Jane of Battery Park

Jaye Viner. Red Hen, $16.95 trade paper (248p) ISBN 978-1-59709-117-6
In Viner’s exquisite debut, a Southern California woman raised in a cult struggles to reconnect with a lost love amid a dystopian society. As an adult, Rachel Jane Dalton goes by her middle name in order to erase the memory of an upbringing by a strict Evangelical Christian family that belongs to the Vanguard, a group of militarized zealots who regularly put celebrities on trial for moral transgressions, which are broadcast live on television. Eight years earlier, she fled the group and her abusive husband, Seth, to attend college in New York City, where she fell for charming Daniel Fletcher, the younger brother of a libertine Hollywood actor. Jane and Daniel’s love affair was cut short by an abduction conducted by kidnappers from the Vanguard, who mistook Daniel for his brother and hauled him off to stand “trial” for his sins. Jane, now working as a nurse in the present day, reconnects with Daniel, who’s been released by the Vanguard after having been maimed and tortured in the group’s prison. Their reunion is further complicated by Jane’s suspicion that Seth, who is now Vanguard’s chief, has found her. With a wholly original and eerily suspenseful story, Viner has created a modern society that’s just creepy enough to be believable. Fans of Margaret Atwood will eat this up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/14/2021
Release date: 08/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
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