I’m not in a book club, but I’d like to be. I’d also like to be able to ask the authors questions directly. I Skype in to book clubs from time to time, and I know it makes the book club experience a completely different one.
And so…I have decided to launch my own book club. It’s virtual if you want to stay home in your slippers and join the author in a live facebook chat, but it’s also traditional, if you want to get together with friends (and wine), or bring your existing book club (and wine), to join in and ask the author whatever you want (with wine).
Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood in the sixties to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters. Still, when Ronni discovers she has a serious illness, she calls her now-adult girls home to fulfill her final wishes.
Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy are all going through crises of their own. But as their mother’s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears, they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.
And now I am delighted to reveal this beautiful cover. I am so excited to share it with you and can’t wait to hear what you think!
I did not, but long before the Richard and Judy Book Club was a thing, long before I even became Jane Green, I worked for Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. I was a young publicist who was burnt out from working in entertainment PR in London, when I got a call from a man I adored, offering me a job as the publicist for the television show This Morning, presented by Richard and Judy.
I jumped at the opportunity, even though I didn’t really know anything about the show, nor, in fact, about Richard and Judy. But I couldn’t think of anything better than a fresh start in a new city, and my boss would be someone I got on incredibly well with. Within two weeks I was packed up and on my way.
I found a large, shabby chic flat in Didsbury, and spent most days driving from Manchester to Liverpool in my little Renault 5, which died so often, the men from the AA and I became friends. I eventually replaced that Renault with a Volkswagen Golf, which turned out to be two cars welded together (a “cut-n’shut” as it’s known in the dodgy car industry), which was in fact the most reliable car I have ever had.
I loved my job. I loved the people I worked with, many of whom are still close friends, twenty five years on. I loved the camaraderie we had, and the laughs we shared. I loved that we were able to sit at one end of the open-plan office smoking ourselves into an early grave, and if anyone complained, we all ignored them.
We were a happy bunch, apart from the fact that my boss, the man who had employed me, turned out to be something of a Jekyll and Hyde. I had thought he was wonderful, but within weeks of me starting I would watch as he routinely picked on one of my colleagues, bullying and abusing them to the point where grown men were almost in tears. I remember being shocked at this behavior from a man I had adored, and – oh how naïve I was – thinking that because we were already friends, it would never happen to me.
The day it happened was the day I stopped loving my job. One day he decided it was time to put me in his firing line, and my life was miserable from thereonin. He stole my ideas and presented them as his own in meetings where I sat there mute, disbelieving. He would regularly phone me in the early hours of the morning, screaming at me for some newspaper story about Richard and Judy that had appeared, that I knew nothing about. He diminished me, mocked me, screamed at me and bullied me, to the point where I would have a Pavlovian reaction every time the phone would ring, terrified it would be him, screaming on the other end.
When “me too” was flying round the internet, I kept quiet. I did not write about the times I have been scared or uncomfortable, the times I have been the victim of inappropriate behavior, sexual or otherwise. But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the time I was bullied mercilessly at the hands of a man who held all the power.
I hope things change. I have no idea what happened to that man, but I hope Karma has done its job, and that wherever he is, he may have changed. I wouldn’t write me too, because – and I fully support all the women who did – but because it makes me feel like a victim, and I don’t ever want to feel like a victim again. But to all the women out there who have ever experienced anything like this, I know what it’s like. And I hope that if it ever happened again, I would have the fortitude to walk away.
Amazon recently sent me an email saying that because they had targeted me as an Influencer, they were offering me a Jane Green shop on Amazon. All the people who write to me saying they love the style of my Westport home, Creaky Cottage, my kitchen, my parties, my pillows, can now find everything I love in my very own Amazon store.
From my kitchen and Creaky Cottage, to the parties I throw, and even the way I decorate for the holidays, you can find most of the things I love in my Amazon store. From the dishes I use, to the glass storage jars that hold all my dry goods, to the soft, cozy touches that make Creaky Cottage a home, it’s all available in the Jane Green shop on Amazon! I’ve even got my favorite books, cookbooks, and the journals I use.
As many of you know, I am a big shopper. I love shopping, and more than shopping, I love a bargain. Sometimes I will spend outrageous amounts of money, but more often the thrill I get is from finding deals, and I have become something akin to a professional bargain hunter online. So whilst some of the items are expensive, most are affordable, and all will transform your house into a stylish, welcoming, cozy home.
Oh, reader! You have no idea how blissful the last twenty four hours has been! I have been up for two nights filling my shop with all the things I love most in the world. I’ve got books that I love, jars that I want, and almost everything that I have in my kitchen (plus everything I am doubtless about to own). I keep looking at the items in my shop, and it’s like looking at a style board for Creaky Cottage.
If you’ve written to me asking where I get my big glass kitchen jars, or my burlap tablecloths, or my accessories, you will find many of them in my shop.
Take a look at my Amazon shop here – I would love to hear what you think!
I am very happy as an English woman living in America, and there are many things that are truly wonderful about this country (clue: but the loos aint one of them). When I moved here, having been brought up on a diet of American films and television shows, I presumed that everything in America was bigger, better, and glossier.
It’s true, some things are. New York, for example, remains one of the most vibrant cities in the world. The service industry here is truly an industry, and people leap to help (which is still something of a pleasure, seventeen years on). Hamburgers and pizza are excellent, as are chips (and when I say chips, I mean French fries, which are invariably better than anything I ate on the other side of the pond).
The roads are wide and easy to navigate, especially in California. Admittedly, the traffic is terrible, but with six huge lanes, who cares? Also, there are three million satellite radio channels to while away the hours you spend sitting in traffic, so it’s all rather enjoyable.
Speaking of cars, the cars are enormous, and luxurious! I’m sure the UK is catching up, but everyone here drives monster cars (including me), which aren’t really cars, they’re more like our own private universes.
But there are a few things that continue to puzzle me, even after seventeen years. You can’t find a decent cup of tea to save your life. Also, herbal tea does not count as tea, which should be PG Tips or Tetley’s, and come with copious amounts of milk and sugar. Americans also do not say please and thank you as much as we do, and often, I have noticed that instead of saying “you’re welcome”, or “it’s a pleasure,” they say, “uh huh”. Which is just odd. But the thing that worries me most, is the gap in the public loos.
All the bathroom stalls in this country seem to have not only gaps top and bottom (understandable, and not terrible – on cop shows they can always look underneath to see if someone has overdosed), but, and this is the bit that continues to bother me, they also have huge gaps on the side. THE SIDE. What are they thinking?
I’m not talking about a sliver through which daylight can shine, I’m talking, in many cases, about a good three quarters of an inch, which doesn’t sound like a lot, until you are minding your own business in what you assume is the privacy of your cubicle, and you find yourself making eye contact with someone standing by the sinks.
The people at Buzzfeed are also confused, and I don’t blame them.
I don’t understand it. There seems little point in even having a door. I always heave a sigh of relief when there’s a hook at the top and I’m wearing a drapey scarf that I can expertly drape to cover the gap.
Once upon a time, I was able to avoid public loos entirely. Now, as a middle-aged woman, I find it is not so easy. I shall just have to make sure I bring my scarves, and fill my bag with double-sided sellotape.
Jane Green tells the story of being middle-aged, and having her head ever so slightly turned by a young, handsome author for The Moth on public radio. Will she be able to resist temptation or will she succumb, and what does her husband have to say about all of this…
Spoiler alert: she didn’t have an affair. But she did use the experience to inspire the novel, Tempting Fate.
Listen to the background story that inspired the novel, Promises to Keep. The New York Times bestselling author wrote this momentous novel about a family coming together in the hardest of times for one unforgettable – and ultimately life-changing – year. Inspired by Jane Green’s real life and taking care of one of her best friends after she was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, this is one of her most moving novels.
Two more days to go until Tom Perrotta, author of Mrs Fletcher, joins the Jane Green Book Club for its inaugural book!
Don’t forget, Tom Perrotta will be live on this facebook page: www.facebook.com/janegreenbookclub on Thursday November 16th at 8pm, EST, and you will be able to ask him questions then.
If you’re joining our book club and live chat by yourself, welcome, and all you have to do is log in to www.facebook.com/janegreenbookclub at 8pm EST on November 16th.
If you’re gathering friends to form a book club, or bringing an existing book club, we’ve put together a few guidelines on how to run your book club. Feel free to follow them, or abandon them completely! The important thing is you gather together good people, and have fun.
• We suggest you ask people to arrive at your home for your book club for 6.30 or 7pm, and bring their questions with them! Ensure you, as host, check your wifi connection beforehand. You will need a computer, laptop or ipad to join
the live chat with the author.
• 7pm – 8pm – Meet and greet in your home, and share your thoughts about the book with the group, and prepare questions.
• 8pm Log in to Facebook, and go to this page here:
• 8pm-9pm – Listen to Tom Perrotta talk about the book, and type in your questions. He may not be able to get to all of them, but will do his best.
• 9pm-10pm Continue talking about the book, with us online or amongst yourselves.
We hope you have a wonderful night, and can’t wait to hear about it. If you’re gathering friends, post photographs of your bookclub on instagram, twitter and facebook with the hashtags #janegreenbookclub #tomperrotta
We have officially kicked off the Jane Green Book Club with a party (and lots of wine!). Eighty women gathered together in Parker Mansion, in my home town of Westport, Connecticut, to toast this exciting new venture.
So why start a nationwide virtual book club? Because wherever we live, I think we are all going through the same thing…
When I first moved to suburbia, almost seventeen years ago, there were so many resources for the young yummy mommy. There were playgroups, and playdates, and meetings and classes. There were even mommy book clubs. I met my first friends here standing outside the doors of pre-school, waiting for the children to emerge. As time went by and our children went off to different schools, I saw those wonderful women less. Between working and raising those children, life got busier and busier, until suddenly those children are in high school and getting ready to leave, and my friends are nowhere to be found.
That last bit is not quite true, but what is true is that most of the women I know, myself included, are leading lives that are far more isolated than we ever expected. Age, stage, the busy-ness of life, and perhaps most of all, technology, have all contributed to a growing sense of loneliness. Many of us are hiding behind screens, iphones and ipads, instead of getting out and living life.
Someone once told me that after the age of forty, you can divide your life into three sections: family, friends, and work. But you can only ever successfully juggle two. For many of us, it is our friendships that get short shrift, even though as human beings, we need connection; we are built for connection; we long to connect.
Which is what the Jane Green Book Club is all about. Bringing women together over the love of a shared story, to share their own stories. It’s about community, connection, and looking after each other. All in the name of a good book. All you have to do to join is sign up by clicking the link on this page: Jane Green Book Club, and join us there on November 16th. You can join us by yourself, or – even better – invite some friends over and form a book club. We’ll all be reading the same book together!
What makes the Jane Green Book Club different? Not only do we choose the book every month, but we also bring you the authors, live on Facebook video, so wherever you live, you can ask them your questions directly! During every book club, you can livestream the author and type your questions!
Here we have some pictures from our launch, from the wonderful women there (I wish I could share the incredible warmth that filled that room), to putting the kits together at my kitchen table, to the finished sample book club kit.
The book club kit will make the life of the busy woman easier – when you have 10-15 women coming over from book club and you have no time to shop, what could be better than coming home and finding a beautiful box filled with delicious goodies and treats, and some of my favorite things to make your home cozy and beautiful – a place where everyone feels good.
Do you know anyone who hosts a book club who might like one of these boxes? If so, tag them on the Jane Green Book Club page, underneath this same post!
Don’t forget, our first book club is 8pm (EST) live on the Jane Green Book Club Facebook page with Tom Perrotta who will be discussing his wonderful book (and our first book club choice), Mrs Fletcher! Like and follow the page to get all the updates, and sign up for the newsletter on that page to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Jane Green is the author of nineteen novels, including seventeen New York Times bestsellers. She has over ten million books in print, is published in over 25 languages, and has several books in development for film and tv.Full Bio