In Me Jane, author Jane Waller presents an unusual account of childhood in 1950s England. Using first her mother’s diaries and later her own, she evokes clear memories of those far-off days, so different from now.
She explores the thoughts and feelings of a child living in the countryside, beginning at age four. Waller was then sent to a rather demanding boarding school in Surrey (complete with mad matron and flasher). Her recollections take her through her teenage years, including a desperate search for a boyfriend, until, at seventeen, she becomes a beatnik and heads off to study art in Oxford.
Waller also tells how those in power—a subject not taught in schools—deprived Aylesbury of a beautiful Georgian house and grounds that had taken the family seven years to completely restore, but that were subsequently destroyed by a road-widening scheme, an event that broke apart the marriage of her parents.
Poignant and personal, this memoir presents a story of childhood in the UK in the mid-twentieth century and the shifts that altered her and her family forever.