The Lonely Teddy Bear: Janie's Story
By Chelsea Radojcic
After being traumatically being torn from her home and forced to live as an outsider in a new place, Jane's softhearted nature begins to grow cold and bitter without the company of her dearest companion by her side. Dainty but dangerous, Jane has always had a special place in her heart for her truest and most beloved friend, Jink, her childhood teddy bear. Imprisoned by a young couple, absorbed in their own bliss and resentful of having a child to care for, Jane is forced to take action to return to the one she loves.
She is determined to devise a cunning plan for revenge that will make things right once and for all, that no one will see coming; not even her doting Grandmother, Sandy. When it comes to the one she loves, there is nothing that she isn't willing to sacrifice, and will mercilessly destroy anything that dares stand in her way.
The Lonely Teddy Bear was one of my top reads of 2016 and one that held more than a few surprises. If you are thinking of reading The Lonely Teddy Bear: Janie’s Story I would advise reading The Lonely Teddy Bear first. There are a few unavoidable spoiler in this review so if you don’t want to discover them for yourself don’t read on but do read the book as it is great.
As with The Lonely Teddy Bear, this book has a stunningly beautiful cover: a young woman stood on a railway track that is covered in autumn leaves. The girl is wearing a long white dress and her hair is flowing loosely down her back. I loved the cover of The Lonely Teddy Bear but I think I love this one even more.
The prologue begins by introducing us to Jane Peterson, otherwise known as Janie.
Her grip was tight and unforgiving. Within her slender frame, burned a strong fierce determination.
Immediately the reader gets the impression that something isn’t quite right.
She looked toward them again, this time would be the last…she was certain she would never forget their faces as they were now. One cowering, sweating, panicked, confused, the other quiet, crushed, knowing, understanding.
Afterwards we learn just how calculating and cold Janie really is.
“She would save her tears for the discovery that they were still in the house. She would crack then, waterworks and drama, but not until her company had arrived. She would sell her emotions, and they would buy them because who wouldn’t? What other explanation could there be? How would you react to a child who loses their home and family? Do you connect it? Of course not. People never think of a child as being a monster, because if it did, they would never be able to sleep at night. Children are where lies peoples hopes, dreams, innocence…Not where lies murder.”
Janie is 11 years old when during the scene that unfolds in the prologue but she looks like she is only about 8. She paints a tragic figure standing in front of her family home clutching a box holding the remains of her possessions and the police are quick to get her somewhere to stay for the night.
Fast forward to shortly before her 18th birthday and Janie is a seemingly balanced young lady living with her grandma Sandy.
“She was happy with her grandmother, more than happy. Her grandmother gave her the love that her parents never did. Jane thought fondly of her life here. Her grandmother was so accepting, so delighted by her company, so impressed by every accomplishment. Jane was showered in love and she adored her right back. However despite her grandmother’s warmth and love, Jane still felt at large emptiness in her life.”
Janie misses her childhood companion and best friend, her teddy bear Jinks. Janie’s parents forced her to abandon him when they moved from her childhood home when she was younger. Now in her darkest moments Janie imagines him sat at the window waiting for her to return, or worse forgetting about her completely. At other times Janie wonders if he is not a worthy companion for him anymore, if she is not worthy of his love.
Deep within she felt the undeniable truth, that she would never be complete without him.
Whenever Janie is upset she still thinks of the song he used to sing to her :
Janie Janie it’s alright
Shut your eyes and hold me tight
If you’re scared, I’m always here
Together forever have no fear
Don’t you cry, it’s alright
Shut your eyes and hold me tight
Cuddle close and rest your head
Rest your thoughts, its time for bed.”
Soon Janie begins to formulate a plan to get back to Jinks, but this plan would involve her leaving her grandma and Janie is unsure she would be able to bring herself to hurt her so.
“She shifted her thoughts in another direction, reminding herself of the nine long years it had been without her dearest friend. She was overwhelmed with joy, at the thought of seeing him again. It had been so long since she had embraced him and she could not wait for that moment. She remembered so many good times with him during her young childhood.”
Yet again another fantastic read by Chelsea Radojcic.
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