Jane Cook, a thirtyish, unmarried, non-tenured professor of French Literature at a prestigeous New England University, opens her door one morning to find a package wrapped in brown paper, hand-addressed to her in ink, with no return address. Thinking she knows who sent it to her, she opens it to find a manuscript entitled: The Story of Jane.
With her curiosity more than a bit piqued, she sits down and begins reading about herself in so much detail that she thinks she may know who wrote it. But with each passing chapter, she finds reasons why the author couldn't be who she thought it was and picks another possibility. Eventually, the machinations of how her various friends and lovers could possibly be the novel's author begin to run out or become very tenuous, and she begins to doubt her sanity. She occasionally is angered or insulted by the author's arrogance in assuming what her motivations or emotional reactions were, but most of the time she is amazed at the amount of accurate, detailed information one person could possibly have about her.
The story of Jane is a highly intimate view of a brilliant young woman's life, including her personal struggles as well as her professional ones. The mystery of the author's identity is ultimately resolved, and the book ends in quite an unexpected, upbeat fashion.
This report prepared by Melodie Earickson