Fiction Friday


Only Marilyn could read & hike at the same time. By the way, are those shorts to die for or what?

If you’re participating in The Budget Maven Book Club, how are you enjoying In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard? I’m about halfway through and really enjoying it. I discovered this book on a list of librarians’ favorites featured on NPR. If you haven’t picked it up yet, there’s still time.

The book is set in the 70’s, but the themes are timeless: growing up, friendship, finding out who you are and what you believe in. The story is told in first person by the fourteen-year-old narrator, whose name I’ve yet to find. As the reader, I find this intriguing because I had to guess what her name might be based on her personality. For now, I’ve named her Betty Jo (not sure where I came up with this).

Author Jo Ann Beard perfectly captures the magic and mischief that best friends can get into when they spend too much time together. From collecting feral cats and stowing them in her best friend Felicia’s backyard camper to talking themselves into crushes on two boys in detention, the girls’ experiences are presented with both hilarity and poignancy.

Here are a few questions I have so far:

1. What is the narrator’s name? (Although, Betty Jo works just fine for me if it’s never revealed.)

2. Will “Betty Jo” and Felicia’s friendship survive high school, especially now that boys have entered the picture?

What about you? If you’re reading, how far are you in the book, and what parts have you enjoyed the most? What questions do you have? Weigh in below or click here to share your thoughts. You can also discuss last month’s selection, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, or suggest selections for April or May. Happy reading!

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2 thoughts on “Fiction Friday

    • Allison G. Martin says:

      I’ve only got about ten pages left, but I can say with strong confidence that anyone who remembers what it’s like to be a teenage girl can relate to and will find hilarious the events that transpire in this book. If you do check it out, make sure to share your thoughts. 🙂

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