(34) Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz
There is something about college life that I find fascinating. The behind the scenes kind of thing is what I enjoy reading about. I think it is for the same reason why I enjoy reading books set in summer camps. I lived the experience as an attendee, so to read about it from the back-end of things is a real eye opening experience.
Which is why I have been eager to read Admission since I first read the synopsis. I was not disappointed.
It has been a while since I have read a 450 page book. I forgot what it was like to be totally immersed in a story. Immersed in a character is more like it. Portia Nathan is the kind of character where you just submerge yourself in her life.
Portia works for the Admissions Office at Princeton University. She holds the keys to some of the most hallowed halls in America, if not the world. She has been in "the business" since graduating from Dartmouth, herself. She is living a pretty charmed life with her partner of sixteen years, Mark. They are established in the Princeton community and have created a happy life together.
A trip to Vermont during the fall changes it all. On a recruiting trip to a new charter school her pasts collides with her present in more than one way. When she returns home, she discovers that her future is not as solid as she once had thought and her world starts to unravel.
Jean Hanff Korelitz has written an amazing book. Her fictionalized account of what happens in the Admissions Office of a prestigious University makes for a fascinating story. As readers, we find ourselves falling deeper and deeper into Portia's disintergrating life. The deeper we fall, the more we desperately want Portia to pull herself up and continue her life. With Mark or without. There are points in the book where the sense of voyeurism is so great, I almost felt embarrassed to be reading it.
The thought of reading a 452 page book is daunting to a lot of people. Have no fear, Admission is one of those books that is over before you know it. The writing is superb, the characters are like able, and the story is captivating. Admissions is not a book to be missed. Portia Nathan is a woman you will be glad you met.