Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Expected publication: August 22nd, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Chick-Lit
* Received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions are, as always, my own.*
From the bestselling author of the beloved The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another perfect fable for our times–a story about women, choices, and recovering from past mistakes.
Young Jane Young‘s heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss‑‑who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married‑‑and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn’t take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late‑night talk show punchline; she is slut‑shamed, labeled as fat and ugly, and considered a blight on politics in general.
How does one go on after this? In Aviva’s case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long‑ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. For in our age, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever, truly past, that everything you’ve done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it’s only a matter of time until Aviva/Jane’s daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was, and is, and must decide whether she can still respect her.
A novel about a world that continues to want to define what women are and what they can, and cannot, do, Young Jane Young follows three generations of women, plus the wife of the Congressman. Told in varying voices through e-mails and even a Choose Your Own Adventure section, it captures not just the mood of this particular, highly charged moment but is an accessible, witty, smart take on the double standards that are alive and well and waiting to trip up ordinary and extraordinary women alike.
What a wonderful and powerful book! When I requested this book, I really liked the synopsis but I didn’t expect it to be this good! It contains a very important message and it’s written in a very gripping and emotional way. I absolutely loved it.
This book is about Aviva, she is a Jewish intern in a congressman’s office and she ends up caught up in an affair with an older and married man. The affair ends up going public and it’s turned into a scandal. But that only happens to one side… Aviva’s side, which has her life ruined. Because, the congressman, although ending up with some negative press, goes out of the scandal with both career and marriage intact. Much like what happened in DC with Monica Lewinsky.
Aviva is slut-shamed and no one wants to have nothing to do with her. She can’t find a job… She can’t have a life… And so she had to construct her life elsewhere, after what happened. She changed her name to Jane, moved to Maine and changed career. She had a beautiful daughter named Ruby and survived her past the best she could. Although she didn’t do anything illegal, she had to run away. She made a mistake yes, but who doesn’t? She was young, she was a fool and she thought that to be love. He was older and married, should he be the one to see it and stop it? He wanted it and made everything for it to continue… Wasn’t he as faulty as she? Why should it only affect her? These type of stories really make my head go around. It’s hard to believe that this still happens, but it does. This book might be fiction but what happens is as realistic as it can be.
This book is extremely realistic and very well written. It’s told in many long POVs – not jumping around, if you know what I mean. We see Aviva’s perspective, her mother Rachel, her daughter Ruby and the congressman’s wife Embeth. I really liked how the characters were drawn. They were not perfect, they made mistakes like anyone else and everything ended with consequences. But that didn’t make them bad persons. Only human. In a way or another, I connected with them all and I loved every POV – they made the book more unique and realistic. They all had their own way of being, their thoughts, their own lives, they are different not only in age but in everything else, other than being women and the author distinguished them really well. I also loved to see how different they become while growing up.
This book shows the feminist side and I loved it! It was emotional, it was powerful and I couldn’t recommend it more!
Have you read this one or are you thinking of reading it? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it the comments!