Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Memoir
Carolyn Weber

OVERVIEW: When Carolyn Weber arrived at Oxford for her graduate studies, she felt no need for God. Her childhood in a broken but loving family taught her to reply on reason and intellect--not faith--for survival. Eager and expectant, Carolyn set out to study Romantic literature in one of the most inspiring and beautiful academic environments in the world. She had no idea that she was about to embark on a love story of her own--one much deeper, more colorful, and more surprisingly God shaped than any she'd read before.

From issues of fatherhood, feminism, and doubt to doctrine and love, Weber explores the intricacies of coming to faith with an honesty and insight echoing that of the poets and writers she studied. Rich with illustration and literary and poetic references, Surprised by Oxford is at once gritty and lyrical, humorous and spiritually perceptive.

Documented over the course of her first school year and organized according to the Oxford liturgical academic calendar, Surprised by Oxford tells the real-life tale of a young woman's search for--and eventual discovery of--purpose, identity, and what it really means to be human.  (From the back of the book.)

AUTHOR: Carolyn Weber holds her BA from the University of Western Ontario and her MPhil and her 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.

MY REVIEW: One of the most delightful books I have read in a long time. I agree with Alister McGrath who said, "A hugely readable journey of cultural and spiritual discovery, sparkling with wit and wisdom." This book should be read by everyone who doubts that thoughtful people can be Christian. From the first page to the last this splendid book reads like a fast paced novel that you don't want to put down. Having visited Oxford, and being in love with England, I thrilled at every mention of places and things I remembered from my visit there. 

I wanted to read about the author's journey from being an agnostic to becoming a Christian. I also was greatly interested in her journey to faith and her worldview because it was so different from mine. I honestly thought however that I might be bored by it all. I couldn't have been more wrong. Far from being boring this is one of the most engaging and interesting books I have read this year. This is Carolyn Webber's first book but I predict it will not be her last--at least I pray it won't! This woman is a writer!

(This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing for this review.)


Lori said...

Cliff, looks like another one to add to my collection. I have always dreamed of going to England, my Dad's side comes from Lincolnshire :-) Lori