Carolyn (Caro) Weber is in love with words, in love with ideas. Her scholarship for graduate studies at Oxford is a dream come true. Caro expected to be academically challenged and enlightened. What she wasn’t expecting was to find God.
Ms. Weber evokes the sights and sounds of Oxford so vividly you can feel the cobblestones beneath your feet, the ancient stone wall under your hand. She has suffused her memoir with pleasure – good friends, a warm cup of tea by a blazing fire. She utterly dispels the notion of a dour Christian who finds no joy in life and who cannot think for herself.
But I do have some quibbles. First of all, I have a personal antipathy to the word “smirked.” Oh, how Caro loves this word! Earnest, intelligent students smirk. Distinguished erudite professors smirk. Even Caro herself smirks. The only beings I’ve ever actually seen smirk are small children.
More importantly, the cast of characters is a bit muddled. Is this kind, supportive, caring male the gay one or the cynic who parties too much? Is this supportive, amazing woman the widow or the college professor? As for TDH (Tall, Dark, and Handsome, of course), Caro’s love interest, he is simply too good to be true. Surely the most caring and Christian of men have an annoying habit – or two.
What rings true in this memoir is Caro’s spiritual journey – from her initial defenses, to her questioning and seeking, to her final joyous acceptance. I know what it feels like to seek guidance and lift your eyes to meet the gaze of someone who is exactly who you need right now. I too have heard the audible click the universe makes when your feet hit (or stray onto) the right path. (Caro hears a click and a ping. I’ve only ever heard the click. Perhaps I have further to go on my spiritual walk.)
Any reader – believer or not – will enjoy Caro’s humor and her academic and spiritual courage.
I was provided this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review by the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze program.