Pulling a Job on Jane

The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May VanderbiltThe Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Publisher: Broadway Books
Number of pages:  304
My copy: paperback, ordered from Amazon

Jane Williams is the happiest woman in New York. She has a dream job, a perfect Manhattan apartment, and a man she wants to marry. Her whole life is mapped out to the finest detail, and things just can’t get any better. But in a New York minute, everything changes. After an evening on the town with a hot Hollywood actor her PR firm is wooing, she wakes up to a day filled with strange occurrences—a weird mark on her face and a red-haired woman who seems to be following her every move. This bizarre day turns increasingly horrible, and over the course of it, Jane loses her boyfriend, her best friend, her job, her home, maybe even her dog. Unsure of why she’s being tested, Jane struggles to hold herself together while her world falls apart. Has God forgotten her?

* * *

It’s a bit hard finding good Christian fiction in the Philippines because truth be told, not many bookstores carry it. Sure, there’s OMF Literature, but the last time I saw Christian fiction on their shelves that isn’t by Frank Peretti (not that I mind, except that I have a lot of Peretti’s already) or Ted Dekker was almost four years ago. I’m glad that I can find some good YA Christian fiction in Fully Booked, but as for chick lit or non-suspense Christian fiction…well, it’s hard. That’s why I result to getting books online instead, because there’s a bigger selection of them there, obviously.

So yes, I ordered this online, and I got it from a sale, which is even more awesome. I’m a fan of Anne and May’s Miracle Girls series (which I will review as a whole once I get the last book in the series, which I hope gets to Fully Booked soon!), but I’ve always been curious about their previous books. When I heard that The Book of Jane was included in Chicklit Club’s Ultimate 100 Chicklit Collection, I decided to put it in my Amazon purchases before my dad went home.

Enough of the story on how I got the book, and let’s get to the actual book. The Book of Jane is a retelling of the story of Job, told in a woman’s perspective and in New York City. We all know the story of Job, right? It’s about a man who’s been blessed by God all his life, and then God allows the devil to wreak havoc in his life (provided he doesn’t harm Job) so they could see if Job would still be faithful to God even if he gets all these misfortunes (I mean come on, his entire family dying? Getting boils all over his body? I experienced the flood and it’s enough to drive me nuts — to experience all that might drive me over the edge). It’s about Jane Williams, who has the perfect apartment, perfect job, perfect friends, perfect boyfriend and perfect family…until everything turns out to be not perfect, and she’s left scrambling for meaning and her faith.

I liked the novel, although I think the similarities to Job ended right there. Okay, I admit to not having read the entire book of Job yet so I can’t make perfect comparisons, but I do know that the book of Job had all these poems about Job’s friends who talk to him about his misfortunes and his faith. Jane seemed alone during her low points, except when she met up with Coates, but for the rest of the time, she had friends and she had things to remind her of her fortune despite the things that happened to her.

Not that it’s bad — it’s actually a pretty good lesson on perspectives. I don’t know what I’m wishing for here, really, except maybe I guess I felt that it was too tame, that Jane didn’t really have it that hard. Maybe I was expecting something more in Jane’s misfortunes, or something. Maybe I’m just a harsh reader? ;)

But the story is quite delightful, and it touches a lot of subjects — faith (obviously), relationships, friendships and even death. I loved Jane’s friend Lee, although I kind of had a feeling he was in the closet. I don’t know, he just had that vibe? I figured who Coates would be in Jane’s life early enough, but their relationship was kind of nice to see that there was more to Coates’ arrogant exterior.

Overall, it’s a good read. The basic idea of Job was there, and although I kind of wish for more, it’s a nice refreshing clean chick-lit that packs a lot of valuable life lessons. :)

Rating: [rating=4]

Book Stash – April

I’m sorry for not posting as much as I used to here — truth be told, I’m just having a hard time finishing the books I’ve been reading. Ever since I finished North of Beautiful, I haven’t been feeling much of the other books I have on my to-be-read list. Sure, I’ve got some reading challenges to guide me, but I just wasn’t feeling them that much. Ever had one of those days?

I’ve been browsing around bookstores again ever since Easter, and I found myself not being able to choose books to read. Strange, but it’s also kind of liberating because my wallet is happy. :P I did manage to get some  books from some bookstore visits. Then my dad arrived, and I realized why there’s a subconscious feeling why I’m holding back from buying books: he has my Amazon stash with him. :)

So now I present to you my first book stash post here. I wish I could post this every week, kind of like how other people do, but I don’t really acquire books every week, much less manage to finish reading them on time. So here’s a first (I think), and I can’t say when the next is going to be. :D

Book Stash - AprilIn this picture:

  1. BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker
    I’ve always been a Ted Dekker fan, and I’ve been wanting to buy the trade paperback of this book but it was just too expensive. When I saw this two weeks ago in Fully Booked, I just grabbed it. Here’s to liking this one. :) One day, I’ll do a Dekker bonanza and get all his books and read them. :P
  2. Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco
    I picked this up to add another book in my Project 20:10 Challenge, and Blooey just gave a glowing review on this, and I can’t wait to get started on this. Should be good.
  3. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
    I’ve seen a couple of recommendations on this by Blooey and Myk, and the paperback is quite cheap, too, so I got it from Powerbooks. Looks promising, but it’s another series, so I think I’m going to have to collect this, too.
  4. The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
    I’ve been meaning to get this one ever since I started writing my 2009 NaNoWriMo novel, but of course it’s not available here. When I did my Amazon shopping, this was the first one I got — and I got it for only $5! I’m reading it now and liking it, although I already guessed something from the story the moment the character showed up. :P But’s it’s still good, and I’m glad to have gotten my hands on some good Christian fiction again.
  5. Last Mango in Texas by Ray Blackston
    I’m a big Ray Blackston fan, from his Jay Jarvis series. I was surprised to see that he has new books out, and this was the cheapest I could find. I look forward to laughing with this once again.
  6. Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck
  7. Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
    For #6 and 7, they seem interesting, and it was on sale, too, so I got it. Good Christian chick lit, how I missed you!
  8. Flashbang: How I Got Over Myself by Mark Steele
    I have actually read this book already, but I had to throw away my copy when Ondoy hit. :( Good thing there was a sale on this, too!
  9. The Guy I’m Not Dating Trish Perry
    Once again, Christian chick lit! It’s very pink, and seems like a good story, so yeah, I threw it in the list. I hope this impulse buy is worth it. :)

Not in picture, but I hope this arrives soon:

  • Wonders Never Cease by Tim Downs
    Got Getting this from Booksneeze — I finally caught a fiction release from them! Pays to have them in my RSS reader. Now if only shipping books from where they are to where I am does not take two weeks, I can write their reviews faster. But oh well. Free books are free books, I shouldn’t complain. I hope the book arrives soon, though!

I still have this urge to buy some more books, but right now I’m waiting for some releases to arrive — and some books to lower their prices…or at least, for bookstores to go on sale! I mean, not all books come with low prices like cheap insurance, you know. Which reminds me…can I wait to buy some other books I want until Book Fair? That’s four months away! Hm…Let’s see! ;)