author: Gabrielle Zevin
genre: Women's Fiction
published: August 22, 2017 by Algonquin Books
format: Hardcover, 294 pages
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 4 / 5 stars
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.
Lovely story. Timely. Totally worth your time.
When I saw this book a few months back, I got really excited mainly because I read Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and I LOVE that book. Gabrielle Zevin easily became an auto-buy author for me because why not?
Young Jane Young follows Aviva Grossman, a Congressional intern who made a mistake of having an affair with her boss -- the Congressman. When the affair became news, Aviva took the fall while the Congressman still holds his position and lives off his life like nothing happened. She was the talk of the town, shamed for the affair. This event pushed Aviva to move to another town far from where she was from and start over as a wedding planner.
The story is told in three different points of view -- Aviva's mother, Aviva herself, and Aviva's daughter. Zevin is really an amazing storyteller and I love how each voice is distinct from the other. The story also flows seamlessly and I end up really feeling for Aviva as I read on. She makes mistakes but faces them herself. She's a strong woman and this story is perfectly well-timed especially with all the talks on feminism and equality at the time prior to its publication. It's a strong book that really puts the topic at the center of it and delivers it well.
Young Jane Young is also choose-your-own-adventure type of novel. While I saw the possible paths which weren't very amusing to be honest, I followed the main story which is really good. I was hooked right from the beginning and I love that there are so many beautiful words from this novel.
OVERALL, Young Jane Young is an important novel to be read. It's a strong novel about feminism. It has a strong and complex heroine who made mistakes yet at the same time does her best to handle it.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.