SURPRISED BY OXFORD by Carolyn Weber

SURPRISED BY OXFORD

A Memoir

KIRKUS REVIEW

Memoir of a literature professor who converted to Christianity in the halls of Oxford University.

Coming home for the holidays, Weber (English/Seattle Univ.) had a handsome young man with a jewelry box in his pocket waiting for her at the gate. Most girls would be excited, but not the author. As her ex–fiancé-to-be awaited her arrival, Weber found herself confiding to a concerned stranger that she'd been thinking about someone else: Jesus. It's an inauspicious beginning for a conversion story, inciting the same adverse reaction in readers as the author’s agnostic friends—nice, well-educated girls do not break up with their boyfriends and become Christians. But a lot has changed since Weber began her graduate studies at Oxford, an establishment where semesters with names like "Michaelmas" and "Hilary" frame a touching narrative of friendship, love and faith. There, the author was just as often inspired by Keats and the Beatles as she was by the Gospel. Weaving lines of poetry, philosophy and scripture into her narrative, Weber grasps at the meaning of life in the pages of great works of literature and overcomes her own childhood cynicism. Ultimately, a boy she refers to as TDK (i.e., tall, dark and handsome) won her heart and encouraged her to convert. When normal, 20-something trials ensued, notably a visit from a Georgia Peach in designer stilettos who threatened to steal her crush, the author’s new faith was put to the test. The delicately crafted moments when Weber’s faith allowed her to think more clearly and walk more gracefully through her life are, much like her romance, worth the wait.

Well-written, often poignant and surprisingly relatable.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8499-4611-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2011




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