My Oxford Year: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Major motion picture already in development with Temple Hill Entertainment
Set amid the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future - perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.
American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was 13: study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.
When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding, and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.
Immediately Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither is truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 58 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 24, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #5,315 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#10 in Christian Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#64 in Christian Historical Fiction (Books)
#100 in Coming of Age Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
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Top reviews from the United States
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I'd heard the author on a podcast (Wicked Wallflowers Club) and the entire time she was speaking thought she sounded remarkably pompous, talking about how she was a Rhodes finalist (but you weren't selected so ... sounds embarrassing to hear people, years after the fact, talk about how close they came to something), how she'd attended Oxford through her American uni and was a "real Oxonian," not "granted privileges" like actual Rhodes scholars (so then why would she apply for the scholarship if she'd already an "authentic" experience?), how she is an important actress and is "really good friends" with X, Y, Z. I'm really good friends with a woman named Jessica who oversees providing healthy, fulfilling meals to the hungry in our county, so what's your point? And the author is an important actress who pays her bills by narrating books -- the way she kept stressing "actress" felt as if she were denigrating the profession which puts a roof over her head.
So as I wrote, totally my fault for purchasing (and reading) the book anyway, but the hosts of the podcast were keen on it, plus the author does really like tea (me too), and I liked the way they all (hosts and author) said it's not a romance book, it's a woman's book. Now I love romance and I love chick-lit and I love women's fiction (which empowers women, kinda following the Bechdel Test, if you will).
"My Oxford Year" is a flat-out romance. There is ZERO female empowerment to be found in this story.
And that's fine, but this is not a woman's book. This is not a book where, in the opening scene, our protagonist, Ella, is offered a job advising a widowed candidate on education in the presidential primary and where we actually see Ella doing *any* work, providing *any* knowledge about American education (except that the Arts are important -- yep, got it). If Ella loves English lit so much, why do we only know about the one paper she writes, and that's in her first week of classes? We learn nothing else about her true life at and in Oxford. Sure, we learn she makes three friends, but there is no deep dive into those friendships, at all.
Instead it's a romance with one of her teachers, Jamie, where they agree to a purely sexual relationship, not an intimate relationship. Granted, they do ultimately develop an emotional connection and it turns out ***SPOILER*** that he is terminally ill, as was his brother (who earlier succumbed to same disease), and Ella decides to live with Jamie while he's undergoing and dealing with the after effects of treatment. So we know about Jamie's living on his bathroom floor and puking,***END OF SPOILER*** but not about Ella's, the WOMAN, classes, classwork, work for the US presidential candidate hopeful.
At the very end of the book Ella does decide to do what she wants to do, not what society or academia says one ought to. Listen, that's great and all, but what Ella chooses to do is still in service of her boyfriend, so I'm not sure how much of a woman's book this is. I think in many ways that is truth, that many of us do subjugate our own wishes / needs in service of those around us (spouse, children, parents, boss), but I'm in my 40s, not a Bright Young Thing in my early-20s who was chosen a Rhodes Scholar AND was handpicked to be the Education Adviser to someone running in the presidential primaries. I mean -- that is some young person! Must be incredibly bright, insightful, observant. I'll read a book about her! But that's not Ella. At all.
Would I recommend this book? Not on your life. Is it the worst book I've ever read? Not even close. Is it a keeper? Nope.
This spectacular story helped me travel back in time when I, too,was an English Literature scholar in university studying the sensational works of literary giants such as Byron, Shelley, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Wild, Frost and so forth... gifting me nostalgic memories. This novel not only gave me the "full Oxford" experience through its narrative but touched me deep in my heart and soul... playing on all my heart strings. I was highly entertained yet deeply moved by Ella and Jamie's romance and his terminal illness. A heart-breaking story about life and how this once-in-a-lifetime unexpected experience became the experience of a lifetime. 5+++ Bloody Sensational Stars for "My Oxford Year"... which teaches us not to THINK but to FEEL!
There are some interesting characters and of course some romance. A bit of adventure and some plot twists I wasn’t expecting. Which is probably part of why I liked it so much. Most books, especially ones romantically inclined tend to be predictable. And at the end of it all, I think there are some pretty good lessons as well.
Top reviews from other countries
Hate turns to love and Ella is living her Oxford dream... until she finds out Jamie is hiding a secret which threatens to tear them apart. He has multiple myeloma.
I loved the setting and the plot, which was a typical romance and had some similarities to Pippa Croft's Oxford Blue series, but did find the dialogue strained at times.
Overall, a read that was more serious than I expected but with the love story I was looking for.