By the author of international bestseller The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.
Aviva Grossman, an ambitious intern in Florida working for a politician, 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, Aviva takes the fall. She is slut-shamed, labelled as fat and ugly, and considered a blight on politics in general.
Aviva sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She starts over as Jane the wedding planner, tries to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident.
But when, at the urging of others, Jane decides to run for public office herself, that long-ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. These days, the past is never, ever, truly past, everything you've done lives on in the digital world for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it's only a matter of time until Ruby finds out...
Young Jane Young is a funny, serious and moving novel about the myriad ways in which roles are 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 honoured; or young girls feeling bold about their many choices before they realize the gender restrictions all around them. Gabrielle Zevin captures the double standards alive and well in every aspect of life for women.
Gabrielle Zevin was raised by parents who took her to the library like it was church. She suspects that is why she became a writer. Her career began at age fourteen when an angry letter to her local newspaper about a Guns 'n' Roses concert resulted in a job as a music critic. Over eight novels for adults and young people, she has written about female soldiers in Iraq, mafia princesses in retro-future New York City, teenage girls in the afterlife, talking dogs, amnesiacs, and the difficulties of loving one person over many years. Her last novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, was a New York Times bestseller.
This clever, thoughtful, witty novel follows what happens after twentysomething Washington intern Aviva falls for the flaky charms of congressman Aaron...The tale is told, brilliantly, in many voices, including Aviva's sharp Jewish mother and the congressman's unexpectedly funny wife. Significantly, there are no male narrators. This is a woman's story — Wendy Holden, Daily Mail
Whip-smart and full of great female characters, fans of Maria Semple will adore Young Jane Young — Sarra Manning, Red
Witty and insightful with a crowd of strong female voices, this is a brilliant read — Emerald St
This sly, exhilarating novel takes on slut-shaming . . . and manages to be hilarious in the process — People, Book of the Week
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...The five main characters are among my favorite of any recent novel I've read — Chicago Tribune
A smart, intersectional feminist tour de force — Washington Times
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, Washington Post
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 starred review
Aviva Grossman was far and away the most capable intern working in the Florida district office of her local congressman - until their affair was exposed and the subsequent national scandal destroyed her reputation (though, tellingly, not the congressman's) and doused her political aspirations...A satisfying and entertaining story of reinvention and second chances in the wake of a political sex scandal — Publishers Weekly
If you're going to have an affair with a married congressman, don't blog about it. That's one of the tough lessons young Aviva Grossman learns in this splendid novel...A witty, strongly drawn group of female voices tells Aviva's story, three generations exploring the ripple effect her actions created...Zevin perfectly captures the realities of the current political climate and the consequences of youthful indiscretions in an era when the Internet never forgets — Booklist
The pretty lies on which Young Jane Young turn are some of the oldest told by men. They don't love their wives, they'll divorce when the timing's right, ad nauseum....Young Jane Young is a witty and wise story of three generations of women; in particular, Rachel and Ruby are often laugh-out-loud funny, while Jane/Aviva and Embeth have a wryer take on their circumstances. Strong and brave, transformed by scandal, they make their way in an often hostile world. In a dream, Jane asks Aviva how she survived. Aviva replies, "I refused to be shamed" — Shelf Awareness
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 — Library Journal