Sydney, 1961

The route from the birthing suite to the morgue is one all midwives know and dread having to walk. Nurse McKenzie held back tears as she wheeled the bassinet along the corridor. She placed her hand on the tiny corpse now in her care, seeking to comfort or be comforted, she wasn’t sure. 


When emerging artist and forager Florence Lane discovers a collection of human specimens languishing in glass jars in a city museum, she is captivated by an unidentified baby and sets out to track down the infant’s parents. Who are they? Why did they donate their baby to science? Why have they never claimed her?

A few suburbs away, journalist Tom Oliver is reeling from the sudden death of his best mate. Out of work and wandering the streets, he is consumed by grief. It’s here he crosses paths with Florence and one small act of kindness connects them. Together they solve the mystery of the baby in the museum but the now elderly mother has only a short time to live. Do they reveal what happened all those years ago, or is the truth too much for her to bear?

Cold Against the Glass is an unexpected tale of love and hope. It explores the lives we treasure, the stories we choose to tell and the grief we carry in our hearts.

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Jane O’Connell is a former journalist who writes both fiction and non-fiction. Over a long career in media, Jane worked in television, print and digital media and continues to write and edit through her content company, Backbeach Productions.

In the book world, she has co-written and edited a number of non-fiction publications and edited a short story anthology. Jane has been a board director with the Children’s Book Council of Australia, a volunteer writing mentor at Sydney Story Factory and is currently Association Editor of the Gold Coast Writers’ Association.

Jane’s first novel, Cold Against the Glass, was published in October 2022 (Tablo).

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