I've made it no secret that Jane is me. Her experiences and feelings are almost entirely my own. I was an extremely sensitive child. Growing up, both peers and adults questioned the intensity of my emotions and affections. I was, at the same time, an overly mature child and an overly innocent one. Jane's dreams and longings may read as "too old" for her age to some adults, but this is how I truly felt as a child. As children often do, I dreamed of being an adult. This is not unusual. But I also longed for a more mature connection.
What I really craved was romantic love. From age nine and on, I would fall desperately, obsessively in love. And yes, I do call it love. What Jane feels is completely based in the reality of what it felt like to be young and in love. To want to find wholeness in the arms of the right person. And I do believe there are other kids, teens, and adults who will be able to relate to the intensity of her passion and struggles fitting in with the world around her.
It is up to you whether or not you are comfortable with a friendship between a child and a teenager, or with a child dreaming of romantic love with an older boy. If these concepts are triggering to you in some way – or something you would rather not allow your children to read – that is understandable. I do not wish to cause any harm, and I'd rather lose a potential reader than upset one. But this story – Jane's feelings – are my truth. And I will not hide them, either.