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Young Jane Young
by Gabrielle Zevin
Jane Young was once Aviva Grossman. Aviva was in her early twenties when she was an intern for a Florida Congressman. She had an affair with him, and it adversely affected her future. While the Congressman was forgiven and his career and marriage survived, Aviva was unable to find work and had to move away and change her name.
This story is divided into five sections and is told from different points of view. The first section is from Rachel’s, Aviva’s mother, point of view and includes some history of the scandal. The second section is from Jane’s point of view and covers what is currently happening in her life. The third section is from Ruby’s, Jane’s daughter, point of view and covers current events. The fourth chapter is from Embeth’s, the Congressman’s wife, point of view about current events. The final section is from Aviva/Jane’s point of view and covers the scandal to current events.
I liked the different viewpoints in this novel. While Aviva obviously made a poor decision as a young woman, the scandal did not only affect her life, but those of other’s too. Her parents, primarily her mother, had to deal with the consequences of Aviva’s affair. The Congressman’s wife, Embeth, had to deal with public scrutiny of her marriage and her decision to stay with her husband. These women all made mistakes, but they were also strong in their own ways.
I enjoyed the writing and it was an easy reading novel. This was a quick read, but it dealt with some important topics, mainly the differences that men and women face when such scandals arise.