Book Reviews

Book Review: Plain Janey, by Nicola McDonald

Plain Janey,

by Nicola McDonald

Publication: Troubador Publishing/Matador; November 28, 2019



About the book:

Jane and Sophie met in 1993 and instantly became close friends; fast forward to 2016 and both women are enjoying successful careers and happy lives. But what happens when your happy ever after is threatened? What happens when the rug is pulled from under your feet, sending your hopes and dreams flying? When the journey you forged and the relationships you nurtured are now forced to take a diversion?

Packed with suspense, Plain Janey is a romance novel with a twist. An intense and passionate look at infidelity, Nicola McDonald has woven a unique tale of friendship, manipulation, grief – and what happens when your life is falling apart.

**My Review**

So, the other day I was browsing available books on NetGalley and came across Plain Janey by Nicola McDonald. Having never heard of this author, I found myself somewhat intrigued by what appeared to be a unique novel. Once I started reading, my thoughts and opinions were all over the place. You know how people are always rubber-necking when they pass a car accident? No one really wants to see any carnage from the accident, yet you just can’t help looking. That’s the best way I can describe my ability to have read this entire novel. 

I’m not saying it was bad, but it was truly bizarre. Jane and Sophie met as young girls and thirteen years later they are still best friends. Jane is happily married to Kamden, a successful life coach, and mom to four-year-old twins, Mercy, and Taylor. Sophie is a police detective and was happily married to Raylen until he suddenly left her for a “younger model” without any explanation. A year and a half later, Sophie still isn’t over her husband leaving her and sets out to prove to herself that it wasn’t her fault, that any married man can be seduced. Oh, and she’s completely batshit crazy.

I’m not a big fan of books with a ton of cheating, but something about this one sounded different to me, thus why I chose to read it and continue reading it until the end. Honestly, although the blurb states “an intense and passionate look at infidelity,” it was Sophie’s slow collapse into insanity that was most disturbing. Well, that, and also Jane’s complete disregard for her wonderful husband and happy little home that she had. 

Unfortunately, I can say little about the plot because of spoilers, but I will say that about 20% into it, everything changes in a hugely unexpected way. I absolutely didn’t see it coming, which is always fun. However, things just continued to get more and more bizarre as the novel progressed, almost to the point of being silly.

There were several times that I almost closed out this novel, not wanting to finish it. But back to my earlier reference about car accidents, I just couldn’t look away. I applaud McDonald’s attention to detail in developing her characters and also the unique plot. However, this was just too weird for me. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Matador for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 


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