My Thoughts on 2 Fiction Novels

Title: Young Jane Young
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Fiction


College intern Aviva Grossman has an illicit affair with a congressman.  However this story isn’t

1) Just a story about a young woman and an older married man’s indiscretions.
2) Told from solely Aviva’s point of view or the congressman’s point of view,

The five parts of this novel are told through different points of view, and they are told in different ways which gives the novel added interest.

Part I – Bubbe Meise – This is a first person POV told by Rachel, the mother of Aviva Grossman.

Part II – Wherever You Go, There You Are – This is a first person POV told by Jane Young.

Part III – Thirteen, or a Few Interesting Facts About Maine – This is in an epistolary fashion through email. Jane Young’s daughter, Ruby has a Pen Pal named Fatima in Indonesia whom she corresponds with. Through these emails, we learn a lot about who her mother (Jane) really is.

Part IV – Angel in the House – This is a first person POV told by Embeth (the congressman’s wife).

Part V – Choose – This is a second person POV told by Aviva Grossman. It is also in an epistolary form (diary entries).

I enjoy stories that are told through different lenses. Sometimes third person Omniscient (even close third) can get boring.  I like to see what people are thinking about a situation and what is going on in their lives while this situation is going on.  Even though as the book progresses, we know ‘what’s up’, it is interesting to see, Ruby for instance, trying to piece it together.

Usually second person POV drives me nuts, but here (Part V) it is done so deftly, that it reads as if it were you.


Title: The Orphan’s Tale
Author: Pam Jenoff
Genre: Fiction


Sometimes I pick up a book, not knowing what to expect. I read the synopsis and it sou

nded mildly interesting. There are books that I read that stay with me long after, this will be one of them.

The point of view switches between Astrid and Noa in alternating chapters. Astrid atrapeze artist from a German circus family and Noa, a young Danish woman who was kicked out of her home because of an unexpected pregnancy become the unlikeliest of friends.  Two woman that lose everything, find each other.

I know it sounds hokey, but it is a really really good story. I stuck with it and by the end, I needed a tissue.

I haven’t read much Historical Fiction this year. This one takes place during WWII in Germany and it has all the bells & whistles of a book set in that time without being cliché.

And to read about circus folk.  I am always shying away from it, but when I do finally pick up a book with this theme, I thoroughly enjoy it.


These posts will be for my reading journal for my MFA program. They will come periodically.

About Liz Kelso
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