During the first half of 2002, I read my first Jane Green novel, "Jemima J." It had been recommended to me by some friends and I decided to check it out for myself. I was not disappointed and could hardly put it down. I recommended it to other friends upon finishing the story. It was a fun story with a good message and it motivated me to exercise. A while after that, I started reading Jane Green's other novels and was equally impressed. As of last summer, I have read all her books. There's a new one that I'm looking forward to reading when it is released this summer. Some of my favorites so far are "Babyville," "Bookends," "The Other Woman," and the aforementioned "Jemima J."
There is something that speaks to me from each of her novels. It could be that she creates characters with whom it is easy to connect. The setting comes into play, as well. Most of her recent stories take place in a rich suburban part of Connecticut, but I feel like I am living in the characters' houses with each story I read. She even adds an air of mystery or intrigue to her stories, even sticking in villains from time to time.
Last summer, I had the pleasure of hearing Jane Green speak in NJ and meeting her afterward. She is a lovely speaker with a beautiful British accent. I even had her voice in my head when I was reading "Dune Road" shortly after hearing her speak. She has a great sense of humor, but it's more subtle than in your face. She answered as many fan questions in the time available and didn't rush through her answers. For being such a wonderful author, she is very modest and gracious. After her speech and reading were finished, she stayed to sign books. I first thought we wouldn't be able to get posed pictures, but she was very nice about having people take pictures with her. She even commented to me about how I keep my camera in a baby sock.
Jane is on Facebook and I enjoy hearing the latest news about her stories and the status of publication. She's made herself so approachable in person that I am very comfortable e-mailing her to ask questions or to send letters of praise.
I hope Jane Green continues to write amazing stories so that future generations of chick lit fans can enjoy her work as much as I have (even though there will be women like me who ensure that the new generations will read classics like "Jemima J").