Sorry for the barrage of book reviews lately! I feel guilty having a blog mostly focused on food and not cooking much. I’ve got about a million things on my mind right now, so reading has been a source of relaxation and comfort and, okay, escape. When Jordan asked if I would review a book as part of the TLC Book Tour, I jumped on it.
Title: An Uncommon Education
Author: Elizabeth Percer (She went to Wellesley AND Stanford for her Ph.D. So smart!)
Published: May 2012
Pages: 352 pages
I. Book Description (from the publisher):
Afraid of losing her parents at a young age—her father with his weak heart, her deeply depressed mother—Naomi Feinstein prepared single-mindedly for a prestigious future as a doctor. An outcast at school, Naomi loses herself in books, and daydreams of Wellesley College. But when Teddy, her confidant and only friend, abruptly departs from her life, it’s the first devastating loss from which Naomi is not sure she can ever recover, even after her long-awaited acceptance letter to Wellesley arrives.
Naomi soon learns that college isn’t the bastion of solidarity and security she had imagined. Amid hundreds of other young women, she is consumed by loneliness—until the day she sees a girl fall into the freezing waters of a lake.
The event marks Naomi’s introduction to Wellesley’s oldest honor society, the mysterious Shakespeare Society, defined by secret rituals and filled with unconventional, passionate students. Naomi finally begins to detach from the past and so much of what defines her, immersing herself in this exciting and liberating new world and learning the value of friendship. But her happiness is soon compromised by a scandal that brings irrevocable consequences. Naomi has always tried to save the ones she loves, but part of growing up is learning that sometimes saving others is a matter of saving yourself.
Mainly in Boston and at Wellesley College.
This book is filled with beautiful, poetic prose and weaves a complex coming-of-age tale. It’s moving, deep, and emotional. It reminded me of Dead Poets Society in a way. It took me a while to connect with Naomi as a character, but I enjoyed reading about how she came out of her shell in college, and all those twists and turns along the way. The acceptance she had to foster not only for others, but herself. And as someone who went to a college with secret societies, I was definitely entertained in certain parts. Overall, it was a lovely novel…..but…. I found myself missing something reading it.
At first I couldn’t put my finger on it. The writing was lyrical, but I just found myself not as engaged with this novel. It didn’t get me as excited. When I stop and think about what I like in a book, the pace is often quicker, whether that be The Hunger Games or The Marriage Plot or Your Voice Inside My Head. It’s sort of like you hold hands and dive in with the characters, instead of them slowly unfolding in front of you. I missed that more than I thought I would.
3. Love Potential:
Of course! It’s a coming-of-age story.
Post-college life, secret societies, childhood love, Shakespeare, tragedy, Kennedy’s, and dinner parties. The cover might be my favorite ever, and even the pages have a nice weight to them. It’s just a lovely book to hold.
I have MANY friends who would love Percer’s novel. In fact, I was at a party with a friend from college recently and we were chatting about books. She immediately held up her hand, like “STOP right there, Sarah!” and said, “I do not like young adult books.” She’s into contemporary fiction. What can I say? I’m the oddball who likes primarily YA fiction, memoirs, or Jane Austen.
IV. Additional Resources
TLC Book Tour for An Uncommon Education
Wednesday, May 2nd: missris
Thursday, May 3rd: Bookstack
Monday, May 7th: The House of the Seven Tails
Tuesday, May 8th: Stiletto Storytime
Wednesday, May 9th: Book Him Danno!
Thursday, May 10th: Unabridged Chick
Monday, May 14th: Elle Lit.
Tuesday, May 15th: Dolce Bellezza
Wednesday, May 16th: A Book Geek
Friday, May 18th: Book Journey
Thursday, May 24th: A Musing Reviews
Monday, May 28th: Reading With Martinis
Friday, June 1st: Wandering Thoughts of a Scientific Housewife
Monday, June 4th: BookNAround
Wednesday, June 6th: The Blog of Lit Wits
Also, Here is Elizabeth’s website.
And thanks to TLC Book Tour!