My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is a testament to the immortal nature that is Internet infamy. Nothing can ever be truly forgotten if it can be googled. In the past, moving to a new area would have been enough to start over, but the internet doesn't allow that. Your online presence still stick to you forever, and that's honestly a good thing for kids to learn these days. When Aviva was young, though, the Internet was so new, the potential fallout for her indiscretions was unfathomable. I don't blame her for escaping town, legally changing her name, and starting a new life. I would imagine that Jane would have told her daughter about her past and her father eventually, when she was older. I wonder, though, if she had been honest with her from the start, how much of Ruby's adventure to Miami could have been avoided (although that would have made for a less interesting book).
I appreciated that this book was told from the POV of multiple women, though I was a little confused in the beginning. This truly is a story about women, and their role in society and politics, specifically in relation to men. It's ridiculous how the Senator was able to skate through the scandal with little to no lasting effect, yet Aviva is the one whose life was permanently altered, despite the fact that the Senator was the one with all the power in their relationship and the one who should have known better. I appreciated Aviva calling out her feminist professor on the double standard of them not standing up and defending her in any way. I also appreciate the relationship that Jane was able to develop with Mrs. Morgan, who is a true badass feminist that I would love to meet.
In a way, I kind of hated everyone in this book, but I was especially by Jane's daughter, Ruby. From calling her mom a "slut" to not giving mom benefit of the doubt when she's been her best and closest friend her whole life, Ruby really annoyed me. I get that she is young, and has probably wondered about her father her whole life. Suddenly finding all this information would be shocking, and maybe make you do some crazy things you normally wouldn't. I'm just glad that Jane's mom was able to step in and bring her home, and that Ruby finally decided she didn't care who her father was (though I don't think that is true). The separation between Jane and her mother, Rachel was rough on them both, and I hope Jane realizes that she doesn't need to completely cut out that part of her life anymore to move on. I kid of hope she actually tells Ruby who her father is (because we all know now, and so does he).
Rachel had been going through her own stuff as well, what with her fight with Roz after Roz chose to believe her creepy gross husband instead of her lifelong best friend. She needed Jane back in her life, and I'm sure she and Ruby will become fast friends.
As for Embeth, I don't have much to say. She didnt have the easiest life, either. I'm still not convinced she actually loved her husband, or if it was just easier to stay with him. She seemed oddly fixated on her old best friend when she ran into her, enough for me to think that SHE was the person Embeth truly loved, but I guess sometimes you just try to make your life as happy as you can, within the constraints you believe you need to live.
All in all, I can't say I was crazy about this book, though I'm glad I finished it. I appreciate the way it examines female relationships from different perspectives, I just wish I hadn't been so annoyed by everyone for so long, haha.
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