Naomi Feinstein is afraid of losing. She is afraid of losing her parents – her dad with a weakened heart…. her mom who is deeply depressed. She is afraid of losing her friend Teddy who she confides everything…
Setting her mind on becoming a doctor, Naomi buries herself in her books, hoping to be accepted into the college of her dreams, Wellesley. When Teddy does (as she had feared) departs from her life, the blow is too hard and too deep, and seems larger than she can handle – even when the hopeful acceptance letter from Wellesley arrives.
Hoping that college will fill all the gaps in her life where fear and loneliness seep in, Naomi heads straight into the school she believes will become her security. But, college is not what she had dared hope, and while Naomi finds herself surrounded by hundreds of other young women… at the same time she feels unreachable and alone.
When Naomi witnesses a girl fall into a freezing lake, things began to change. She learns of a mysterious society – called the Shakespeare Society with all the lure a secret society would have – rituals and secret meetings, and students with a canny passion. Finally Naomi believes she has found something that makes her feel a part of life and fills all those gaps. As Naomi grows into this new person, hard lessons are brought forth and Naomi is about to learn the most important lesson of her life.
Does anyone remember Dead Poet’s Society? It was a movie from the late 1980’s starring Robin Williams as an unconventional Professor of English, John Kleets. While I adore this movie and love all that John Kleets stood for, the best part of the movie to me, was the secret society of The Dead Poet’s. (Even as I type this my mind is thinking… do I still have this movie in my collection? Is it DVD or VHS? Please be DVD….)
I mention this now, because when I first read the synopsis of this book… that is what stood out to me. An ancient secret society…. sorry, I never went to college – I think I crave the whole secret sorority thing….
In An Uncommon Education, Naomi’s back story (prior to college) is a slow tedious start. I picked the book up. I put it down. I picked it up again. I believed it had a story within its pages that I wanted to read. I just had to find that story.
I hung in there. I found the book detailed, well-developed, I had a good feel for who Naomi was and what she stood for. I liked her. These are the things I clung too while I slogged through the first part of this book.
Bringing Naomi to the school, the book picked up more of a heartbeat pace. It had rhythm… it had life. More importantly, I no longer wanted to sett he book down and move on. I think Naomi as well finds her heartbeat. When things get rough and a scandal is resented – Naomi then is forced into some hard truths that really bring this book full circle.
In a few words: Give the book some time to warm up, it is worth the wait.
In a word: WOW.
Thank to to TLC Book Tours for a gorgeous, thought provoking read