Young, Jane Young was the second book by Gabrielle Zevin I’ve read. I loved her other book, The Storied Life of A.J Fikry and this one had a particularly intriguing synopsis. It’s about a sex-scandal between a prominent congressman and his intern, Aviva. The novel is written from the perspective of four women who were connected with the scandal. It had first-person perspective, second-person and third-person, which kept if really fresh. There wasn’t any particular perspective I liked best, I enjoyed them all.
Aviva has just started as an intern for a congressman when the novel begins. The first perspective is her mothers, who advises her to end the relationship. She doesn’t and it ends up becoming public knowledge eventually. The congressman gets off relatively unscathed and retains his position in office, but Aviva’s life is virtually ruined. No one will hire her and every time she gets an interview all the perspective employer has to do is Google Aviva and the story is revealed.
The first number of chapters are narrated by Aviva’s mother, as said. The second part is from the perspective of Aviva herself, then her daughter for a short time, the Congressman’s wife and finally Aviva herself again. This didn’t feel jarring at all and seamlessly moved between parts. That was one of the aspects I liked a lot about it, the fact it was so smooth to read when it changed so often.
This is the kind of book you’re better knowing very little about before you read, so I won’t say anything further about the plot. It highlighted and discussed something we know is very prevalent in today’s society, public shaming, due in large part to the internet. The novel also tackled the issue of gender inequality and feminism and did it in very human way.