After reading the rest of the book my mind is in a huge cloud of ideas, thoughts, emotions and questions.
All in all one could say the story of Janie and Jennie is a story about family, love, values, crime, friendship, of teenage life and romance and the search of identity.
While reading it also occured to me that I made a mistake regarding the names I analysed: I wrote "Jenny", but that is not how the name of the girl on the milk carton is written. It is written "Jennie", which is interesting when thinking about the interpretation of the novel. This means that the names differ by just two letters!
J a n ie
J e nnie
It seems I did not recognize this earlier, because "Jenny" is such a common name and is more often written like this.
Now I want to try to summarize the story very brieflly, which will be difficult because of the many details that lead to the events and because of the different strings of the story.
The girl Jane Johnson, who is called Janie, is a normal 15 year old highschool-student. But one day she sees a picture of a kidnapped girl on a milk carton and realizes that she seems to remember the dress and certain parts of her life as a very young child that makes her conclude that she is the kidnapped child. It is hard to believe, because Janie is loved dearly by her parents, who would have to be criminals if the ideas were true. But Janie is not able to fight those strong feelings. After hearing that she needs a birth-certificate to get her driver's license she asks her mother curious about whether there is one telling she is Jane Johnson. Her mother reacts annoyed and does not help Janie getting it, claiming she will not need it in months. IIn the same time Janie gets closer to the boy who lives next to her - Reeve - who is a childhoodfriend and a relationship developes. When researching in the library for school Janie looks up old newspapers and finds out more about the kidnapping. In the attic she finds a big trunk saying "H" and having papers and fotographs of a girl named "Hannah" in it. When she asks about Hannah and the birth certificate her Parents tell her that they are actually her grandparents. Hannah was their daughter, who started living in a religious cult so they hardly had any contact with her until she stood in front of their door with a little girl after running away from the commune. She wants her parents to keep the child, but still goes back to the cult. Thus her parents needed to cut all strings to her in order to prevent the fanatists to come and get Janie. Janie's grandparents did not tell her about it, because thy were afraid she would search her mother and they would lose her in the same way. Janie still feels very uncomfortable about the girl on the milk carton, because although she seems to know more about the circumstances she still can not figure out all coherences. She decides to go to New Jersey with Reeve to see where she may have lived and if more memories come back. Her parents are deeply worried, because she seemed to have run away just after the talk about Hannah. Janie loses her mind more and more over the questions who she is, who her parents are, whether her parents are bad people and whether she is a bad child, because she does not remember her real parents or because she accuses her parents of such a crime in her mind. That is why she gets in an argument with Reeve, who told his older sister - a future lawyer - about the situation. In order to defend herself from getting insane she writes a letter to the family of the girl on the milk carton in which she explains that she is their daughter and lives a happy life with her family, who she really loves, but she does not intend to send it. After she lost it all family members have to face the truth about Reeve's sister's theory that Hannah kidnapped Janie and thus she is Jennie Spring - the girl on the milk carton. In the end after thinking about the cosequences as well as about the feelings of the other family they make the call.