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.
Make no mistake. A Reliable Wife is a gothic romance novel disguised as contemporary fiction. But this gothic romance is a book you will not to be able to put down.Catherine Land has answered an ad in the paper for a wife. Ralph Truitt is a wealthy business man that lives in the wilds of Wisconsin. The year is 1907. Mr. Truitt has lived twenty years without another human to love. His housekeeper & her husband are often times the only interaction he has with anything living. Catherine Land has responded to the advirtisement. She has told Mr. Truitt that she is the daughter of a Missionary man, plain & looking for someone to take care of as she ages. But she has not been honest. And it isn't until much later in the book you realize the depth of her deception. It is hard to go into great detail about the plot without giving away it's secrets. And the secrets start spilling out about halfway through the book. And the secrets send everything spinning out of control. Will Catherine be able to live with herself he she continues down her deceptive path? Will Ralph Truitt ever be able to forgiver her? Or himself? A Reliable Wife is fabulously dark & twisted gothic romance. The secrets that haunt both Catherine and Ralph give the book a Thirteenth Tale or Rebecca kind of feel. The story gets in your heart & you can't help but ache for Ralph & Catherine. All they want is to have a happy ending, but as the author states towards the end of the book,
It was just a story about despair
.You are not going to find a happy, feel good story within the pages of The Reliable Wife, but it is a story that you will devour and not be able to put down. Sometimes, those are the best books of all.
Having given you a little bit of my background, I must say that I ran hot & cold with Confessions of A Counterfeit Farm Girl.
The accuracy of this passage had me laughing out loud. So very accurate. And very cleverly written.
"She adored her job and she loved her customers -- dealing with the public
was her forte -- but sometimes they were capable of testing her patience to the
limit. Especially in the run-up to Christmas, when vast hordes of people who
didn't venture into bookshops at any other time of the year came pouring through
the doors with a Great Need to Buy coupled with Absolutely No Idea What. It
could be an enjoyable challenge."
I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted a boyfriend who was Christian, but who wasn't too uptight about it, who was good-looking and intelligent and had an interesting job and a sense of humor, who said "fuck" when the situation
warranted it, who had attempted but been unable to finish St Augusine's City of God, who could argue politics with my mother and talked business with my father, who liked Indian food and had nice friends and knew how to dress and would like to someday live abroad.
Oh yeah. That would be the ideal boyfriend. LOL. Does he really exist? Or is that kind of "wish list" unrealistic?Alison has to take a good, hard look at herself. At her wants & needs in a relationship. And when Tom wants to come back, will Alison welcome him with open arms? Or did she learn enough about herself to be able to see that she deserves so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed The Big Love. I know what it is like to hope & dream for "the big love". I know, quite painfully, what it is like to try & force "the big love" where it will never be. It is hard. And embarrassing. But it is a lesson that I felt I had to learn. At least I know I am not alone. The Alison Hopkins' of the world are out there to keep me company.