A special thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Heavily influenced by the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Zevin tackles slut-shaming in her newest book Young Jane Young and it is glorious! She examines the double standards, sex scandals, and misogyny that resides not only in politics, but in life. Women everywhere face these issues and are often silenced from the shame, and the threat of losing everything they have worked so hard for.
Before becoming Jane Young the wedding planner, Aviva Grossman was an ambitious, bright intern with the congressman's office. Aviva has an affair with her boss, the congressman himself, and blogs about it. True to life, when the affair is made public, it is Grossman that goes down while the beloved congressman carries on. Aviva becomes the punchline and butt of many jokes—she is labelled as fat, ugly, and a slut. She is not employable or dateable and sees no other way out that to change her identity and move away to a remote town in Maine.
On top of running her own event planning business, Jane is also navigating being a single mother to Ruby. Even though she has started her life over, politics doesn't seem to be out of her system and she decides to run for office. Unfortunately for Jane, the past catches up with her (the internet is forever) and it is only a matter of time before Ruby discovers who her mother really is/was. Ruby is the vehicle through which Jane must face not only her past, but Aviva herself.
Told through the voices of Aviva/Jane, Aviva's mother Rachel, Ruby, and Embeth Levin (the congressman's wife), we hear all sides of the story. Zevin's characters are not without flaws. In fact, it is these flaws that drive the story forward and this type of narrative is the perfect vehicle to accomplish this. She effortlessly moves from past to present without confusion. Her writing is witty, fresh, and thought provoking.