Release Date: July 3, 2013
Genre: General Fiction
Review Date: July 15, 2013
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.
My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end—if they do—fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.
Disclaimer: I received this book as a courtesy in exchange for an honest review.
First and foremost, because I review both Adult and YA, I wanted make very clear this is an 18+ book. Seriously. No minors aloud. If you're under 18, just stop right now...don't even read this review.
This story is full of seriously screwed up people. This themes include obsession, lust, love and loss. I'm going to try my best to keep this cohesive without giving away too much of the story. This book is a classic example of how book smarts doesn't equal street smarts. It's almost ironic how ridiculous and thoughtless these characters are socially, yet they are all brilliant academically.
Our main character and voice of the book is Regina. She's a grad student and she becomes slightly infatuated with a professor at her university, Nicholas. But when she meets Nicholas's wife, Martha, all bets are off and she falls madly for Martha with an alarming quickness and in a borderline obsessive way. Regina, aka Ginny, Nicolas, Marsha, and her roommate Dutra, all have major issues. Not in the drug dealer kind of way, but in the low self esteem, love starved, screw anything that walks sort of way.
Regina and Marsha's story is high drama, severely twisted and really sad. I had a hard time identifying exactly when Regina fell so hard for Marsha. It was like one day Regina saw Marsha out by a coffee cart, the next she's making out with her at a dinner party, then the next think you know she's in love. It all happened at lightning quick speed. Marsha is unhappy in her marriage, Regina is looking for love. Just a bad combination. I could probably go on and on about the dynamic of those two. They both need therapy!
Beyond that, the issue of sexuality in this novel was fascinating. Both women appear to be bisexual, which is something I've never read before. Not that it's negative, just different.
The characters were very interesting and they all had many layers. One could dissect the personalities of characters for hours. While interesting to read about, I didn't connect with any of them. I couldn't relate to anything that was going on. I feel sad for them, especially Regina. This book is titled "My Education", but I don't see where Regina or anyone else actually learned anything in this entire book.
The ending was a bit odd. I'm not sure I understand how it all came together. I don't want to spoil the plot for you, so I have to be a bit vague. But it's really weird that after all the ups and downs, after escaping the craziness and having a new life, Regina chooses to fall right back into it. She decides hook up two people that never even really had any type of relationship. Just the fact that one party loved the other in the same sort of crazy way that Regina loved Marsha. Of course, Regina has to make it even more twisted by sleeping with one of them right before she hooks them up for old times sake! Again, it's all nuts!
Have you ever read the Marriage Plot? Did you like it? If so, then you'll enjoy Choi's writing style. Choi's writing seems a bit reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides. In the way that it reads sort of high brow with a grad school English academia vibe and at times almost overly descriptive.
I would recommend this book to those who are looking to change things up and try something new. I also recommend it for literary fiction fans.
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