In January 1914, Jonathan Crane returns home to his tiny village in the north of England with a rare thing a beautiful, glamorous American bride. So different from the bright lights of Coney Island, Beatrice struggles to adapt to this cold, gray place and tries to befriend the young women who are her new neighbours. They are in awe of her her foreignness, her blond hair, her smart clothes. Beatrice, born in Normal, Illinois, is a woman with a past. She has told them stories of her father, an amateur taxidermist, of her brother, a preacher, and of her friends back home in Brooklyn, but she will take the story of how she became The Angel of Brooklyn to her grave. When the men head off to fight in the Great War the women are left alone, the differences between them widen, and latent jealousy and mistrust of the newcomer are fed by their fear and loneliness. The years pass, the men are still not home and Beatrice finds her old life catches up with her and, in a dramatic climax, proves to be her undoing. Beautifully observed and with powerful evocation of character and place, Beatrice Crane is a moving portrait of a woman s life.
Born in Bolton in 1965, Janette Jenkins studied acting before completing a degree in Literature and Philosophy and then doing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she was in Malcolm Bradbury's final class, along with Toby Litt, John Boyne, Richard Beard and Bo Fowler. She is the author of the novels, Columbus Day (Chatto) and Another Elvis Love Child (Chatto). Her short stories have appeared in newspapers and anthologies, including Stand Magazine, and have been broadcast on Radio 4. In 2003 she was awarded an Alumni Fellowship by the University of Bolton. She lives in the city of Durham.