Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin [in Library Journal]
That Aviva Grossman became infamous as “Florida’s answer to Monica Lewinsky” provides a quick snapshot of why she’s now living in small-town Maine as Jane Young. As a 20-year-old intern to Miami Congressman Aaron Levin, she not only had that affair with the married, older politician but was “young and dumb” enough to blog about their trysts for the whole world to read. “They didn’t put a scarlet letter on her chest, but they didn’t need to. That’s what the Internet is for.”
At 33, Jane is now an events planner with her precocious 8-year-old daughter, Ruby, who’s also her assistant. And then fragile, lonely Franny walks into Jane’s office, engaged to marry Wes, who’s more bully than beau. His political intentions eventually morph into threats against Jane, who’s forced to realize how her past continues to threaten her future.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) gleefully exposes the media, male privilege, hypocrisy, and more, finding her ideal collaborator in narrator Karen White, who wheedles, weeps, snaps, cajoles, questions, and demands Zevin’s unforgettable characters into life.
Verdict: Given Zevin’s substantial fan base, libraries should be prepared to offer this skillfully crafted novel in all formats.
Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, February 15, 2018