Young Jane Young (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Gabrielle Zevin's latest novel Young Jane Young is as endearing as it is fully enveloping. By interleaving four women's stories, Zevin creates a tale that spans decades, affecting both young and old alike.

The book is told in four sections, each from a different female's perspective: there's Aviva's mother Rachel, Jane's daughter Ruby, a congressman's wife Embeth, and Jane Young herself. Through each section, there's a different perspective, and Zevin takes the time to imbue each woman with chutzpah, as each grapples with her own sense of self, of her past, and of the prospect of her future. Zevin also plays with form – giving each woman a different format to her tale: an online dating profile, an email exchange with an internet pen pal, a conversation with an imaginary parrot name El Mete, and a choose your own adventure-style passage that reveals how the choices we make lead us to the women we become.

Young Jane Young is a novel about women - those who raise young women, those who marry, those who find themselves alone, and those women with whom they build community. It is also a novel about choosing the best path, facing regret square in the face, creating your own destiny, and refusing to let the past break you.

By weaving a history of four women, Zevin addresses double standards, political improprieties, and each woman's desire to have someone with whom she can truly confide.  With The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Zevin brought a beating heart and a truthful endearment to the literary world; with Young Jane Young, she manages to do it again. 

— Shelly Walston


From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry comes another novel that will have everyone talking.

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 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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616205041
ISBN-10: 1616205040
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English