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When Lady Jane, orphaned daughter of an English earl, arrives in Charlestown, South Carolina, in 1776, she finds herself in the middle of a heated war—a war not only between her former country and her new home but one between the members of her own family, whose loyalties are strongly divided in America's fight for freedom. Torn by family feuds, the war, a secret romance, and her own growing need for independence, Jane struggles for the courage...
When Lady Jane, orphaned daughter of an English earl, arrives in Charlestown, South Carolina, in 1776, she finds herself in the middle of a heated war—a war not only between her former country and her new home but one between the members of her own family, whose loyalties are strongly divided in America's fight for freedom. Torn by family feuds, the war, a secret romance, and her own growing need for independence, Jane struggles for the courage to become the person she wants to be: just Jane.
Includes a reader's guide.
Fourteen-year-old Jane Prentice, orphaned daughter of an English earl, arrives in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1776 to find her family and her loyalties divided over the question of American independence.
Jane Prentice awoke with a start in the cramped, airless cabin that had been her world for forty-six days and nights. Always there was the endless motion, the creaking and rocking of the sailing ship surrounded only by ocean and horizon. A lantern, now dark, swung gently on a beam overhead, as Jane's elderly companion snored softly in the opposite bunk.
Suddenly from the crowded deck above, shouts rang out in the gray, cheerless dawn. Sailors starting their morning chores called to one another across the decks. According to the ship's rules, that meant Jane could go up, too. Shivering with a mixture of cold and excitement, she quickly dressed and ran up on deck to greet the new day. Maybe, Jane thought-as she had every morning for the last week-just maybe, this will be the day.
Her stout, gray-haired companion found Jane leaning over the railing on the bow, looking straight into the spray-filled wind. She was straining to see a sliver of land through the mist.
"Jane! Gracious, child, you'll catch your death-"
"Mrs. Morley, look!" Jane was too excited for a scolding. "Do you see? It's the Sea Islands, the lookout told me. Charlestown's* only three more hours' sail. That's South Carolina you're seeing-we're finally here!"
Squinting into the distance, Mrs. Morley could barely see a dark line low on the horizon. "Lord above! Can it be?"
"I wonder what it'll be like," Jane murmured.
"A backwoods outpost, I dare say." Her companion sniffed. "Like all the American colonies."
"That can't be. Uncle Robert and Cousin Hugh have lived here for years. And Uncle Robert wrote to us that Charlestown's quite as civilized as London, only smaller."
"Civilized, indeed! We'll be spending half of every year at Mr. Robert's farm, miles from town and surrounded by wild beasts and savages!"
"It's not a farm, it's a big plantation," Jane corrected her.
"Besides, there's all this talk of quarreling between the Americans and King George, our lawful ruler. It worries me."
But Jane's mind was on her uncle's plantation. "Rosewall!" She breathed the name as if enchanted. "Uncle Robert says it's a beautiful patch of England, transplanted to America. I'm sure it's lovely now, in June."
"A tangled wilderness, I'll warrant." Mrs. Morley was not to be influenced. She pulled her long overcoat tight against the chill, looking quite miserable.
Jane scowled. "If you already hate it, why did you come?"
"You know very well why," Mrs. Morley replied indignantly. "Because I've been your companion since your dear mother died so long ago, and because I promised your poor father. What a wasted life he led! Earl of Almesbury at thirty-three, and his fortune and estate lost to drink before he was forty! It was his dying wish that I remain with you."
"Well, I could have come alone," Jane replied, absentmindedly pulling at the small gold locket she always wore-and always tugged at when she felt nervous.
"A girl of fourteen sailing off alone to a strange land to live with an uncle she's never met? I think not!"
Jane gave her faithful companion a hug. "I'm glad you came, Mrs. Morley, but I want you to be glad, too. From his letters, Uncle Robert sounds wonderful, and I'm dying to meet Aunt Clarissa. He says she's very beautiful, and from a good Charlestown family. Her brother's a rich merchant and belongs to the South Carolina Assembly, or whatever it's called. And Cousin Hugh is-"
"A cabinetmaker!" Mrs. Morley scoffed at the mention of Robert's cousin Hugh Prentice. "Imagine! No more than a lowly woodworker, and him with all that schooling. All the Prentice boys had a fine education, you know. Their grandfather, Edward, the first Earl, saw to that. He'd turn over in his grave if he knew that after Hugh came to America, he tossed aside his books for a hammer and chisel!"
"I don't see why. Surely, woodworking's an honest occupation."
But Mrs. Morley had already turned to go back belowdecks. "I tell you this, my girl," she called over her shoulder, "we may be a long way from home, but I intend to remain English through and through till the day I die. These colonies can't change that. And stop pulling on that chain, dear. You'll break it for certain. You know I wasn't even supposed to let you have that locket until you turned eighteen."
"I know, and I keep telling you, I won't break it." Engraved with her parents' initials-EP to RP-Jane's beloved gold locket contained her only memento of her mother, the Countess Rachel, who had died when Jane was just three years old. Curled inside the heart-shaped locket was a wisp of chestnut brown hair. The locket, and a slim volume of poems that had belonged to her father, were the two treasures she had brought with her to America.
"And I know how you feel about England, Mrs. Morley. I feel the same way. I'm sure all our friends and kinsmen in America do, too. But you'll see-we'll have an exciting new life here, and I'm..."
Jane turned her gaze again to the mysterious horizon shrouded in morning mist.
I'm afraid, she thought.
Copyright © 2002 by William Lavender
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording,
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Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.
Posted April 22, 2009
Posted September 27, 2007
Just Jane is about a girl who move from England to the United States right before the American Revolution. The war of the countries isn't what's bothering her, it's the fact that there is also a war between her own family, and a war for her hand in marrige. It's well written, the plot is great, and it's something I'll read again and again. It is truly a masterpiece!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 7, 2007
Just Jane is a beautiful historical novel for young adults, and is one of my favorite books. Taking place in the Revolutionary War, young Jane Prentice struggles to find her true identity in the midst of this turmoil. Filled with action, suspense, love, and sorrow, Just Jane is a lovely tale of following one's heart. Read it, you won't regret it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2007
Posted March 27, 2007
All is to be explained with these three 'I' phrases...Jane Prentice, a young British noblewoman, is torn between her loyalty to the crown, and her strong desire for the freedom that the Patriots of South Carolina desire (and later aquire). As for her heart, the only person who gains her affections is her most devoted Schoolmaster.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2007
Stuck between multiple relationship choices. Just kidding, but not really. Otherwise, I was utterly inspired by her thinking abilities. I am glad she ended up with _ _ _ _ _.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2007
Jane is a blooming English rose at the beginning of this book, having just entered the awkward stage before womanhood. She is however more stressed as she is a Lady of the English court. As the story unfolds you are amazed at how lovely and witty this young woman becomes. As her former homeland and her dear new home, America wage wars, she also battles her heart her instincts, and her sanity to be with the man she loves.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2007
Posted August 7, 2006
Just Jane was the best book i have ever read!!! i think Brandon Ainsley sounds HOTT!!!!!! lol I was so mad when brandon died but I'm glad Jane ended up with Simon!!! Instead of the army captain!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 6, 2005
I LOVED this book~!! Jane is a very real character, though Simon is my favorite. This book is full of action as well as romance! Lots of gun fights! Very exciting and stays true to history-One of the best historic fic novels ever written! Props to William Lavender!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2005
Jane is just your average British girl living in America. Wrong! there is no way she's average Jane! She's living through the war and having to untangle many quarrels with others and even herself in the book! Many guys are there to court her but they concern her not. She has to fight strong for what she is in America but in the end she has to face the ultimate question. Is she still loyal to the crown or loyal to her new home in America? A tory or a patriot? I absolutely loved this book so much! i couldn't put it down until i was finished with it in the wee hours of the morning! Seriously! i loved the fact that there was adventure, history, and LOVE all rolled up together into this one book! I suggest this book to many people out there! BUY IT NOW!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2003
This is just a great book. There is everything you could want, action, war, romance, love triangles, and a great female lead. This book made me laugh and cry all at the same time. Great for teen-age girls who like historical fiction and historical romance.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 20, 2010
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Posted October 26, 2008
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Posted August 7, 2010
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