Year of Wonders


Geraldine Brooks

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Jane is a local girl Anna hires to watch her sons while she’s at work. She’s notable for adhering to Puritan customs even after the town has officially reverted to Anglicanism, showing the tensions that lurk under the town’s supposed religious homogeneity. However, after her family dies in the plague, Jane breaks down and abandons her religious practices, becoming a drunk and a “loose woman.” Her abrupt transition shows how the horrors of the plague can distort and degrade personal character.
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Jane Martin Character Timeline in Year of Wonders

The timeline below shows where the character Jane Martin appears in Year of Wonders. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Ring of Roses
Community and Convention Theme Icon
...returns home to nurse Tom. She’s surprised her sons are sitting in the kitchen with Jane, the girl that watches them, rather than playing with George. Going upstairs, she finds George... (full context)
Part 2: The Press of Their Ghosts
Community and Convention Theme Icon
...a hut in total isolation and the others leave him food at a safe distance. Jane Martin, Anna’s former babysitter who looked down on her in Puritan scorn, turns to alcohol... (full context)
Female Sexuality and Friendship Theme Icon
...way they come across an inebriated couple having sex in the road, and Anna recognizes Jane Martin with her dress pushed over her head. Mompellion coolly dismisses the young man, Albion... (full context)
Part 3: Apple-Picking Time
Community and Convention Theme Icon
...developments, like Mary Hadfield’s marriage to a farrier and a friendship between Merry Wickford and Jane Martin, but Mompellion remains unmoved. (full context)
Female Sexuality and Friendship Theme Icon
Science and Superstition Theme Icon
...makes people lustful and forgives them for it, and that he regretted his outburst over Jane Martin’s lust. Mompellion said that he was just trying to comfort Jakob, knowing that his... (full context)