From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry:
Named a Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction of 2017
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Chatelaine Best Fall Reads pick
#1 on the August Library Reads list
An Entertainment Weekly’s “13 Books to Read in August”
An Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month” for August
A Barnes & Noble “August’s Best New Fiction” pick
#3 on the September Indie Next List
Aviva Grossman is a bright, ambitious congressional intern with a promising political future ahead of her until she makes the mistake of having an affair with her very married boss … and writing what she thinks is an anonymous blog about it. When the affair dramatically comes to light, it’s not the popular congressman who takes the fall, it’s Aviva—and her life suddenly seems over before it’s hardly begun. Slut-shamed and hounded by the media, she becomes a late-night talk show punchline. Determined to rebuild her life on her own terms, Aviva changes her name, moves from Florida to a small town in Maine, starts her own wedding planning business … and decides to continue a surprise pregnancy.
But when “Jane” decides to run for public office, that long-ago mistake—an inescapable scarlet A—trails her via the Internet, threatening to derail her life yet again. It’s only a matter of time until her daughter finds out who her mother once was—and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she thinks she knows …
Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and extremely timely novel which exposes the myriad ways we shame, forgive, and love one another. Just as she did in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, the superbly talented Gabrielle Zevin has created a cast of unforgettable characters: an ambitious yet naive twenty-something, a mother attempting to steer her daughter through a judgmental world, a veteran political wife facing the hard truth that fidelity isn’t always rewarded, and a young girl who feels bold about her choices before she realizes the restrictions all around her. Not only does Zevin skewer the inherent double standards in women’s everyday lives, she also explores the true meaning of resilience—and, ultimately, forgiveness.
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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 number one on the national Indie Bestsellers 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.
Hometown:New York, New York
Date of Birth:October 24, 1977
Place of Birth:Poughkeepsie, New York
Education:A.B. in English and American Literature, Harvard College, 2000
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved her bestseller "The Storied Life of A.J Fickry." "Young Jane Young" is just as good but different in a mature inventive way. Comedy, satire and heartfelt emotion. Highly recommended.
I felt such sorrow for both the mother and the daughter in this highly entertaining book. A mother who was part of a nationwide scandal, who in MHO was sent to the called out and sent to the guillotine even though she was not the only person engaged in this scandal. However, that does seem to be real life. And, a daughter dealing with her mother's (hidden to her) past as it involves her and her beginnings. I sped through this book, an enjoyable, entertaining and sometime irritable (some characters and the pointed fingers) story. I also think this would make a great YA, which it may already be, but I enjoyed it and read it as an adult book. Thanks to Algonquin Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
I adored Gabrielle Zevin's previous book, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry and was eager to read her just released novel, Young Jane Young. We meet sixty four year old Rachel in the the opening chapters as she tries out online dating. I loved her sassy voice and dry sense of humour and found myself chuckling over her thoughts and comments. Her chapter then segues into the life of the next main character - her daughter Aviva. Aviva is working for a congressman - and crosses a line, having an affair with the married man. Her life goes off the rails from the fallout of this decision, until she decides to start over with a new name - Jane. She relocates in another state - and daughter Ruby is born. Jane's chapter segues into Ruby's. And the inevitable fate that awaits all three. The last viewpoint is that of the congressman's wife Embeth. What a rich and varied story this was! Young Jane Young was an unexpected, unpredictable and yet very satisfying read. This one event effects all four leads in so many ways and their various outlooks, reactions and responses are dependent on each individual's age, experience and life philosophy. I loved each voice and was hard pressed to have a favourite. But, if forced to pick, I would have to say that I enjoyed Ruby the most. Her letters to her penpal are the basis for a lot of what she is feeling and doing and a lot of it is heartbreaking. I loved the insertion of epistolary elements. Zevin employs this for Aviva/Jane as well. We are privy to her journal, written in a Choose Your Own Adventure style. Choices are given and we see how and why her life took the path it did. "The rub of the Choose Your Own Adventure stories is that if you don't make a few bad choices, the story will be terribly boring. If you do everything right and you're always good, the story will be very short." Mother, daughters, friends, the path taken and not taken. The echoes of a choice made, the denial and acceptance that we can't change what has been done - only move forward. Zevin's writing is wry, witty and peppered with truths.
Clever, humorous, and highly entertaining! Young Jane Young is an engaging, satisfying tale that reminds us that the internet although an invaluable source of information and a blessing is also often a curse where mistakes are never forgotten. The story is divided into multiple sections and told from various perspectives; Rachel, Aviva's mother whose attempts at online dating is dismal at best; Jane/Aviva, a young events planner who has successfully carved out a new life and identity after falling in love with the wrong man; Ruby, Jane's inquisitive and direct teenage daughter; and Embeth, the congressman's forgiving and supportive wife. The characters are strong, female, and resilient. The prose is smooth, fresh, and exceptionally witty. And the plot interweaves and unfolds effortlessly using unconventional, unique writing styles, such as emails and "choose your own adventure" to keep you intrigued and absorbed from start to finish. Young Jane Young is ultimately a lighthearted, warm, enjoyable story about empowerment, survival, feminism, shame, acceptance, adultery, politics, scandals, and the unfair sexist stigma that still surrounds women and their sexual behaviour today.
There is an “event” in “Young Jane Young” by Gabrielle Zevin. A dramatic event that makes sensational headlines, brings unrelenting paparazzi, and causes punishing trauma, and stress. This book is not about the event, although it plays a pivotal role. “Young Jane Young is about the people, all the people, who are touched by this event. What happens to the players, their families, their acquaintances, and themselves? How they adapt, change, and cope? Can they move on? Each section of book is told from a different point of view and each section is by person labeled for easy identification. The plot is mostly dialogue driven, and readers get to know all the players, and what those players think about everyone else. The writing style adapts to match the personality of each character, and includes first person narrative, third person, e-mail correspondence, even a “choose your own adventure.” The casual conversational style draws readers into the characters, so it is almost like talking to friends who live next door. We meet Rachel, divorced, age 64, living in Florida, her daughter Aviva Grossman, who has a problem. We meet her neighbor, Embeth, her husband Aaron, the congressman, and Embeth’s parrot, El Meté. In addition, we meet Jane Young, an event planner who lives in in Maine and her daughter Ruby, who is participating in a “Friends Around the World” pen pal program. What readers learn is that everyone has secrets, and that a little crisis for one mutates into big problems for others. Jane laments, “The past is never past. Only idiots think that.” Rachael sums it all up, “When someone tells you ‘it’s not what it looks like,’ it’s almost always exactly what it looks like. The key to happiness is knowing when to keep your mouth shut.” I received a copy of “Young Jane Young” from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Gabrielle Zevin, and Net Galley, and I absolutely loved it. The characters were compelling and believable. Zevin’s writing style kept each character and story segment appealing and engaging. I highly recommend this book to everyone.