What sort of woman sees an ad for a prison penpal and sets out to correspond with a convict she knows nothing of? It seems an unlikely number of women do exactly that in real life. In fiction, one of them is Jane Smith, an unusually withdrawn but otherwise unremarkable library clerk, who is propelled, for reasons she doesn't pause to identify, to begin a correspondence with a stranger named Brian Dexter, whose criminal history she has no interest in exploring. She develops some grand and small hopes, though, as the letters themselves help her begin opening up to the world. But then comes the moment she hasn't properly considered: when Brian Dexter, freed, knocks on her door...
Used availability for Joan Barfoot's Plain Jane
June 1992 : Canada Hardback
November 1992 : UK Paperback
October 2014 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition