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The Admissions

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  4,945 ratings  ·  625 reviews
The Admissions brilliantly captures the frazzled pressure cooker of modern life as a seemingly perfect family comes undone by a few desperate measures, long-buried secret and college applications!

The Hawthorne family has it all. Great jobs, a beautiful house in one of the most affluent areas of Northern California, and three charming kids whose sunny futures are all but
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Doubleday
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Jackie Stanton Wow. I totally disagree. The novel starts slowly, but once you get involved in Angela's, Gabe's and Nora's individual stories, it soars. Perhaps it's…moreWow. I totally disagree. The novel starts slowly, but once you get involved in Angela's, Gabe's and Nora's individual stories, it soars. Perhaps it's because I love "The Admissions" setting (Northern California) and I am very familiar with the college admissions process (former high school guidance counselor), but this novel really touched me.(less)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,945 ratings  ·  625 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A memory.....
Gabe and Nora meet for the first time at a bar..."The Shamrock" Irish Pub
in Noah valley, in San Francisco. (I've been myself: causal funky old fashion pub)....
The atmosphere is warm, friendly, and socially fun, ( lots of drinking). Concerns
about children's achievements and where to shop at the best bakery to purchase
pastries for a grade school function, don't enter anyone's thoughts.

Two decades later, Gabe and Nora Hawthorne are living in Marin County, (Mill Valley), with
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Its hard for everybody in some way, right? Meg Mitchell Moore, The Admissions

Seemingly perfect at a passing glance, the Hawthorne family in Moores newest novel, The Admissions is actually desperately trying to hold on and keep everything together in their upscale, uber-competitive Bay Area community. Nearly every member of the family is hiding something a secret, a mistake, a joke gone too far, their true feelings but none can voice it, lest the whole house of cards come tumbling down.

(Please note: The spoiler in this review is NOT a spoiler of the actual book - it's just a spoiler of a movie that I mention in the review. The review will spoil nothing of the book itself.)

So remember that scary movie When a Stranger Calls (I'm thinking of the old version; I can't speak to the remake), and the poor babysitter is besieged by all these ominous phone calls chiding "have you checked the children...?" and then finally learns that all her efforts to protect them have been completely
Katie Schickel
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mainstream
Bursting with both humor and tragedy, Meg Mitchell Moores The Admissions is a riveting book that had me on the edge of my seat. Through her smart, flawless writing and perfect pacing, Moore holds a mirror up to our over-ambitious, over-stressed, results-driven culture and shows a realistic portrait of a family in turmoil.

Set in Mill Valley, California, the story is about the Hawthorne family whose oldest daughter Nora is on a sisyphean (SAT word) quest to get into Harvard early admission. In
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Something about this book just resonated with me. While I don't have any children old enough to be applying to college, I can definitely relate to the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality, especially coming from a real estate background. I loved how the viewpoints kept changing throughout but still managed to propel the story forward. It was hard to stop reading about this family as bit by bit they started unraveling at the seams. I really enjoyed it. 4.5.
Erica Parker
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: authors-women
I'm not sure if I've recently read anything I've loved more fully than Meg Mitchell Moore's The Admissions. As soon as I finished, I added her other work to my TBR list.

I don't want to give too much away regarding the story, because it's really a treasure that should be discovered for itself, so I'll just provide a little synopsis.

The Admissions is essentially a drama centered around the frazzled Hawthorne family - Nora, Gabe, and their two daughters Angela and Cecily (and their youngest
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
A pleasant-enough novel about a stressed family living in posh Marin County, CA. Moore seems to feel guilty that her characters are loaded; there's tons of self-deprecation and fretting about people starving in Third World countries, plus sneering at the (other) rich characters who are, we are told, more despicable than the family we're following, who are sooooo down-to-earth and not into yoga despite their wealth. Lots of unfortunate references to the caramel- and latte-colored skin of nonwhite ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it liked it
In the midst of Meg Mitchell Moores novel The Admissions, Angela, a senior in a high-pressure high school in a high-income neighborhood just outside San Francisco, runs a cross-country race. We hear her labored breathing as she, whose life has been shaped by her father, her school, her peer group, and the culture of Marin county, CA runs beyond her limits to attempt to win the ultimate prize: no, it isnt a gold medal at the end of the race; instead, its a spot at Harvard.

Angelas labored
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Hawthorne family is ready to implode due to all the pressures of college admissions, and maintaining an upper middle class lifestyle. I know, I know....who wants to read a book about how tough it is for the fortunate among us? And it's a subject that has been done before. What makes this one shine above the rest is the author made every character sympathetic and relatable. That's not always an easy feat for an author but Ms. Moore pulls it off.

High-pressure jobs for both parents, balancing
Kim Ketelsen
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Goodreads First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.

I can say in all honesty that I LOVED THIS BOOK! I could NOT put it down. I read it in a day. This is a MUST READ!

While written in a form of ever changing point of views, it was easy to follow along, it flowed nicely. The story gripped you. As a reader, it was no problem placing yourself in the characters shoes. It was easy to picture the characters and situations as yourself, or someone you
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful but flawed family

This book is so wonderful because it's so honest about this modern day family and the problems they face in this very difficult world. The character development was lovely, I hated and loved each person at different times throughout this book
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Nora is a Realtor at an upscale brokerage in Marin County in the Bay Area. She sells homes worth millions, the kinds of homes with views of the bay, with picky buyers, and annoying, high-maintenance sellers who require a lot of hand-holding and expensive open houses. As the mother of three daughters, Noras life is one juggled task after another: rides to school, dance lessons and competitions, and business meetings. Sleepless nights begin when she realizes she left an important disclosure out of ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Admissions
Meg Mitchell Moore

My " in a nutshell" summary...

The adventures as well as the misadventures of a seemingly normal San Francisco family as they live their lives but are also consumed by getting their oldest daughter into Harvard.

The Cast Of Characters...

Gabe and Nora...parents...will a tiny little flower and a lie bring them down?
Angela...oldest daughter applying for Harvard in the fall...under enormous pressures?
Cecily...the middle daughter...known for her Irish dancing.
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book grabbed me and never let go. It is not that my life is like the Hawthornes, a high-flying couple with money who have given their three daughters every advantage in life. It is not that I have a child who is in the process of applying for college with the expectation that she get into Harvard. Not even close. But I do know what it is like to feel anxious and frightened about what the future will hold for her in this time of uber competition, fragmented work and instability. There are ...more
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hawthornes look like the perfect family. They have smart and talented daughters: Angela, 17; Cecily, 10; and Maya, 7. Their eldest daughter is on track for early admission to Harvard. Cecily excels at dance, but Maya struggles in reading.

Nora, the mother, grew up in Rhode Island, and sometimes longs for home, but the life she and Nate have built in Marin County is filled with the wonderful things she always dreamed of. However, her life is hectic, and all their lives seem totally focused on
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As April 1 (April Fools Day!) approaches, it only means one thing to highschool seniors around the country, college decision time is here. The Admissions, by fabulous author Meg Mitchell Moore, follows the Hawthorne family through this harrowing ordeal. Dad, a successful businessman; Mom, hanging out her real estate shingle and their kids Maya, Cecily and Angela. They seem like an average busy American family living in one of the most competitive expensive areas in the country, northern ...more
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up. This was an entertaining book but it also really zeroed in on all the pressures of society today, from working moms to college applicants to even grade-schoolers. I really loved all the details Moore puts in the book--since the Hawthorne family is saving for three college tuitions (probably at Ivy Leagues) the mother at times will say things like "having Angela (the oldest) at home to watch the younger girls will save $80)--but later she'll say that a dress for an Irish dancing ...more
Kathleen Gray
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
THis book is about a lot more than the cover would imply (and some of the reviewers above seem to have missed that.) Secrets, lies, family stress- it doesn't matter how much money a family has or where they live, the pressures we place on our kids and ourselves these days are immense. Moore captured that desperation on the part of everyone in the Hawthorne family, right down to little Maya's struggle with reading. I was especially taken with Cecily and her Irish dance. Bravo to Moore and also to ...more
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4 Stars - This review is of the audio book and narrator. I enjoyed the storyline but the narrator didn't do the book justice. I would lose track of what was going on because the narrator didn't interest me. I am glad that I chose to continue to listen regardless of my dislike of the narrator as I did enjoy the story.

4.5 Stars - Oh, you know, one must jump through hoops to keep up with the Joneses and then hope that those hoops don't break but the truth always comes out. When the truth does come
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
This is really 3.5 stars. This story of an upper middle class family that is hurtling towards their goal of having their oldest, incredibly bright daughter getting into Harvard (hence the title). This proves a tipping point as each family member is carrying secrets that like a snowball rolling down the hill, get bigger and bigger until something has to give (hence the title). This is a domestic drama that describes life in this fast lane a little too clearly, a little too close to home, a little ...more
Carol Ann
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Liked the story, the characters, the setting. Loved the writing. Absolutely perfect for book discussions. Instant Staff Pick at the Merrick Library. Please Ms. Moore, can we have some more?
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky to discover Moore scrolling through titles on-line. I was looking for a new author and was thrilled to discover a combination of a new-to-me author with a familiar feel. From the first chapter I knew I was going to relate to the story of Nora, her husband, Gabe and their three daughters. First off, Nora is from Rhode Island (I'm from Massachusetts) living in California far from her family (I'm in Chicago also away from all my family). She's raising three girls (another similarity) in ...more
Cindy Roesel
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A perfect family living a perfect life in upscale Marin County, Northern California. A mother, father, three daughters all with straight white teeth living in a wonderful home, but underneath, slowly, a pressure cooker

Was everything going to continue to come toward these kids earlier and earlier so that they emerged from the womb with their teeth wired, wearing glasses and helmets, scheduling math tutors?

THE ADMISSIONS (Doubleday) is Meg Mitchell Moores novel about the frazzled upper-class
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
WTF Are You Reading?
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book may start with the story of Angela and her quest to graduate top of her class; following her father's footsteps down the hallowed halls of Harvard.
But one quickly comes to realize that what readers are being presented with in The Admissions, is a complete picture.
A complete picture of a family, lives, lies, secrets, and a complex interconnectedness that can be either nurtured or destroyed by the things left unshared, unsaid, and unheard.

Angela...gifted, overachieving, driven.
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I really liked this book a LOT!! It's all about a family with three daughters. Parents who have very good jobs that keep them pretty busy. The kid's lives keep them busy as well what with all their extracurricular activities. They are so busy with the day to day stuff that they overlook quite a few things. a few things get overlooked and a few things are forgotten and a few things slide through the cracks. Then at just about the same time, they all catch up with them and it's not
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a family with hopes and dreamsand secrets. Its about what happens when their secrets become known to others and how each person deals with it.

Its also about how we view others our perceptions and the actual reality of what we think we know. Does that family next door really have life by the tail? How can they be so lucky when Im not? Its about the expectations we feel or place upon others and the intense anxiety that almost always follows. Anyone who went to college,
Mary Sue
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.

The novel tells the story of what seems, on the surface, to be a perfect family - 2 loving parents and 3 daughters living in an upscale area of San Francisco. However, as the story progresses, we learn more about the characters and the secrets they are hiding. There were a few times as I was reading that I thought there was a bit too much going on in the one family and this was not realistic ... but then I thought back on my own family (I also
Sheila DeChantal
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I listened to Admissions on audio and thoroughly enjoyed it. The play on the word admission just added to my enjoyment. It is not often I find a book title to be as perfect as this one is to the story line.

Listening to admissions you could imagine the anxiety this family had as they all tried to hold their corner of the picture perfect outlook up to standards. Yet, as in most cases of what appears to be perfect or those who appear to have it all not all is as it seems.

I really enjoyed what I
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I started this book, I wondered if I would bother finishing it. I wasn't sure I liked the characters and I didn't know if I cared enough to continue. But.....
Somehow I got drawn in, and then I spent all evening reading it until I finished.

Gabe and Nora lead frantic lives in Marin County, balancing work and the diverse needs of their 3 daughters. In addition to that, their personal careers are on shaky ground. The frantic pace of life is stressful even to read about, and it begins to take
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Meg Mitchell Moore's fifth novel, The Islanders, will be published by William Morrow in June 2019 and is a July Indie Next Pick. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three teenaged and almost-teenaged daughters.
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“Was everything going to continue to come toward these kids earlier and earlier so that they emerged from the womb with their teeth wired, wearing glasses and helmets, scheduling math tutors?” 0 likes
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