Length: 216 pages
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Jill loved her elder sister, Jayne, more than anyone in the world. Jayne was the silver lining in the dark cloud that made up her life – her dysfunctional family that included her alcoholic mother, self-absorbed sister and pot-smoking brother, her struggle with her weight and her lonely existence. Jayne was the only normal one, the only person who loved her back. And Jill adored Jayne’s boyfriend too. Until Johnny did the unimaginable, until she got a look into the darkness in his heart. She fell prey to the evil within him and then, she died at his hands. Jill may even have been able to forgive him, may have been able to go into the light. But Johnny turned his anger onto Jayne. And the one thing she couldn’t – wouldn’t – forgive was the abuse he inflicted on the sister she stood by even after death. Even if that meant turning away from the light for eternity.
Thompson weaves a tale that attempts to take you into the depths of nightmares and the pinnacles of sweet dreams. The book is written from the perspective of Jill, from the time that she was alive, to well past her death. A spirit lost in search of justice, revenge and freedom, Jill sees things after her death to which she remained oblivious during her lifetime.
But that is both, a good and bad thing.
The book takes you on a roller coaster ride as you follow Jill’s search for answers. The story itself is interesting and even touching. You get to see the worst and best of the characters that Thompson had brought to life. Marring a few typos, it even reads well, keeping you hurriedly turning the pages.
It’s not long, and moves at a quick pace that keeps things running at all times. Thompson’s descriptions even gives you a sense of ‘being right there’. Some parts get pretty intense and will leave you surprised or shocked.
Yet, in spite of having so many things going for it, Jayne Doe manages to stack up only an average rating; primarily because of its choppy style.
Going at such a quick pace, there are too many times you feel like you’re just jumping from one scene to another. The very idea Thompson attempts to present is abstract. Many scenes are jumpy, moving really fast because the chaos is part of the charm. But even the rest of the story does that, leaving it a list of scenes that have been thrown together, rather than woven together seamlessly. The smooth and invisible joints should have been considered equally important to the seams left intentionally visible.
I agree with the author when she says that her book is a piece of art and she wants to keep it raw. But then, just like with a painting, some people will like it and some won’t. Personally, I thought the story and the necessarily choppy scenes were incredibly raw, and beautifully so, in themselves. A little more flow in bringing it all together would’ve gone a long way in increasing the appeal of Jayne Doe for me.
So, should you read Jayne Doe? Not if you are easily offended by the fact that people can be strange and evil and tainted. And definitely not if you are unwilling to experiment with a genre. But if you want to read a story that is touching and interesting and are able to completely overlook the typos and choppiness, Jayne Doe could just make it to your to-be-read list.