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Saturday, August 22, 2009
'Jane' by PF Jeffery (Book 2, Berenice, Chapter 1)

Jane Brewster goes home to her Mum, along with two coachwomen, including one called Daisy


"This was the Daisy the coachwoman" – omit the first 'the?


Much mother / daughter homeliness as well as home truths, some home truths more subtle than others, beautifully depicted, mainly in dialogue.

It is as if both characters are holding back secrets from each other. Jane acts as if she's been on the 'Big Brother' tv show and ashamed if her Mother had seen her actions on it. But it's much more serious than that, and more touching.  I sense the Mother knows more than she's letting on. That there is a skein of random truth and fiction in synchronisation.  We only have a feeling of omniscience via Jane.  Omniscience via signs more subtle than this world's semaphore system.

Play on the word 'modesty'. And the name Brewster is discussed, vis a vis the past. Not Jane's father's name.

Cream cakes. Songs and ballads with inner meanings. Reference to her Mother's possible past connections with Modesty and someone called Lisa-Louise.

Her Mum is homely, but well-educated and 'this plot's past'-experienced.

 Matters discussed skirting guilt, espionage, tell-tale love-bites on Jane. Her Mother not for one second believing these are from a man but from a woman.

 Double entendres.  And a lot else to be mined by the careful or careless reader alike. All conveying much as well as little, and you will only know what I mean if you read this remarkable literature. All artfully done, as judged by my own well-experienced, if sometimes constructively clumsy, sense of literariness.


This passage below is telling as well as hinting at an omniscience in hindsight from the future!


<<"You're right, Jane.  War is always terrible."

This remark had me shivering, but for a moment I couldn't think why.  Then it came to me that Mum had spoken the first half of what my spymistress would say to me – War is always terrible, but peace can be worse. >>



Links to all my JANE chapter comments:

Posted at 09:28 am by Weirdmonger

PF Jeffery
August 29, 2009   07:02 PM PDT
Thank you for that!

The phrase “the Daisy the” was a typo. Thank you for spotting it. It has now been corrected.

I think that Jane’s mother does know more than she reveals. Like any wise parent of a teenager, she considers some things better left unsaid. She seems to have made a pretty good job of raising Jane and I think that she’s caring, homely, intelligent. Aged sixteen, Jane finds her mother embarrassing, and underestimates her, but that’s to be expected. My expectation is that we will see Jane’s mother in a more balanced way in Volume 4 of the “The Warriors of Love” (viewed by Jane aged 24, rather than 16).

Jane’s mother’s relationship with Modesty Clay and Lisa-Louise re-emerges as a concern in Book 3 of “Jane”. A complex web of inter-connection between different characters should become a major theme of “The Warriors of Love”. I don’t yet understand the pattern of interconnectivity of the series as a whole. Some of it I already follow, but more will certainly develop.

It doesn’t seem to occur to Jane’s mother than her daughter’s love bites might be from a male – but, then, Jane has been in an all-female army camp. And I suppose Helen Brewster knows her daughter well enough. There is also the matter of the expectations of the society in which Jane lives. In Chapter 1, Jane says:

“During the last year or two, I’d lain with several girls of about my own age, as was expected.”

I imagine that she means “expected by people in general” – her friends, her work colleagues, her mother, the people she sees on the bus, and so on.

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