TMW Book Reviews

The Janet Network


Michele Wallace Campanelli

In our lives, we face challenges that may initially seem insurmountable. Still, we find our strength in dealing with these adversities, just like the characters in Michele Wallace Campanelli’s book, The Janet Network—a potent narrative vividly depicting a group of women navigating life’s trials.

The story revolves around Catherine, a woman caught in an oppressive relationship with Lucky, her domineering husband. Yearning for personal freedom and identity, she receives an unexpected call from Janet Dunbar, an acquaintance who introduces her to a network of resilient women—the Janet Network. The women in this network are a pillar of strength and solace for each other, providing much-needed community support and shared experiences.

Jay Newport, Catherine’s psychiatrist, emerges as a trusted figure who supports her mental health needs, providing counsel and medications that help her cope with the anxiety of her tumultuous life. His advice resonates with Catherine, guiding her through challenging times.

Despite the turbulence, Catherine receives an unexpected job opportunity at Castle Builders. This brings a glimmer of optimism and independence to her and introduces her to Dell Mitchum, a sympathetic character with his emotional burdens, providing Catherine with a new perspective on life and relationships. Will Catherine break free from her oppressive relationship and find her independence, or will the shadows of her past keep her trapped forever?

Throughout the story, readers will be drawn into the intricate relationships, the mounting tension, and the shared experiences of strength and survival, providing an intimate look at the characters’ emotional landscapes.

Campanelli’s writing is emotionally gripping—drawing the readers into the characters’ lives dealing with many issues, primarily focusing on domestic violence. At the same time, they find solace and empowerment in the bonds of friendship and the support they provide to one another.

One line that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page is that ‘Rome wasn’t built in one day.’ This encapsulates the book’s essence, stressing that everything worthwhile takes time and effort. It reflects on the reality of living, where patience and tenacity become our guiding virtues.

Finally, Campanelli’s astute observation of human emotions and relationships sets The Janet Networ apart—highly recommended for those looking for a character-driven story with a dash of hope and resilience.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2024