Monday, October 19, 2009

Janeology by Karen Harrington

Nature? Nurture? Or Simply Psychotic?

What happens when the spouse you think you know turns out to be a stranger? In Janeology, Jane and Tom Nelson are an average American family until the day one incomprehensible act forever changes their lives, igniting a powerful exploration of Jane's nature and nurture. What begins as a question - "What made Jane do what she did?" - soon unravels dark family secrets, hidden for generations.  - Scobberlotch

Quote:  Everything is connected.  Blood. Experience. Who we love.  

My Thoughts:  My skepticism of this book was big when I first heard of it.  The idea that we are destined to be a certain kind of person because of our geneology doesn't bode well with me.  I have a strong belief that every individual regardless of nature or nurture is free to choose what they will or won't do. Because I believe this I also believe that individuals are accountable for the right or wrong choices that they make.   
So what made me read this despite my skepticism?  I'm actually not sure.  It might just be that the author Karen Harrington was nice enough to comment on my blog and willing to answer a question I had about her book.  It could also be the intriguing  discussion that took place in my college Human Development class taken years ago, that explored these concepts. Nature Vs. Nurture - to what extent does each one play a role in making us the people that we are? Whatever the reason my curiosity was piqued.

Mothers are killing their children everyday.  Who among us has not asked why? Should the people in the killers lives share the blame for failing to see what these women are capable of.  I've certainly asked these questions and so did Karen Harrington.
Janeology is a compelling page turner.  It is a perfect book club book - the kind of book that provokes discussion. The journey into the lives of Jane's quirky relatives is fascinating. Harrington handles the provocative subject matter in such a way that my own beliefs are not stomped on and she does not excuse the accountability of Jane.  My one complaint about the book is sometimes Jane's family tree is confusing.  Luckily Harrington has provided us with Jane's family tree at her website that you can find here.  This is a book written with adults in mind, but I'm happy to report that there was nothing that offended my sensibilities. But I do feel the subject matter is definitely for mature teens and adults.

Another Great Quote:  Mothers were less isolated then.  They had more family support around them and didn't feel the loneliness some mothers experience today. Drugs are often the substitute for the lack of multiple generation support.

Karen Harrington author of Janeology.  Not only is she a good writer, but she is gorgeous.  For more in depth information about Janeology you can find her website here.  Karen also blogs at Scobberlotch.


Juju at Tales of said...

Fascinating. Doesn't sound like my cup of tea but it definitely sounds interesting.

Scobberlotcher said...

Thank you so much for an insightful review! Very kind of you.

I have mentioned to my publisher the need for a family tree to be inserted in the book. Perhaps they will do this for a possible paperback edition one day.


K. Harrington

Diana Paz said...

Nice review as always Mary :) Karen is a sweetheart, she's stopped by my blog too and I keep thinking about picking up her book. It looks thought-provoking.

Mary said...

You should try it Diana and Juju. It's very different than I thought it would be. I enjoyed it and it's not my type of book at all.