Young Jane Young

In Gabrielle Zevin's (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) fourth adult novel, Young Jane Young, more than queasiness abounds when congressional intern Aviva Grossman's affair with her boss, a popular Florida politician, comes to light. Floridians are disgusted. Aviva is slut-shamed. The congressman, however--with loyal wife Embeth by his side--is fine.

Aviva's mother, Rachel, outlines that story in the first of five sections. When her daughter told her that she was in love, Rachel sensed there was more to it than "He's handsome. He's Jewish. I don't want to say too much." After the affair blew open and Aviva became a punch line, Rachel tried to help, but Aviva moved away with no forwarding address. Fifteen years later, Jane Young weighs in. She's an event planner in Allison Springs, Maine, with a precocious daughter, Ruby. After planning the wedding of Franny Lincoln and Wes West, she hears that the despised West may run for mayor, and decides to challenge him. During a mayoral debate, a penny drops for Ruby, and she Googles "Aviva Grossman." Deciding the congressman is her father and despising her mother for her lies, she sets off for Miami to see him.

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 has 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." --Marilyn Dahl

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