Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir

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As I started planning intentionally for 2017 (which I do every December using Powersheets) I made a list of non-fiction books I wanted to read. I tend to trudge slowly through non-fiction, so when I saw the size of this book, I gave myself two months to read it. That was unnecessary. I should know better when it comes to memoirs and biographies. The story is always what drives me. And there’s a story here- a good one.

The book follows Carolyn’s first year at Oxford. She arrives lost, literally and figuratively. It’s about her finding her way, and The Way. I resonated with Carolyn. As I read I both sympathized with her struggle and was frustrated by her obstinacy (and my own?) Everything came back to me as I saw my younger self in her, trying to reconcile her past with truth. The reality of what she’s seen with the reality of what is unseen.

It doesn’t hurt that I got to live vicariously through her. Oh Oxford, how I long to be in your walls! My friend Sarah read this with me, and as we laughed about our passion and excitement for learning and with a small dose of wanting to relive our younger days, she said, “Listen….we can’t go to Hogwarts. But, surely, we could do a mini-term at Oxford.”

On March 24, I’ll be attending a lecture given by Carolyn: “Of Books and Babes: the Power of Story in Forming Identity.” If you are in Fort Worth and want to attend with me, let me know! But read it first….you’ll be glad you did.

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