Uncommon Education, An: A Novel

Paperback | October 13, 2015

byElizabeth Percer

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For fans of Prep, Dead Poets Society, and Special Topics in Calamity Physics comes an elegant and remarkably insightful coming-of-age debut, in which a young woman’s serendipitous discovery of her college’s underground Shakespeare Society leads to an unforgettable series of transformations. When Naomi finds herself among “the Shakes” at Wellesley, she finally lets herself embrace the passionate inner self she’s always kept locked away. But when a sudden scandal unfolds, she will be forced to learn the limits of the relationships that have sustained her. An intimate and enthralling narrative, Elizabeth Percer’s debut novel An Uncommon Education marks the emergence of a stunning new literary talent.

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From the Publisher

For fans of Prep, Dead Poets Society, and Special Topics in Calamity Physics comes an elegant and remarkably insightful coming-of-age debut, in which a young woman’s serendipitous discovery of her college’s underground Shakespeare Society leads to an unforgettable series of transformations. When Naomi finds herself among “the Shakes” a...

From the Jacket

Afraid of losing her parents at a young age, Naomi Feinstein prepares single-mindedly for a prestigious future as a doctor. But when her only friend and confidant abruptly departs from her life, Naomi isn't sure she will ever recover, even after a long-awaited acceptance letter to Wellesley arrives. Yet Naomi soon learns that college i...

Elizabeth Percer is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been honored by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. She received a BA in English from Wellesley and a PhD in arts education from Stanford University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship for the National Writing Project at UC Berkeley. She lives in C...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:October 13, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062110977

ISBN - 13:9780062110978

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Customer Reviews of Uncommon Education, An: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Coming of age An Uncommon Education is a storyline about a young woman-Naomi Feinstein- and her struggles to find herself. The storyline is centered in and around the Boston area where the brilliant and eccentric Naomi discovers she has a special ability that both hinders and furthers her eccentricities. As a child –adored by her father, ignored by her mother, and rejected by the kids at school, Naomi must become self-sufficient and relies on her own abilities to absorb everything from the world around her. Making friends was beyond difficult and when she finally finds the one friend who can make everything right, he is ripped from her life in more ways than one. The author takes us on a roller coaster ride through Naomi’s childhood, teen years and eventually delves into her struggles to fit into an institution where she never quite fit the mold-Wellesley College. At times the storyline dragged, especially in the early years, but much of what made Naomi the woman she became was built upon the foundation laid out in the early part of the story. As a young girl, raised by a Jewish father and a converted from Catholic mother, Naomi’s early years are a study in psychology-with her mothers’ questionable parenting and emotional health as well as her father’s never ending love, Naomi reaches out to the only person she knows and in doing so, will eventually lose the person she was trying to become. We are witness to Naomi’s struggles and internal battles as she wages war with herself-never quite sure enough whether to take the next step and in some cases screwing up along the way. At one point, Naomi is a young girl in love with the boy who could one day make her happy, but the reality of the situation is a hard lesson learned in bigotry and religious prejudice-and in the long run, probably the best case scenario for Naomi. Naomi Feinstein is a young woman who struggles with the realities of the world. We watch as the family dynamics affects a young girl to the point she becomes the parent to a mother who is battling demons of her own. There are heartbreaking moments of lost love, death and memories that can no longer be recovered. Her struggles through college are not unlike those of many others, but we are witness to an unhappy time in her life that would have been better spent elsewhere or in other pursuits. Naomi never quite fits in. She is a young woman lost and yet she is trying to save the people that she loves. AN UNCOMMON EDUCATION is a coming of age story, told from the heroine’s POV, that some people will have a difficult time enjoying but it was a storyline that I found a nice change to the usual paranormal romance and erotic tales. The storyline bounces back and forth between present and past, we well as skipping ahead several years at a time. But to cover close to 20 odd years in the life of Naomi Feinstein, would have taken longer to write than for the heroine to discover what it was she truly wanted in life.
Date published: 2016-12-27

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Editorial Reviews

“Elizabeth Percer relates the life story of Naomi Feinstein with beautifully scripted, lush prose drawing in the reader and providing an unobstructed view deep into the hearts of her characters. . . . Rich in history, steeped in family tradition, and full of emotion--a lesson in practiced elegance.”