What Jennifer Knows

By Wendy Janes

What Jennifer KnowsBook Blurb

A vital member of her Surrey community, Jennifer Jacobs is dedicated to her job as a dance therapist, helping children with special needs to express themselves through movement. Wife of a successful though reclusive sculptor, Gerald, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, she is known for having a deep sense of empathy, making her a trusted confidante. So when two very different friends, Freya and Abi, both share information with her that at first seems to be an awkward coincidence, she doesn’t tell them. But as the weeks roll by, the link revealed between the two women begins to escalate into a full-blown moral dilemma – and also brings to the surface a painful memory Jennifer believed she had long since forgotten. What is the right thing to do? Should she speak out or is the truth better left unsaid?

My Review

Jennifer is the friend everyone should have. Do you have a secret?  Jennifer can be trusted to keep a confidence.  She divides her time among the things most important to her – her grandchildren, husband, friends, and her part-time job as a dance therapist teaching children with special needs.  But her relationship with her daughter Blythe is strained. They both have a lot to work out before they can have the easy relationship Jennifer longs to have with her daughter.

When Jennifer meets Freya at the grocery store, she soon is listening to Freya’s plan to propose to her boyfriend, Oliver. Jennifer and Freya soon fall into an easy friendship, and Jennifer wonders why she and Blythe can’t have the same kind of relationship.

Jennifer’s longtime friend Abi can’t make up her mind whether or not to ask her boyfriend Ed to move in with her. Jennifer supports Abi in her decision.

But when Jennifer discovers what Freya and Abi don’t know, can she tell them?

Will Jennifer and Blythe ever find common ground? What role does Jennifer’s grandson Tim play in keeping Jennifer and Blythe at odds or helping them reconcile whatever differences are keeping their relationship on rocky ground?

I relished reading What Jennifer Knows. Wendy Janes did an excellent job crafting the story and developing the characters.  It is a quick read but contained all the necessary details needed to keep my interest.  Jennifer must deal with the issues of morality and loyalty and leaves the reader wondering, “what would I do?”  I recommend this to all readers of women’s fiction.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

I was given a copy of What Jennifer Knows by author Wendy Janes in exchange for an honest review.

Format: Available as an e-book.

Publisher: Self-published

Publication Date:  October 11, 2015

Page count: 223

Genre: Women’s Fiction

About the AuthorWendy Janes

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. A number of her short stories have recently appeared in anthologies, and 2015 sees the launch of her first solo novel, What Jennifer Knows. Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only need a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

As well as writing contemporary fiction, she loves to read and review it.

Wendy is also a freelance proofreader, and a caseworker for the National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.

Connect with Wendy Janes on social media and her website




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The Banks of Certain Rivers by Jon Harrison

The Banks of Certain Rivers

THE BANKS OF CERTAIN RIVERS will draw you in immediately with its backstory where we meet Neil Kazenzakis (Mr. K), husband, father, friend, teacher, coach. It is here that we learn first of his wife Wendy and son Chris, and the terrible accident that Wendy has in a swimming pool that left her in a permanent comatose state. Their son Chris, an eighth grader, witnessed the accident.

We move forward a few years and find that Neil has more to deal with than seems humanly possible.  His wife Wendy remains in a nursing home, he and Chris both are still struggling to move on, and he is caring for his mother-in-law Carol, while at the same time, maintaining her home.  On top of everything else, Neil has fallen in love with Lauren, the nurse taking care of Carol.  Neil must tell Chris, but fears it is more than a young person can handle given the state of his mother’s health.  Add to all this is a video that went viral showing Mr. K knocking a student to the ground. Can he prove his innocence and that the video is a fake?  With his job and reputation on the line and Chris’ loss of respect for him after Neil tells him he has been in a relationship for two years, Neil feels his life is spiraling out of control. With the determination and help of understanding and caring friends, Neil is able to move forward.

I don’t like spoilers, and this book is difficult to talk about without revealing too much. It is well written with a plot that will keep you turning the pages. It is about love and redemption, loyalty and trust.  It is about putting what life throws at you into the proper perspective and getting on with one’s life.

The characters were so well developed that I felt an immediate bond with each one.  I wanted Wendy to recover, and at first didn’t like Lauren because I felt she stood in the way of that recovery. I wanted to hug Chris and help him through the murky waters of grief, sadness, distrust, and disappointment.  It was so much to put upon a teenager.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a five star book.  Once I started reading, I was unable to put it down.  With so many layers to the story and personalities elaborated so beautifully, this is one book I wholeheartedly recommend.


About the Author

Born in Michigan, Jon Harrison studied English literature and geological sciences at Ohio University. A lover of the outdoors, he moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1994 and has lived there ever since. When not writing, he enjoys skiing, running, and climbing.

The Banks of Certain Rivers is his first novel.Jon-Harrison_9659-1200px

Follow Jon Harrison on:

Webpage – Harrison Pages

Twitter – @HarrisonPages

Goodreads – Jon Harrison Author Page

FaceBook – The Banks of Certain Rivers


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IMG_1110 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Jon Harrison at Books by the Banks. Shown here on the right with author Catherine McKenzie on the left.