Hello bookish friends! I cannot believe we are in December and approaching Christmas. We have finally decorated our house, and we are so excited for the holidays… but secretly I’m really excited to curl up in front of our fireplace with some eggnog and a book. One of my wonderful clients gifted me this beautiful mug in the picture above, in the last year she started doing pottery classes and has become really quite amazing at it! Anywho… onto the discussion of Young Jane Young.
I first heard of Gabrielle Zevin on Anne Bogel’s podcast, and was instantly inspired to pick up her book, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. That book is a book lover’s dream, and I highly recommend it to all readers! So when I heard that Zevin was coming out with a another novel, I was super excited and immediately put it on hold at the library. Well, the wait was worth it, because this book was such a pleasant surprise. Based on the description, I thought it was going to be completely different than it turned out to be.
Young Jane Young follows a Aviva Grossman who is a young, ambitious intern with a local, married politician. The two enter into an affair, all the while Aviva is anonymously blogging about her experience as an intern, and the salacious affair. When everything comes out in the wash, the congressman is quickly forgiven, yet Aviva’s life has been promptly ruined. She cannot go out without being slut shamed, she cannot get a job, and is consumed with grief. Aviva decides after an awakening of sorts, to move across the country and change her name, and start a new life.
This book’s heroine is definitely reminiscent of Monica Lewinsky. You are introduced to a whole cast of women; Aviva, Aviva’s mother, the congressman’s wife, and Aviva’s daughter… each of these strong women tell their story within the scandal of the affair. Zevin did an incredible job of telling a story about how deeply rooted slut-shaming is in our culture, and just how much a woman’s life is affected by such shaming.
If you ask me, this book couldn’t have been published at a better time. With all the alleged scandals being exposed at the moment, I think the conversations that this book will ignite are quite important. BUT do not be fooled, this book is really fun as well as important. Zevin weaves this story through the personal accounts, emails, and hilarious pop culture references. I would highly recommend this book as it made me sympathetic, but also laugh out loud!
Have you read this one? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Until next time, happy reading!