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Jane Was Here

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  589 ratings  ·  155 reviews
A thriller that explores reincarnation, Jane Was Here follows a mysterious young woman, who calls herself Jane, who turns up in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in the town, yet she has never been there before in her life. Upon her arrival, strange and alarming things begin happening to some of the town's inhabitants. As Jane's memori ...more
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Grey Swan Press (first published June 2nd 2011)
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3.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  589 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Susan May
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
I'm reposting this review because the author is a pretty special woman and I really loved this book. Sarah Kernochan is a screenwriter. You may have seen some her films ... 9 1/2 weeks, Somersby, What lies Beneath. A film of hers has just come out starring Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson called Learning To Drive. I'm lucky enough to call Sarah a friend now. I'm looking forward to seeing this latest movie which is out in Australia beginning of October. If you want to read a great book about re ...more
Misty Baker
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Oh dear Jesus in Heaven…I don’t even know where to start with this book without sounding like Ozzy on a bender. So… I guess I could always start at the beginning. Sound good to you? (Nod your head yes.)

The beginning (aka the synopsis)

“A mysterious young woman calling herself Jane turns up in a small New England town. She claims a fragmentary memory of growing up in this place, yet she has never been here before in her life. Upon her arrival, strange and alarming things begin happening to some o
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jane Was Here is a classic page turner. The plot shifts and turns and challenges the reader to pay very close attention to every detail. That's not hard to do since the author is such talented writer. The words seem to flow so perfectly on the page. Her style is easy to read, but not facile. Every word seems to be there for a reason. The plot jumps back and forth to modern day new england and 19th century new england with an ease only a skilled writer like sarah kernochan can deliver. it's not e ...more
Kimberly Kinrade
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Where do you go when your only memories seem to stem from a life not your own? Who do you call family when those who birthed you are but strangers? Meet Jane...a woman lost in the past who must find herself before she is lost once again in the present.

When Jane enters the small town of Graynier, it is familiar in a way that it shouldn't be, given that she's never been there before. But she has. She hangs onto this certainty as she claims for herself a house that is being occupied by a young man
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
What a letdown. The author worked so hard to weave together this intricate plot with such a fascinating premise that just gets more and more interesting as it goes... Despite the ridiculous overuse of the word "truly" I was immensely enjoying this book. But at the end it feels as though the author just got tired of writing it. There's a wonderful story there, but even though I've finished the book, I don't feel like there was a resolution. At the end when everything is supposed to be revealed, I ...more
Roderick Low
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Sarah Kernochan

This is, quite simply, a masterful novel. Yes, it has an essential paranormal strand, as ghosts of the past return to haunt the living. Yes, it is also a mystery, where the enigmatic Jane and the truth she seeks about her past are revealed so gradually that one dare not lose concentration for a single moment. She searches for herself with the same desperation we assume in our search of her.

But ‘Jane Was Here’ is, most importantly, a beautifully told story. The shee
I wish I hadn't read the reviews on Goodreads while in the midst of this book. Learning that the author was also the screenwriter for one of my favourite films, What Lies Beneath, only cemented my disappointment in this book.

The central caveat of this book is that a seemingly autistic young woman is actually the reincarnated spirit of a murdered young woman in 1800s Massachusetts. She interacts with all of the town's locals, and leads to a terrible tragedy both in the past and in the present.

Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In "Jane Was Here," Sarah Kernochan has created a stunning and remarkable story that grabbed me at the first sentence and didn't let me go until I had devoured the entire story. Moving smoothly and quickly, the story has so many levels that if I tried to explain what it was all about, I'd completely spoil it for you, the future reader of this amazing book.

Who is Jane? She arrives in Granynier, searching for answers. She invites herself into a house rented for the summer by Brett so he could spen
2.5 Stars.

This book didn't do it for me in several ways:

1. While I enjoy the whole reincarnation idea, I also believe that through reincarnation you grow spiritually and have the opportunity to redeem or redress past wrongs. However, Kernochan uses reincarnation as a vehicle to the proverbial "what goes around comes around" saying. The characters are pitiful in their current existence, waiting for Jane to come and shake things up. Nah. Don't buy it.

2. Jane was annoying.

3. There were obviously s
May 26, 2014 marked it as gave-up-on-this-book
DNF around 30%
Deborah Lane
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written, creative read. Twists, turns, flash back style reveals. Literate and captured my attention from the beginning. Interesting , well developed characters, relatable story line, modern scary tale. Recomended.
Dawn Ang
Nov 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
All aspects of Sarah Kernochan's novel "Jane Was Here" can be described with one word: ridiculous.

Let's begin with the characters of this book because I find them to be where "Jane Was Here" fails the most. All of the characters are obnoxious, stupid, and pathetic. None of them are likable in the least. I don't know why it would seem reasonable to create characters with whom readers will not sympathize. Some of them are not even really woven into the main plot and are just added in to make a po
Scott Whitmore
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the biggest pleasures in life come from stepping outside what you know and trying something different. A book like "Jane Was Here" by Sarah Kernochan (@SarahKernochan) isn't something I might normally pick up to read -- I usually like some creature(s) with my paranormal -- but man, am I glad I did.

Thrilling and suspenseful, "Jane" has everything, and I mean everything, that I love in a story -- and more. Sharply-drawn characters, clear and engaging prose, and an intriguing and beguili
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jane does not remember much about her past. Only that the town of Graynier seems familiar to her somehow. When Jane arrives in town, she meets Brett. Brett is renting out a home for the summer. It just so happens that it is the home that Jane lived in or the place that she thinks she lived in. Jane ends up staying with Brett until she can piece together her past and who she really is. With Jane’s appearance comes a dark secret that some of the towns folk don’t want uncovered and will do anything ...more
Bonnie Randall
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The prose here is BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely flawless and occassionally staggering. For the writing alone this novel is worth it but the story is no slouch either; the lives of several people in a small New England town become at first complicated then supernaturally sinister after a near-miss accident with a young pedestrian - a stranger - in Graynier.
Jane is a woman with no memories yet MANY memories and as she tries to unravel the pieces of what turns out to be her very distant past, others in the
Ann Davis
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. I found the characters believable and sometimes funny. Hoyt the lazy - who only wanted to drink and read (bit like me there). Marly the whore who always thought things could be worse. Brett the web designer struggling to know his son who met Gita who liked India but not being Indian and her brother who liked being Indian but not India. Lots more good characters bringing the story to a great finish when all became clear. For a supernatural book I thought it was quite jol ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
There's a lot to think about with this book. Kernochan (writer for movies "What Lies Beneath" and "Sommersby") has a way with language. As I read, I would repeatedly pause and re-read a passage just to enjoy the words she chose and the way they were combined. The story has some wonderful characters -- I particularly liked the alcoholic underachiever, Hoyt. I've never read a book like this before, and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Mary Nee
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it

Thrilling and suspenseful! A lot of twist and turns! Good book!
D.K. Thomas
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
There's a story behind why I ended up reading this book. I was on my annual holiday down in Constantine Bay, Cornwall, back in May this year. I was reading an interview with Clark Gregg in Empire Film magazine. He was featured because his recurring character, S.H.I.E.LD. Agent Phil Coulson, was returning in The Avengers. The article revealed a couple of surprising things about him. As well as learning that he is he married to Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing), I discovered that he has had quite a su ...more
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Read program.

Jane Was Here is a gripping read that has had me reassessing reincarnation for weeks. Jane is not fully aware of who she was, only that she currently inhabits a body that does not belong to her. She is conscious of the fact that she does not belong and rails against her current situation, shutting her new parents out behavious that are diagnosed as autism. Eventually, she is institutionalized, and remains such until she realizes th
I've wanted to read Jane Was Here since I first learned about it well over a year ago and I'm really glad I've had the opportunity to do so. As it turns out, this book ended up being a very oddly intriguing story.

I was really intrigued with oh so mysterious Jane and her parallel-time storyline, but I have to admit that much of the time it was hard to understand what was really going on. However, when the other characters' story lines started connecting with her parallel-iness it was interesting
Drew Farnsworth
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jane shows up on a stranger's doorstep and says, “This is my house. I was born in this house.” From the initial confusion arises a carefully laid tapestry of metaphysical and existential mystery. Each moment of the story opens up a new question regarding the denizens of this small town. Who are they? Why are they acting so strangely? Like a puzzle, this book opens as a miasma of pieces with no obvious links between. But within a few chapters the patterns begin to emerge, the plot begins to find ...more
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I consider myself very lucky to have won a copy of this amazing book on Goodreads.

From the first two sentences I was immediately hooked:
"The night is pale, humid, with a few begrimed clouds. The moon has hung around so long it's ignored, unremarkable as a thumb-tack."

The book is full of similar gorgeous prose, which literally made me smile to myself while reading it. This novel is certainly not short on plot either!

I do love a good mystery, and when you throw that mystery into a small town, wher
Eric Praschan
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jane Was Here is a spellbinding gothic tale that tingles the spine and jangles the nerves. The story explores the subject of reincarnation with a clever narrative device: a vagrant girl arrives in a sleepy town, unable to recall her past, but she remembers with conviction that her past has a profound connection to where she has found herself in the present. I was drawn into the tale from the first page and felt immersed in the small New England community. The deft prose intertwines the reader wi ...more
Annmarie Ager
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I would like to start by saying I normally only really read young adult books so it was a nice change to read something for adult readers and it was such a magnificent book.

There were a LOT of interesting and exciting characters in the book and while I really enjoyed reading about them what I fell in love with was the story that blazed through the whole book. The mystery that surrounded Jane in her quest to find out the truth about herself. Who is this strange old fashioned talking young women
John Hazen
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’ve never been a big fan of reincarnation stories. I realize now that it’s probably because I’d never read one as deftly written as Jane Was Here, by Sarah Kernochan. Most reincarnation stories left me thinking, “Yeah, right.” Jane Was Here, on the other hand, made me wonder: “Could that really happen?”
What stood out for me most was how real, how human, the characters are. Their flaws (some are much more flawed than others) are there for us to see, which makes it much easier for the reader iden
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
To be honest with the reader of this review, it took a bit for this book to take off for me. Once I got into it, *BAM*, it took off and ended with several twists that I didn't see coming and left me scratching my head (a good thing). This was probably one of the most unusual books I have read this year. I have owned it for a bit, but as things happen and books pop up, I found myself distracted by other books given to me or ones that were on my TBR list. It took a book challenge to shove it to th ...more
I won a copy of "Jane Was Here" by Sarah Kernochan through the Goodreads Giveaway Contest.

This is a gothic tale a ghost thriller taking place in New England.The story explores the subject of reincarnation with a clever narrative device: a vagrant girl arrives in a sleepy town, unable to recall her past, but she remembers with conviction that her past has a profound connection to where she has found herself in the present. I was drawn into the tale from the first page and felt immersed in the sm
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jane Was Here by Sarah Kernochan is a griping thriller about a young woman who is living displaced in time. A man (Brett) trying to bond with the son that he has barely any contact with ends up renting a house in a small town called Graynier. Early one morning he is awakened by a young woman knocking on his door insisting that he is staying in her house. For reasons he himself doesn't understand he decides to let her stay with them until he figures out what is really going on.

Everything about t
Aug 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is sooo not my thing. I'm not a fan of this whole Paranormal crap. Yeah, I watch True Blood, but that's only because I love that Eric Northman guy.

I was up at a friend's house for a few days, and forgot to bring some reading material, and needed something - anything to read. My friend writes for a book blog so she has tons of books around her house. I'm not sure why I picked this on up. It looked like an easy read for some reason.

Well lemme tell ya, I was right, it was an easy read, but no
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I decided to be a writer at age 14. The books I loved made me want to draw love in the same way, to beguile and woo a reader away from the sensory world. I don't think of myself as an author but rather as a storyteller. I have only published two books because I got sidetracked into film. That career reached its peak with my directing a movie from my own script called "All I Wanna Do" [original tit ...more
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“Life ends with a snap of small bones, a head cracked from its stem, and a spirit unmoored...” 15 likes
“The Mistress of the Manor (Hoyt calls her MOM) has no idea he shoots the skunks and raccoons he traps on her property. She has asked him please to release the creatures in some other vicinity, a "humane" act that only makes them somebody's else's problem. Typical: MOM sees nothing contradictory in driving twenty miles in a gas-guzzling atmosphere-choking SUV to buy organic vegetables.” 2 likes
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