What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

Jennifer

Jennifer is the kind of woman you would want as your friend. You could share your troubles and your joys with her and she would keep your secrets. A mother and grandmother, she works part time in a school, giving dance therapy lessons to special needs children and lives with her slightly grumpy, but loving husband, Gerald, who is a well-known sculptor.

But she has a dilemma; while supporting her friends with their relationship problems she discovers a secret which she ought to reveal but she prevaricates, putting off the awful day because she knows there cannot be a good ending.

And it is relationships which this book is all about. We learn of an important partnership in Jennifer’s past and she is trying to deal with a lack of communication with her daughter. Her young friend, Freya is a vulnerable, needy girl who experiences problems with personal relationships, be it boyfriend or sister. Jennifer’s other friend Abi, seems much more in control. A successful head teacher, she juggles work and social commitments quite well, until her lover moves in. And there is the pivotal male protagonist; a shadowy, complicated individual whose motives are difficult to understand but whose problems must stem from his unloved childhood.

What Jennifer Knows appears at first to be a simple story of village life but as Wendy Janes reveals the layers of complex relationships, conflict and regret it becomes a much deeper story and the outcome for the characters we have come to know, matter a great deal.

At times I was losing patience with Jennifer’s reticence. She is obviously a talented, empathetic woman but she is reluctant to rock the boat. However, in the clever twist at the end of the story she finally chooses to face a problem head-on and takes decisive action.

This is an ideal novel for a book club as there are so many moral issues to discuss. I also found the references to the three schools very interesting as they reflected issues I have also experienced. This is definitely a thought provoking novel.

Rosie's Book Review team 1

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8 thoughts on “What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

  1. Pingback: What Tim Knows and other stories by Wendy Janes #AugustReviews | Lizanne

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