×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 883


Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

 

YoungJaneYoung

Zevin is a vibrant, young novelist who recently published In the Age of Love and Chocolate (2013) for young adults. She is best known for her young adult novel, Elsewhere, published in 2005 when she was only 28. And most recently, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (2014) delighted readers of all ages. To date, Zevin has published 9 novels, 5 of which are for teens.

Her newest novel, Young Jane Young, is about a college student who interns for her handsome, charismatic and married congressman, Aaron Levin, and ends up having an affair with him. The story is told through the eyes of five women—all different ages, and thus, all from different perspectives. The characters are: Jane; Rachel, Jane’s mother; Ruby, Jane’s daughter; Jane’s grandmother, who has sage advice for everyone; and Embeth, the congressman’s long-suffering wife. Through these characters, we see how our feelings about an event change depending on our age.

For example, when Jane is in her teens and 20s, Rachel is critical of Aviva’s appearance. Then, after Aviva’s affair, when she cannot get hired anywhere because of her infamy, her mom comes across as overbearing and even unsympathetic. Years later, when Aviva moves out and becomes emotionally distant

Similarly, Jane at age 20 bares scant resemblance to the savvy woman we see later in the novel. As the older Jane disdains a client’s conniving husband, she wistfully reflects:

It’s hard to know what I would think of Levin if I encountered him today… In Levin, these qualities were leavened with intelligence and an intense, almost painful empathy for his fellow human beings. Still, it must be said…Maybe, despite everything, I think kindly of Levin because I knew him when I was easily impressed, because I knew him when I was young. (p. 115)

Young Jane Young is a heart-warming novel about the paths we choose and those that are chosen for us. It is a novel about shaming and bullying—a most appropriate theme in this soundbite and digital age. But above all, this book resonates with hope, humor, empathy, and second chances.

 
Comments List

Archive posts

Collapse all

Excerpts is the library newsletter and comes out every three months. It is mailed to every Glencoe resident. Copies of the newsletter are available online (below) and at the library. Please be sure to check the library calendar for program updates.

2019 Issues

March 2019

2018 Issues

December 2018

September 2018

March 2018

June 2018

2017 Issues

December 2017

March 2017

June 2017

September 2017

2016 Issues

December 2016

September 2016

March 2016

June 2016

2015 Issues

December 2015
September 2015
June 2015

March 2015

2014 Issues
December 2014
September 2014
June 2014
March 2014

2013 Issues
December 2013
September 2013
June 2013
March 2013

2012 Issues
December 2012
September 2012
June 2012
March 2012

2011 Issues
December 2011
September 2011
June 2011
March 2011

2010 Issues
December 2010
September 2010
June 2010
March 2010

2009 Issues
December 2009
September 2009
June 2009
March 2009

2008 Issues
December 2008