Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones and the Six in this funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for—who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.
“This book was so stinking cute and was even better in audiobook format (Caitlin Kinnunen for the win!). I think the story was completely elevated by Broadway's Caitlin Kinnunen who's young but silky voice was perfectly able to capture the naiveté of Mary Jane and the roughness of Jimmy's singing voice. In general, the singing interludes of the audiobook are well worth the listen as they truly enliven the whole story. Mary Jane's aloofness as she enters this household that would be scoffed at by her straight-laced mother is very funny. The Cones live of cereal and takeout, with a fridge full of rotten and expired groceries. They also live freely with clothing, often stripping in front of each other and wearing clothing that Mary Jane's mother would consider risque. It's a coming of age story that spans only a single summer, where Mary Jane realizes how different life can be lived outside of her conservative household. Overall, a truly cute and light read that would be great for fans of coming of age stories and learning to push the boundaries on familial beliefs.”Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
“Mary Jane is 14 in 1975 and her summer nannying job is filled with surprises, spontaneity, and love as she is pulled into the family of the little girl she watches. A sweet and funny story of discovering yourself, your loved ones, and where you fit in. It really hit home for me.”Courtney Boches, Reads & Company
“This is one of my favorite audiobooks EVER! The brilliant narrating brings the reader right into this 1970s coming-of-age, rock star story of a young woman who has lived a sheltered, Leave-It-To-Beaver life. One summer, she is asked to be the nanny for a neighborhood doctor and his wife. What transpires will change everything for Mary Jane.”Mary, Skylark Bookshop
“Mary Jane, oh, Mary Jane... You'll be singing along too, I promise you, to the expert and pitch-perfect audio performed by Caitlin Kinnunen, best known for playing Emma Nolan in the musical The Prom, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. This tragicomic novel by Jessica Anya Blau was so fabulous, so fresh yet so nostalgic, it's absolutely the book I will be recommending for anyone's beach read. The dialogue was superb, the characters were loveable, the time period—1970s!!—was the best I loved it!”Jenny, The Vermont Book Shop
In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family’s subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she’s glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane’s mother says. In a respectable house.
The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane’s mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job—helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.
Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be.
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