by Julia Whelan
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hours and 58 minutes
Genres: Women's Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
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.
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
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: