Surprised by Oxford – review

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Surprised by OxfordSurprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In her beautifully written spiritual memoir Surprised by Oxford, Carolyn Weber makes us privy to three romances.

She takes us with her as she falls in love with Oxford—the city and the school.

We experience the ups and downs of her relationship with TDH (tall, dark and handsome) which begins when he patiently answers the many questions of this atheistic Canadian scholarship student. Along the way he poses a few questions of his own.

Finally, we follow “Caro’s” meandering journey toward Jesus, from sneaking into the back of a cathedral to read a pew Bible, to a public baptism in the Thames River.

Weber’s literary background makes this a book rich in quotes and allusions to literature classics like John Donne and George Herbert. But she’s no cultural recluse and so pop culture wisdom, like U2 lyrics, find a place as well.

Her keen intelligence combined with feminist leanings informs and directs the apologetic narrative as she grapples with questions she needs to have answered before she will put her faith in any dogma or deity.

Her authenticity and warm spirit shine through all over the place as she recounts memories of life in her Canadian home and Oxford dorm conversations, pub nights, and outings with fellow students and professors.

I found Surprised by Oxford an altogether enjoyable read and am thrilled that it won the Grace Irwin Prize as the best Canadian Christian book published in 2013.

Surprised by Oxford is part of my own Kindle collection

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