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Joanne Easley
Sweet Jane
In 1957 Odessa, Texas, precocious six-year-old Janie knows vodka makes Mama mean and killed her grandma. She observes the adult world at her grandma’s funeral, and while she doesn’t mean any disrespect, knows she doesn’t want to grow up to be like Mama. Jane’s comfortable life in 1984 Austin is upended when she learns of Mama’s death. While she looks good on paper—married, graduate school, coin-carrying member of AA—she hasn’t stopped running since she fled Odessa, beginning with hitchhiking to California at age sixteen, right on time for the Summer of Love. The sight of Mama swilling vodka in baby doll pajamas and gigantic pink fuzzy slippers, and the unforgivable words Mama hurled at her one night, are etched in Jane’s memory. Leaving her husband Joshua at home in Austin and in the dark about her past, Jane returns to Odessa for Mama’s funeral. While there, past and present collide, leading to shocking revelations and a decision about her future.