fanning myself with menus. Every time I announce that it’s very hot in here, my husband tells me it’s actually cold.
I spent the entire weekend in London recently wondering why everyone had the central heating on so high. It turns out, they didn’t. I had packed all these beautiful cashmere sweaters, and found they were far too heavy. In fact, my winter wardrobe consists largely of thick, chunky sweaters, none of which I am currently able to wear.
I’m sitting here today in a summer T-shirt, and a thin cardigan, and the cardigan is about to come off, because my office is boiling, although today I may be overheating because I have just got back from my tap dancing class.
I am still not very good. I can just about keep up, but I am sure I am the least graceful person in the room. I don’t know for certain, because I am so busy looking at our teacher’s feet, I don’t notice anyone else. I do know that it’s a far better workout than I ever anticipated. Halfway through the class I had worked up a decent sweat, was bright red, and yes, you guessed it, boiling.
Perhaps the most unexpected surprise is finding a group of women I really, really like. Under different circumstances, I don’t think this particularly group of women would have ever found each other. We are all different ages, with children ranging from babies, to adults. As this class continues, we find ourselves sitting in the changing room afterwards chatting, sometimes for almost an hour.
As a seasoned introvert who is more than a little anxious around groups of women I don’t know, I have found the gradual getting to knowness of this, delightful. However different we may all be, we seem to all like each other, and there is something lovely about seeing each other once a week, taking our time, letting these friendships evolve naturally rather than forcing extra coffees, or lunches.
Once a week I am slowly getting used to seeing myself in the mirror dressed in leggings and a T-shirt, attempting to find some rhythm as my face turns an ever-deepening shade of scarlet. If you should happen to live in my neighborhood and there is snow on the ground and the temperature is below zero and you notice a woman walking around in a T-shirt and shorts, don't be alarmed. It probably means she's somewhere around my age and she has just finished exercising.
(First published in The Lady magazine)
New Year, New Space - 15 days ago
When I first started writing novels, I managed to write at home. It was at the very beginning of the internet, and distractions were few and far between. No-one really knew what to do with the internet, and I managed to while away the days in my tiny home office, writing my books. Then technology […]
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Splitting Hairs - 18 days ago
Ever since my children were born, I have been cutting their hair. I am very bad at cutting hair and almost every time has been a disaster. Despite this, I am convinced that I can cut hair, even though hope has yet to triumph over experience. When the children were very small, they didn’t […]
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Piles Upon Piles - 2 months ago
The piles are threatening to take over my house. I do not think of myself as a hoarder, and I very much like living in a space that is clean and tidy, but I don’t seem to have any control over the piles of papers that accumulate in every room of the house. Nobody would […]
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Rabbit Palace - 3 months ago
Stan the rabbit is not happy with his confinement. He has been living very happily on the porch these last few months, coming into the kitchen throughout the day to play with us, and the cats, tearing off into his porch when there is too much activity. We had high hopes of him being a […]
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For the Love of the Characters - 3 months ago
I have just finished writing my nineteenth novel. For years people have asked me how it feels when I finish a novel, and I haven’t known how to answer them. In the old days, it felt wonderful, knowing I had achieved something so big. A great weight would be off my shoulders, freeing me up […]
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