Thursday, January 6, 2011

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

I was browsing the new releases at my local library and this one caught my eye, in part because I enjoy books about colleges/prep schools and in part because some of it takes place in the North Country of New Hampshire and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. And I'm so glad that I did.

This novel is about a thirty something woman named Portia Nathan that is an admissions officer at Princeton University, after having begun her career as an admissions officer at Dartmouth (where she is also an alum). The title actually has two meanings, one of which is clear right away (Portia and  her colleagues must decide which students to admit to the in-coming class at Princeton) but the other takes a bit more time and wonderful, masterful language to develop. It relates to Portia's search to develop her own life and future and to come to terms with her past.

The characters were very well drawn and interesting. The admissions process of an Ivy League school was also absolutely fascinating, although I wonder if that actually happens or if, like in the movies, there are artistic licenses taken.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the characters and was interested in their history and their struggles.  I found it hard at times to put down this book. 

Defintiely a must read.

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