My Education by Susan Choi was such an intense and passionate read that I was hesitant to put the book down in order to feed myself and get some sleep.
Regina, our narrator, starts her first year of graduate school feeling very adult. After all, she’s no longer an undergrad. An English major, Regina is forewarned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur’s predilection for young coeds, but is drawn to his charisma the first time she sees him. So much that she signs up for an advanced English class that isn’t in her concentration of study. Soon, she is drawn into the intricate web of Professor Brodeur’s life and his family. Regina is so entrenched in her belief that she is an “adult” that she cannot see how entangled she becomes into Brodeur’s family.
My Education is the first book I’ve read by Choi so I had no idea what to expect. Choi is an accomplished writer who has garnered many awards for her previous works, including being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Clearly my expectations were high. Choi did not disappoint me.
While I had to look up my fair share of words in my dictionary app throughout the book, all the words Choi chose for her narrative had a purpose. I forced myself to slow down with this book because each sentence was chockful of emotion and motive. Regina thought carefully about her decisions and justified them in her mind. As the reader, I could see clearly that Regina’s choices were not the best ones for her, but I wanted it to all work out for Regina.
Choi captured young love and passion with the same depth and authority that she described a disillusioned and failing relationship. I won’t give much more details because I don’t want to spoil your discovery of Regina’s experiences.
I originally chose to read this book as part of my goal this year is to read more Asian American authors. My Education is exactly the type of books I want to see more of. Regina is half Asian, but her Asianness does not define her character or her story. This is not an East meets West coming of age story and I applaud Susan Choi for that. Just because an author is Asian American means he or she should be compelled to write novels about his or her ethnic background.
I hope you’ll grab a copy ofMy Education by Susan Choi.
I received a copy of the book for review. This post contains affiliate links.