Young Jane Young: A Novel (Hardcover)
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September 2017 Indie Next List
“I've been waiting for a quirky, funny, thoughtful novel to follow in the footsteps of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, and behold: I have found it. I loved the vibrant female characters at the heart of this book. Told in four different voices, Young Jane Young is the story of Aviva Grossman, a young Congressional intern in South Florida who does the unthinkable: she sleeps with her boss. The book details the repercussions of that decision and examines the abuse of power that occurs in politics and in the day-to-day interactions between members of the opposite sex. Gabrielle Zevin has written something really smart and heartwarming, yet also incredibly timely.”
— Annie Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida, makes the mistake of having an affair with her (married) boss. When the affair comes to light, the popular 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, 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.
Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, serious, and moving novel about the myriad ways in which roles are still circumscribed for women, whether they are young and ambitious interns; mothers attempting to steer their daughters through a male-dominated world; political wives facing an age-old knowledge that fidelity isn’t always honored; or young girls feeling bold about their many choices before they realize the gender restrictions all around them. Gabrielle Zevin captures not only the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women but also the mood of our recent highly charged political season.
About the Author
Gabrielle Zevin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller list, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller list, and has been a bestseller all around the world. She has also written books for children and young adults, including the award-winning Elsewhere.
—People(Book of the Week)
“Maybe with enough determination and love and support, women can choose their own adventures. They can start, like Aviva, by choosing not to be ashamed. In this life-affirming novel, Zevin doesn’t make that look easy, but she makes it look possible.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“It’s brilliant and hilarious, and it makes you wince in recognition — for the double-standard that relegates scandalized women to a life of shame even as their married lovers continue with their careers (and often their marriages), for the insatiable appetite we have for every last detail, for the ease and speed with which we stop seeing people as multilayered humans. It’s the sort of book that invites us to examine our long-held beliefs and perceptions . . . It has a heart. And a spine. It’s exactly, I would argue, what we need more of right now.”
"A smart, intersectional feminist tour de force."
“Another charming and funny winner by the author of the 2014 best seller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, about a woman at midlife confronting, along with her mom and daughter, a sex scandal from her youth. The perfect end-of-summer read.”
—AARP, The Magazine
"[A] warm-hearted and witty book about what it means to reinvent yourself because you simply have no choice but to do so.”
“This book will not only thoroughly entertain everyone who reads it; it is the most immaculate takedown of slut-shaming in literature or anywhere else. Cheers, and gratitude to the author.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Splendid . . . A witty, strongly drawn group of female voices tells Aviva’s story . . . [Zevin] has created a fun and frank tale. Her vibrant and playful writing, and the fully realized characters taking turns as narrator, bring the story a zestful energy, even while exploring dark themes of secrecy and betrayal. Zevin perfectly captures the realities of the current political climate and the consequences of youthful indiscretions in an era when the Internet never forgets.”
“Presenting a sharp send-up of our culture’s obsession with scandal and blame, this novel pulls at the seams of misogyny from all angles . . . Likely to be a popular book club pick.”
“Satisfying and entertaining.”