Jane Green keeps up with Ms. Jones

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Given that Jane Green is one of the most well known names and faces of chick lit, it should be no surprise why we asked her to write a piece for International Chick Lit Month. You may have already seen her this month, as she was our Hall of Fame choice! Her storytelling mastery has earned her this role many times over. Who hasn’t put their hand on their heart and sighed whenever “Jemima J” was mentioned? Who hasn’t cried as soon as they thought of “Promises to Keep?” Who hasn’t wanted to switch places with a woman they’ve never met? (Well, if anything, we can do it vicariously now!) Jane Green’s novels are unforgettable, and not only is Jane kind and wonderful online, but also in person. Amy and I have both met her and still talk about those experiences. I even wrote a tribute for her! If you haven’t “met” her yet, you can visit Jane on Facebook, Twitter and at her website. She’s great to her fans, so don’t be shy! And if you haven’t read any of her books yet, RUN, don’t walk, to your local library or bookstore, and stock up right away! Her latest novel is “Another Piece of My Heart” and it’s not to be missed! (If you want to see how much I loved it, look no further!)

Today, Jane is here to talk about the character we know and love best, Ms. Jemima Jones herself! We get a peek at her life as she is living it now. I’m hoping everyone here has read “Jemima J” at least once by now. If you haven’t, read it ASAP and then come back and find out what happens a while down the road. Don’t worry, Jemima’s not going anywhere after ICLM ends.

Exposure

It was John Lennon who said life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, and certainly, she had lived a busy life, one she hadn’t expected, could never have predicted.
She hadn’t expected, for example, to morph from a large, unhappy, unseen girl, who hid her insecurities in food, into a slim blonde beauty who became, for a short time, a style icon in certain magazines.
It made her feel special, for a while, even as she held her breath, expecting the media to expose her as a fraud. Surely it was only a matter of time before Star magazine discovered the ‘fat’ pictures, surely they would show the world she wasn’t nearly as perfect as she appeared.
The fact that it never occurred, didn’t mean Jemima Jones stopped expecting it.
Being the public wife of the charming, handsome Ben Williams, star of his eponymous late-night talk show in the States, wasn’t nearly as much fun as it sounded. Wherever they went, they were on show. Fans approaching them in diners, at the park, even, at times, screeching to a halt as they walked through town, running towards them with pen and paper in hand.
Ben loved it. He had worked hard for it, found it validating and fun, but Jemima, who dreamed of nothing more than a quiet life, found the intrusion overwhelming.
When she showed up at school for concerts, women she barely knew were overly lovely. She could never tell if it was because they liked her, or because they were drawn by the flame of her husband’s success.
These past few years she has stopped going.
At first, New York was bliss. Ben’s show was at midnight, too late for anyone they knew, all knee-deep in diapers and trying to find a great sitter.
Jemima had purpose back then. Motherhood fulfilled every part of her in a way writing never had. She threw herself into mothering with full abandon, only now realising that was the time things started to become…unsettled.
It shouldn’t have been hard for Jemima Jones appeared to live a charmed life. A sprawling house in Westchester, a famous husband, all the privileges that brings; and yet she had never felt so alone, so ignored, so invisible to all.
The afternoon of her life saw Jemima Jones as unhappy as she ever was before she reinvented herself, transformed herself with diets and makeovers to make the one man she had always loved, notice her.
Until he didn’t. They stopped noticing each other. So immersed in their separate lives, they took each other for granted, and that, as we all know, is what allows dangerous things to happen.
That, as we all know, is how a woman like Jemima Jones finds herself, at forty years old, a single mother of two teenage children.
With no idea what she’s going to do next.

Special thanks to Jane Green for bringing us back into Jemima J’s world! We are so glad she was a part of ICLM this year.

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23 Responses to Jane Green keeps up with Ms. Jones

  1. Dawn Boyd says:

    i would like to think that jemima being who she is, since being more comfortable with herself at the end of jemima j that as the children grow up she finds the need to be herself again and looking for something to define as something separate from mrs ben williams or mum xxx

  2. Amanda Owens says:

    I see Jemima reinventing a new career. Even when she was at the Herald her work was over looked and it seems she has once again been overlooked and in the shadows. She was always a great writer and maybe now, in NY, she will use that to further forge her own identity instead of just being Ben Williams’ wife. Perhaps old pictures of her do get out and she uses that along with her writing.

  3. Nicole Turner says:

    I hope that Jemima is able to create a fabulous new career for herself. Perhaps she’ll take over running the Herald. Whatever it is, I hope that it gives her a sense of pride and purpose. It’s also possible that she’ll meet a love interest along the way who is not famous and will truly love her for her. Although there will probably be some difficulty since there are teenage children involved, I hope they’ll be supportive and she’ll be able to be happy in the end.

  4. I think maybe she will get back into writing maybe a self-help book or fiction that mirrors her life but not to closely. Something that will help her realize its okay to be herself and not just a wife/mom. I think the pictures should be revealed too, but not in a scandalous way one that shows the public that she worked hard to be who she is and not in a “oh my gosh can you believe she used to look like that.” This was the first Jane Green book I read and I can relate to Jemima very well so whatever her future I want her to rise to the top and overcome her worries and be the Jemima J that I fell in love with enough to reread the book more times than I can count.

  5. Camille Gerbyshak says:

    I think she will start a career and throw herself back into it and possibly her and her husband will fall back in love with one another.

  6. myparoots says:

    Upset over the failure of her marriage and trying to raise two teenagers alone, Jemima returns to her old flame – writing. She gets her own byline and begins writing about her hardships being the wife of a famous star, the intrusions into their private lives, the hardship of keeping the press away from her family and her feelings of taking a backseat to her husbands fans and career. She finds that she isn’t alone with those feelings – wives of other famous stars begin sending her letters sharing their stories. Before long, Jemima becomes the most read column at her paper.

    What Jemima doesn’t know is that Ben has been reading her column and reading how his career affected her and his family, something he did not consider during their marriage. Soon Ben looks forward to reading Jemima’s column. Could it be that Ben has fallen in love all over again?

  7. Allison Robins says:

    I know one thing, that just reading this small piece, that I want to carry on reading the rest of the story, whatever may happen to Jemima J. Is this the next book to be published?

    Maybe she could dry the dating sites again? Maybe Jemima puts the weight back on through the comfort of finding total happiness with someone new on a dating site, maybe the person she meets cannot offer her much, so she becomes an equal provider, then how does she manage to balance blended family squabbles, finances, work and exercise? Will it be a case of ‘money doesnt buy happiness but quality time together and being noticed does’, will they have their happy ever after of marriage, no debts, and holidays to look forward to when the teenagers find their own way in the world. Will Jemima find yet another way to lose those comfort pounds from being happy with her new man?

  8. Wendy says:

    If it worked once maybe it can work again. She reinvents herself and through herself back into her work. Maybe writing under an anonymous name so that people do not jusge her by her name or associate her with anyone famous.

  9. Elaine Ross says:

    After the book ended with Jemima and Ben happy together I would love to think that they would eventually find themselves drawn together again whist sharing the responsibility of bringing up 2 teenagers! Not before they explore new relationships and coming to terms with the fact that they do belong together and possibly Jemima recreating herself and taking over the spotlight whislt Ben takes a back seat from showbiz!

  10. Paula Loft says:

    i think Jemima will start to write a gossip column,using snippets she hears from Ben,tit bits from the playground,things overheard in her circle of friend,of course she wont use her real name,and everyone wants to know who this writer is,how can she know so much,even Ben is desperate to interview this mysterious woman,he becomes obsessed with finding out who she is….Jemima agrees..finally.via lots of 3rd party negotiations to appear on his talk show,and when she appears from behind the screen,Ben sees his Jemima,the woman he fell in love with in a whole new light!

  11. Heidi says:

    Jemima is all about reinventing herself to be the person she wants to be, dreams of being. I think she would reinvent herself again into the woman who wakes up daily looking forward to her. Perhaps writing again but under a pseudonym in an advice column about woman in the same spot she has found herself in. However, she writes as a man telling women what they need to regain the attention of their ever-busy, career-driven, fortysomething husbands who are the brink of their own mid-life crisis. With all of her writing, starting small for a local paper, she will gain popularity until one day she’s asked to be a guest on Ben’s show – finally unveiling her identity to the world and Ben. As her column has grown in fame she has also gained critics and Ben is one. Hopefully the meeting on his show will rekindle the love they once has and show Ben that Jemima, although reinvented, is still and will always be the woman that holds his heart.

  12. Beth says:

    Jemima got determined and went for what she wanted or thought she wanted before so I think she will dig down and figure out what she wants again at this stage of her life. She will want to write again and start a new career. Being a happily married “mom” myself, I’m hoping that this new interest in life will bring her and Ben back together to realize they just need some time to themselves to get the spark back.

  13. Rebecca Garrett says:

    I just finished “Another Piece of my Heart” this weekend and it is so close to my own life, I found it very heart warming…truly enjoyed it.

    I am so excited to hear about Jemima coming back! After all she went through to get Ben, she will not be giving him up easily. I think she will go back to writing to have something of her own. She will find a way to rekindle her marriage and they will make it. Can’t wait to read it!

  14. susieqlaw says:

    I could see Jemima J doing something with the ever evolving social media.

  15. Caz says:

    I’d have liked to think JJ lived a happy everafter life, couple of twists maybe, but happy with her soulmate in the end…. certainly not unfaithful to each other….. and together with their family. Real life can be like that and not end in divorce all the time!

  16. Ashling Donohoe says:

    I see Jemima reinventing herself as a celeb in her own right through her success as a stylist and meeting an old flame and living happily ever after

  17. susieqlaw says:

    Jemima J is a strong woman. I think she will develop a career in the city yet still be a great Mom.

  18. I think maybe instead of waiting for the photos to come out, Jemima releases photos herself, maybe in a magazine column/feature about lifestyle changes or a biography. The fact that the kids are teenagers now as well means they will definately be a handful so I think maybe the kids start to make a stress on her marraige as well. She could meet a gorgeous single Dad. They will meet when something is going horribly wrong with one/both of the children and becomes her knight in shining armour. Then she won’t be able to stop thinking about him. This incident will probably get papped and cause friction as well. I like the idea that she will feature on one of Bens shows for her writing but how I am not sure. Maybe Ben strays away to another woman!!

  19. conniefischer says:

    I love Jane Green’s novels. Just finished “Another Piece of My Heart” and it was terrific, as well as quite thought-provoking. I think that it should be required reading for stepparents of teenagers as it was so realistic of what can happen.

    “Jemima J.” is wonderful. Again, parents of teens should make her novels on the shelf with “What to Expect when you are Expecting.”

  20. conniefischer says:

    I should have properly answered the question. So, here goes. I think that many couples find themselves busy with their children’s lives and forget about keeping up with each other. They take one another for granted and when they look at one another, they don’t SEE that person that they fell in love with. Some people call this taking one another for granted, but I think it’s simply companionship which is another part of being married. After being married for 45 years, I think I can say on good authority that communication is key. I cannot repeat that enough. Listen to one another. Find out what’s going on in your spouse’s life and show interest! If they have a hobby they love, learn about it and join in. This goes both ways. My husband and I are finally retired from very busy careers and have three grown children and six grandchildren. Now, we spend our time together hiking, reading, watching our favorite British DVD mystery series and most of all – talking and laughing. Don’t stop communicating because that person you fell in love with is the same person – just a little older. Treasure them, respect them and love them.

  21. Pingback: International Chick Lit Month | Chicklit Club Connect

  22. Vixx says:

    Oh no no no, please don’t tell me that Jemima Jones didn’t get her happy ending? This breaks my heart!!

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