Surprised by Oxford
A "girl-meets-God" style memoir of an agnostic who, through her surprising opportunity to study at Oxford, comes to a dynamic personal faith in God.
Carolyn Weber arrives for graduate study at Oxford University a feminist from a loving but broken family, suspicious of men and intellectually hostile to all things religious. As she grapples with her God-shaped void alongside...more
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(It has been perhaps 30 years since I looked at Lewis' Surprised by Joy, so making a qualitative comparison is out of t...more
My expectation from this book was an insight into belief in god, and good (not necessarily rational) reasons for that belief. I also love a good story and value good writing above all other properties of a book.
I would like to say what it is...more
Why four stars instead of five? Well, the author jumps from present to past to commentary...more
Surprised by Oxford is a beautiful, elegantly written memoir of author Carolyn Weber’s spiritual journey as she embarked on her academic journey through Oxford University. Her writing, at once sincere and yet delicate, will appeal to academics, agnostics and Christians alike. I myself found my university experience to be one of spiritual awakening as much as academic fulfillment—I did my undergraduate studies at McGill University in Montreal, where I earne...more
Carolyn left Canada to attend Oxford. She took with her an unquestioned agnosticism and a large chip on her shoulder from her upbringing. She quickly met professors, friends, and assorted others who challenged (both purposefully and not) her beliefs and feelings. Tall, Dark, Handsome (TDH) entered her life, adding a new di...more
It would have been far more compelling i...more
What I especially liked about this story was how it reminded me of people and conversations I had in college. I...more
What a wonderful experience Carolyn Weber had during her time at Oxford. Who knew one could have a journey of faith and self...more
Half-way point? phenomenal.
This is my third memoir of the year, and by far my favorite.
According to my blog, I read Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner almost 10 years ago. I still remember that I liked it, but didn't love it. Something seemed off.
This. This book blows it out of the water.
Carolyn Weber has written a beautiful book wrapping her confusion and questions in poetry. As a student of literature, these bits come to life as she negotiates a tumultuous conversion and first steps in faith...more
I thought I'd get a travelogue, mixed with some poetry I didn't understand (E...more
But I was. Probably not as much as she was surprised, although.
Weber attended Oxford on a Canadian Co...more
She is not long in Oxford when she is befriended by a handsome American man (whom she refers to throughout the book as TDH, short for "Tall, Dark and Handsome), rather than his Christian name. At first this seems to be a lite...more
When I saw this book offered on Book Sneeze (where I get books for free from Thomas Nelson publishing by blogging about them), I thought it looked neat, an inspiring, engaging little book about a lady becoming a believer as an adult. Well I was right about the inspiring and engaging and really wrong about the little. Surprised by Oxford is a book worthy of an Oxford graduate and is a brick. She includes introductions by various authors and intersperses quotati...more
The book is well written, and I...more
ETA: I forgot to mention the friendships in my original review. Along with the literary references (and all the U2!), I loved Weber's portrayal of her friendships. They were so beautiful and honest and read. Her relationships with Edward and Hannah in particular were engaging. Surprsingly, Weber's relationship with TDH was one of the less-memorable parts of the book (though that sounds harsh as I type it). Book...more
I will admit - this is one of those books that makes me realize that no matter how much I love to read and how many books I have read, I am a baby when it comes to classic literature. I m...more