I received a copy of SURPRISED BY OXFORD: A MEMOIR by Carolyn Weber
from Thomas Nelson, via BookSneeze. I was originally enchanted by the
cover, depicting historical architecture at Oxford, but once I started
reading, I was enthralled. While I read, I kept forgetting it was a
true story. As Marilyn Meberg states on the back cover, it really does
read like a novel. The fact that it is a memoir makes it all the more
The memoir begins with a touching prologue, that clings to the mind
long after the book is closed. She had a wonderful professor who
helped her a great deal, only to die at the end of the semester. This
prologue brought tears to my eyes.
After that, the book jumps between her life at Oxford University and
her life growing up. The writing is smooth and the dialogue is
fascinating. For example, on page 15, the driver says, “I havena idear
you’re talikin’ aboot.” I could hear it perfectly in my mind, making
the experience all the more real.
She also mentions the Irish pop band U2. I’d never listened to them
before, but after hearing her explain their insightful lyrics, I looked
them up online.
I found her experiences with God touching and enlightening. Her
experiences cling to my memory bank even now that I’ve shut the book.
This memoir will appeal to anyone looking for an enjoyable read, and
especially someone who enjoys spiritual journeys.