Thursday, June 08, 2023

Seven novels featuring musicians & the lure of rock stardom

Matthew Norman was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His debut novel, Domestic Violets, was nominated in the Best Humor category at the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. Since then, he’s written four other novels. We’re All Damaged was an Amazon bestseller, Last Couple Standing was named one of the best books of 2020 so far by Esquire, All Together Now was one of the New York Post’s best books of the summer in 2021, and Charm City Rocks.

At LitHub Norman tagged seven of his "favorite novels that feature musicians and the seductive lure of rock stardom." One title on the list:
Jessica Anya Blau, Mary Jane

Set in Baltimore in the ’70s, this 300-page joy machine is the story of a 14-year-old girl, Mary Jane, who’s working as a summer nanny for a psychiatrist who lives in her neighborhood. Shortly after being hired, Mary Jane learns that her boss, Dr. Cone, has cleared his summer schedule to focus exclusively on one very important patient, a handsome rock star/heroin addict named Jimmy Bendinger.

What makes this book so wonderful is the magic trick that Jessica Anya Blau pulls off as she gives us a coming-of-age novel full of sex, drugs, and rock and roll that somehow manages to feel sweet, heartwarming, and even downright wholesome.
Read about another entry on the list.

Mary Jane is among Jessica Gentile's eight titles with all the band drama of Daisy Jones & the Six.

The Page 69 Test: Mary Jane; Q&A with Jessica Anya Blau.

--Marshal Zeringue