Friday, October 30, 2009


Admission, by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

The flight from Newark to Hartford took no more than fifty-eight minutes, but she still managed to get her heart broken three times. This was a feat at once pathetic and, bizarrely, something of an underachievement, Portia thought making a painful note on the reader's card of an academically unadmittable Rhode Island girl and shoving the folder back into her bag. Any of her colleagues, she thought ruefully, might have had their hearts broken by twice as many applicants in the same amount of time.

Admission grabs its reader from the first sentence on, and doesn't let go until the very end. The prose is so detailed that it took me a while to read this book, but I have to say that I was glad I stuck it out. Portia, the main character, is an admissions officer at Princeton, and she has had this career for the past sixteen years. She has also been living with her partner (but not husband), Mark, for the same time span. The novel follows her through an especially taxing admissions season, and the ending (and plot points revealed throughout) was surprising, but satisfying.

4 stars out of 5.


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