Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Review: Young Jane Young
Like many readers, I adored Gabrielle Zevin's sweet and quirky The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. So I was excited to read her newest novel. But I must confess that I picked this book up and put it down a few times before finally sticking with it because Young Jane Young is very different in tone and plot from A.J. Fikry.
Zevin uses several different perspectives to tell this story, including Aviva's mother, Jane's precocious daughter Ruby, and even the wife of the congressman. Each character is fascinating and uniquely written. I especially loved the relationship between Jane and Ruby, although Ruby's narrative, which is told through emails with an international pen pal, is sometimes a bit much.
This book strikes a great balance. It's obviously about some current and difficult issues, like the way women are treated in the media and the way that men can seemingly escape scandal without consequence, while women are blacklisted in their fields. But it's not a heavy book; there is a lot of humor to be found on these pages and you can almost see it play out in your head like a zany comedy on a movie screen. Young Jane Young is a fun and often delightful read that will also leave you thinking about the cost of being a woman in public who makes mistakes and the double standard for men and women in our modern culture.
Young Jane Young
By Gabrielle Zevin
Algonquin Books August 2017
Read via Netgalley