My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

November 7th, 2019 Kimberly Review 13 Comments

7th Nov
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
My Oxford Year
by Julia Whelan
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Genres: Women's Fiction
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.

friends well written TEARJERKER Truffles

I bought My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan on audio when it released without even reading the synopsis primarily to support Whelan whom I love as a narrator. And, of course, it sat on my Audible App for far too long.

I laughed, swooned, smashed things, cried and adored this complicated story about life and the curveballs it throws you when you least expect it.

“The hardest thing is love, with no expiration date, no qualifiers, no safety net. Love that demands acceptance of all things I cannot change. Love that doesn’t follow a plan.”– My Year at Oxford

When the mood strikes, I enjoy women’s fiction. While this has a romantic element and a coming of age new adult feel that fans of Me Before You and The Fault of Our Stars will enjoy, it also focuses on a young woman who is driven in her pursuit of education and career. She has a plan and love isn’t in the equation but sometimes life happens and it makes you reevaluate everything.

Whelan pulled me in with these complex, flawed characters and talks of poets, politics and family. Spending a year abroad at college spoke to my younger-self. Ok, who am I kidding. I would pack my bags to spend a year at Oxford at fifty. The books, the streets, the pubs…the HISTORY! Oh my!

I could talk about the friends, the romantic arrangement and the secrets or perhaps the pubs, countryside and life lessons, but this book like I suppose Oxford is best experienced first hand. So instead I will encourage you to grab your headphones, a box of truffles and a glass of wine.  Then lose yourself in this story. It is one that will stay with you. As someone who listens and reads over two hundred books a year, I love when that happens.

Normally I get nervous when an author chooses to narrator, but Whelan is already an established narrator and a favorite. So naturally she nailed the characters, emotions and tone of the story. I recommend listening.

This is the kind of story that stays with you, that offers life lessons for those starting out and even for those caught up in the mundane.

Grab a glass of wine, a box of truffles and snuggle by the fire and let Julia Whelan narrate her novel My Oxford Year #MustListen Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

13 Responses to “My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan”

  1. Olivia Roach

    I feel like this is the kind of book I am going to be able to relate to seeing as I am a university student myself coming to the point where career decisions are being made. It’s what I love about the new adult genre. And this one sounds lovely 🙂

    Olivia Roach recently posted: A Dream So Dark [Book Review]
  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I’m hit or miss when it comes to Women’s Fiction, but I like the coming of age element in this one, as well as the focus on education and friendship. It sounds like a book I would enjoy so thanks for putting it on my radar. 🙂

  3. Sam@wlabb

    I regretted letting this ARC sit for over a year, because when I finally read the book, I was giving all the stars. Women’s fiction is iffy for me, but the romance was strong in this one, and, I am crying just thinking about it. This was such a beautiful story. I didn’t expected the gut punch it delivered, but wow! I read this book back in May, and I can still feel the feels.

  4. Lorna

    I just know this is going to be a sad one. As much as I know I would probably love it, I just don’t do sad books if I know about it ahead of time. I used to, but the older I get, the more I want a happily ever after.

  5. Anne

    I adored this! I didn’t even know about it until I met her at Book Bonanza and I went right on and listened to it. Fantastic review. I refuse to call it women’s fiction – it is LIFE fiction.

    Anne – Books of My Heart

  6. Ash

    This looks fun! I have a weird love/hate relationship with books like this, I want to read them and I love them but I hate reading them and want to stick with horror. But I definitely love books that are great at portraying emotions and this one sounds like a rollercoaster!

    Ash @ JennReneeRead

    Ash recently posted: An Update