Sweet Jane by Joanne Kukanza Easley is out now.
Sweet Jane, Joanne Kukanza Easley’s debut novel, was released in March of 2020 by Black Rose Writing. The novel was a finalist in the 2019 Faulkner/Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as well as a finalist in literary fiction in both the 2020 International Book Awards and Readers’ Favorite Book Awards.
The novel unfolds in alternate chapters set in the past and narrated in the first person by Janie with chapters set in the current storytime of 1984 in adult Jane’s point of view.
In 1957 Odessa, Texas, precocious six-year-old Janie knows vodka makes Mama mean and killed her grandma. She observes the adult world at her grandma’s funeral, and while she doesn’t mean any disrespect, she knows she doesn’t want to grow up to be like Mama.
Jane’s comfortable life in 1984, Austin, Texas, is upended when she learns of Mama’s death. While she looks good on paper: married, graduate school, coin-carrying member of AA, she hasn’t stopped running since she fled Odessa, hitchhiking to California at age sixteen, right on time for the Summer of Love. The sight of Mama swilling vodka in baby doll pajamas and gigantic pink fuzzy slippers, and the unforgivable words Mama hurled at her that night, are etched in Jane’s memory. Leaving her husband Joshua at home in Austin, and in the dark about her past, Jane attends Mama’s funeral.
When Jane returns to Odessa, her past and present collide, leading to shocking revelations and a decision about her future.
Easley’s second novel, Just One Look, will be released in June of 2021. Her next project, I’ll Be Seeing You, is well underway, and the reader will meet Jane again.
You can get a copy of this novel on Amazon today!
Note: information and photos were provided by author.