Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Review: Suprised By Oxford

I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book when I picked it. When it arrived I was even more skeptical due to the obvious length (over 400 pages). But I guess you could say that I was pleasantly "surprised" by Surprised by Oxford. Carolyn Weber weaves an intriguing tale regarding her journey to faith in perhaps the most unlikely of places. In a world where mothers warn you not to go to college and lose your faith, Weber actually went to the world's most renowned university and found faith.

Weber attended Oxford in the mid-nineties to obtain her Masters and Doctorate in English. During the time that she was there, she was forced to confront uncomfortable truths about herself and her worldview. She was also blessed by surprisingly non-cliched Christian friends and professors who showed her that being a Christian doesn't mean being uneducated, complacent, or naive.

Surprised by Oxford
is at its core, a love story. It is a love story that involves a man and woman, but much more importantly it is a love story between a woman and her God. I was enriched, challenged, and provoked by the ideas presented in this book. It is rare to find an author who can weave literary concepts like foreshadowing, character development, and a sense of place into a memoir. Yet Weber manages to do just that.

While originally the task of reading this book appeared daunting, I could not put it down. I finished the book in under a week. I highly recommend Surprised by Oxford. It is an intelligent, witty, and memorable exploration of faith, family, and identity. I give it five out of five stars.

Note for Full Disclosure: While I do not receive any monetary compensation for my book reviews, I am provided with free complimentary copies of each book. That being said, this review is completely my own, and free from the influence of Thomas Nelson Book Publishers.

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