Jean Harley Was Here
Heather Taylor Johnson
- 256 Pages
- October 2, 2018
- ISBN: 9781628729597
- Trim Size: 6.000in x 9.000in
“Sure to be popular among fans of Liane Moriarty and Sarah Pekkanen, this tender, witty novel dives into the life of an amazing woman by exploring the grief of those she’s left behind."—Booklist
Jean Harleywife, mother, lover, danceris a shining light in the lives of those who know and love her, full of boundless energy, compassion, and joy. When she's hit by a truck while riding her bicycle and the unthinkable happens, what becomes of the people she leaves behind? Her devoted husband, Stan, is now a single father to their four-year-old son, Orion, who doesn't understand why his mom won't come home. Jean's two best friends, Neddy and Viv, find their relationship unraveling without their third companion. Charley, the ex-con who caused the accident, struggles to reconcile his feelings of elation when the charges against him are dropped with his boundless guilt over knowing he has changed a family forever; while Jean's mother, Pearl, will regret the little girl who left. Gradually, life without Jean goes on, yet her indelible spirit remains.
Told from the alternating perspectives of these and other characters who grieve the same death in vastly different ways, Jean Harley Was Here is a moving, poetic novel about loss, memory, and the lives we touch.
“Jean Harley Was Here performs the work of which only the best fiction is capable: it reminds the reader of the precious value of life, of the responsibility we have in caring for one another as best we can, and of the beauty that can result from these efforts. I laughed and cried and loved these characters, each and every one, without reserve. You’ll be so glad to be a part of Jean Harley’s world.”—Kayla Rae Whitaker, author of The Animators
“Sure to be popular among fans of Liane Moriarty and Sarah Pekkanen, this tender, witty novel dives into the life of an amazing woman by exploring the grief of those she’s left behind. Taylor-Johnson’s ability to bring the diverse voices and viewpoints of the supporting characters to life is admirable, especially in a novel this size.”, this tender, witty novel dives into the life of an amazing woman by exploring the grief of those she’s left behind."—Booklist
"Heather Taylor Johnson has a poet's understanding of the world: her exploration of the way in which our lives intertwinefor better or for worseis nuanced and poignant. A book to savor."Hannah Kent, bestselling author of Burial Rites and The Good People.
"Warm and insightful."Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap
“I loved the book. . . . It’s really beautifully done and extremely well-written.”—Jennifer Byrne, ABC First Tuesday Book Club
“Contemplative and hopeful.”—Good Reading
“It’s a clever novel which somehow manages to avoid being overly emotional despite the premise. This said, the story did make me laugh and cry, and reminded me of people I know.”—Readings Online
“I just couldn’t put it down. I was engrossed immediately and tearing up by page two; it felt so real. This is a moving portrayal of the power of love and of friendship and it’s wonderful.”—Readings e-News, “Books that Made Us Cry 2017“
“Taylor Johnson’s interweaving of her characters and management of chronology is particularly impressive.”—Sydney Morning Herald
“I loved this book and highly recommend it.”—The Big Book Club
“But Johnson has somehow created a character who is imagined, remembered and grieved-over through the intricate overlapping of her life with the lives of the people she connected with, and it is so beautiful that I fought back tears more than once.”—OddFeather
“A pleasure to read about the life of someone special to those who loved her.”—Australian Women’s Weekly
“It is filled with lilting language and a pulsing beat.”—Avid Reader Blog
“Taylor Johnson’s accomplished writing moves freely between the poetic and commercial, creating a compelling rhythm’ –Australian Book Review
“Full of heart and soul, this book is one of the year’s best.”—Readings, “The Best Fiction Books of 2017”