Title: Young Jane Young
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Algonquin Books & PRH Canada
Publication Date: August 22 & 29, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
From Algonquin: Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss–and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the beloved congressman doesn’t take the fall. But Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins: slut-shamed, she becomes a late-night talk show punch line, anathema to politics.
She sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. This time, she tries to be smarter about her life and strives to raise her daughter, Ruby, to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, Aviva decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet and catches up–an inescapable scarlet A. In the digital age, the past is never, ever, truly past. And it’s only a matter of time until Ruby finds out who her mother was and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she knows.
*Thank you to Algonquin Books, PRH Canada and Netgalley for providing me this free digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
My Review: YOUNG JANE YOUNG is guaranteed to resonate with anyone who loves contemporary women’s fiction. I was fully invested in this book and read it in two days. Yes, Aviva makes horrible mistakes in her youth and yes, she owns them and I think it strengthens who she is as a woman but the wide reaching impact is haunting and inescapable. I am blown away by these types of political sex scandals where male politicians walk away unscathed.
YOUNG JANE YOUNG elicits a range of emotions in response to events and situations that are real and relatable but presented in a light and upbeat framework. Zevin’s writing is masterful. My connection to Rachel, Aviva and Ruby was palpable and I felt it in my heart and my gut. This is a story about three generations of Jewish women you will fall in love with. Rachel is recently divorced and doesn’t want to be alone so she takes the advice of her best friend and tries online dating. You can imagine a divorcee in her 60’s who doesn’t mince words with her dates, I found her experience hilarious. Meanwhile, her daughter Aviva is dealing with the fallout from her sex scandal with a congressman. Pregnant, jobless and husbandless she leaves Miami and reinvents herself in Allison Springs, Maine. When she embarks on her own political career her adorable thirteen year old daughter Ruby, who is wise beyond her years, learns the truth about her mother’s past and handles it as a teenager would by running off to Miami to meet the father she thought was dead.
If you love a story that is funny, fresh and poignant then YOUNG JANE YOUNG is not to be missed and should be high on your reading list!