This provocative, funny, perceptive novel tells the story of the trials of over-conscientious parenthood, as the devoted Braithwaites watch their bright, gifted eighteen-year-old take her disturbing initial steps toward independence, integrity–and failure.
The action is set in Morningside Heights, the Manhattan neighborhood surrounding Columbia University where the Braithwaites live in a community in which adults’ aspirations are firmly focused on the achievements of their children. Talented, troubled, and self-centered, Jane Braithwaite makes her well-meaning upper-middle-class family miserable, enmeshing them in the complicated lives of a homeless family, a poor teenager with no family, and a would-be family foundering on childlessness. When catastrophe finally threatens, all their dilemmas are resolved by the same stunning and unexpected means.
All the while, the Braithwaites involve old and new friends in their struggles–a lovesick clergyman, a lonely doctor and his baby-obsessed wife, a libertarian billionaire, a money-loving philosopher, and a hard-bitten but sexy poverty activist. Their social and political clashes provide entertainment both comic and serious.
Anything for Jane is a fast-paced, beautifully crafted, moving tale of parent-child discord, class conflict, and young love. Erudite and playful, it offers readers a feast of rich satisfactions.
About the Author
Cheryl Mendelson received her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Rochester and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She has practiced law in New York City and taught philosophy at Purdue and Columbia universities. She is the author of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House and the novels Morningside Heights and Love, Work, Children. Anything for Jane is the final novel in her Morningside Heights trilogy. She lives in New York City.