If you happen to be one of those people who ignore the common advice and judge a book by its cover anyway, don’t let this somewhat plain-looking cover fool you. Enclosed in between the simple layout is one complex story, centered around one complicated protagonist. Admission, by Jean Hanff Korelitz, is the story of Portia Nathan, an admissions officer at Princeton University, whose life is transformed before our very eyes as the novel progresses.
The fog that Portia has been living under for quite some time has become such a regular part of the background that when we are introduced to her at the onset of the story, she isn’t even aware of it. As the reader, we can sense a dull ache or a plodding pace of her life, although she is apparently oblivious. As the plot unfolds, we are given bits and pieces of information about the past that Portia has been actively pushing to the back recesses of her mind, and we are witness to the inevitable changes that result from some major life upheavals that come her way.
Does this all sound a little vague? Well, yes, I guess it does, but I really don’t want to give away any plot lines because I’m hoping that the intrigue will make you run out and get this book immediately! While some of the ‘mystery’ surrounding Portia’s past gets easier to figure out as the story goes on, the complete picture of her experiences doesn’t get filled in until late in the novel, and the emotions involved make the journey a challenging one for her. Portia fills the shoes of my favorite type of fictional character- conflicted, complex, and not necessarily always sure of herself. After spending so long living in that fog, Portia’s reawakening to life is refreshing even while it’s painful and difficult to watch. The admissions that Portia is confronted with– professionally and personally, in both senses of the word– make for an intriguing and intense novel.
With three kids and never enough hours in the day, Dawn wonders if it’s possible to read in her sleep. When she’s not reading or changing diapers, she’s blogging away at my thoughts exactly.
Hachette Book Group has offered 5 copies of this book (U.S. and Canadian shipping addresses). Leave a comment on this post if you’d like to be eligible to win this book.
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