Last summer I had the honor of meeting Gabrielle Zevin. She visited the Margaret Mitchell House to discuss her latest novel Young Jane Young. The subject matter revisits the subject of the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski affair. Gabrielle is very vocal about feminism and I feel that she would definitely be part of the #Metoo movement that began this past fall. Her story focuses on what would have happened to someone in Monica Lewinski’s position? Would they be able to move on or would it be a struggle because of the past?
Aviva Grossman has taken a job with the prominent congressman in southern Florida. She will be interning for him, and is excited to begin. Her first day does not go as planned when Aviva is told that her wardrobe is quite inappropriate and yet she gets the attention of the congressman; who is married. Aviva then confesses to her mother that she is in love with the congressman. Her mother wants the relationship to end. Her mother feels that this will only end badly. What happens when an accident occurs and people find out about the affair? How will this affect Aviva’s family? Will she be able to move on?
Years later Aviva changes her identity and starts over as Jane Young the event planner. She runs the business with her young daughter Ruby. When an opportunity to work in politics occurs again will Jane choose to run? How will this affect her daughter?
I liked the novel. It is well written. I loved how Ms. Zevin took on the prospective of the female role, in the affair. I wonder if Ms. Zevin’s views have altered since the #Metoo movement has begun? I have read other novels on this subject and they tend to portray the female as weak and stupid. It was refreshing to have a strong female lead. The story is told from four different points of view Aviva, her mother, her daughter Ruby, and the congressman’s wife. I found the conclusion satisfying.
To purchase a copy of Young Jane Young here.
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