Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Booksneeze Book Review: Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

CAROLYN WEBER holds her BA from the University of Western Ontario and her MPhil and DPhil degrees from Oxford University.  She has been Associate Professor of Romantic Literature at Seattle University, and has also taught at Westmont College, University of San Francisco, and Oxford University.  Carolyn and her husband share the joy of parenting three spirited children in Santa Barbara, CA and London, Canada.  Find her online at

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber was a delightful surprise for me.  Firstly, the title alone immediately grabbed my interest.  But, I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated by the word 'Oxford'.  Words like 'Oxford' and 'Cambridge' are a bit out of my league.  However, I secretly (now not so secretly) relished the concept of vicariously being a student of such a reputable and highly esteemed university.  I was undoubtedly salivating throughout the book and compared it to eating a delicious gourmet meal; scrumptious beyond measure.  I have a penchant for memoirs and this one was by far the best!

I was enraptured by all the twists and turns of Professor Carolyn Weber's life. She is such an eloquent and absolutely gifted writer.  I fell in love with this book, with Professor Weber and all the people she describes in her book.  Especially, the infamous 'TDH' (tall, dark and handsome), he was my favorite.  Mind you, I never thought of myself as a die hard romantic until now.

I honestly do not have one single negative thing to write about this book at all.  It was totally my kind of book in so many ways and on so many levels.  I totally related to Professor Weber's life.  She endured some very difficult things, such as her strained relationship with her father.  I respect her character as nothing was handed or given to her, she didn't feel 'entitled', but worked hard for everything.  Which is why she wound up achieving a full scholarship at Oxford University in the first place.  I so admire Professor Weber and also appreciated how she came to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at Oxford.
Throughout this book, there were so many quotes which captured nuances for me, such as this one written by the wife of one of Carolyn Weber's professors:  "How do you go off to study literature, only to find that there is no human language that can convey the glory of heaven." - Dorothea Deveaux.  I just loved that. 

Yes, Professor Weber went to Oxford University to complete her masters in literature, but surprisingly found Jesus in the midst of academia. 

This book is written like a beautiful embroidery interwoven by thread of God's love and grace.  If I could give this book more than five stars I would.  I loved it that much and highly recommend it! 

In conclusion, I want to thank Booksneeze for sending me this complimentary book and allowing me the opportunity to honestly review it.

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