Some books you read and then wonder why you just wasted three hours of your life with the tripe. Does this indicate a deep-seated need for psychiatric counsel? Others you read and say, “Huh, that was nice,” and then never think about it again. Then there are those books, the ones that really get to you, the ones that make you laugh and weep and cry out to God. The books that get under your skin and stay there, the ones you realize–for better or worse–will be with you for the rest of your life.
So not to oversell Surprised by Oxford, but it’s firmly in that latter category for me. The book is the memoir of the author’s first year of graduate studies at Oxford University, and how that year changed her outlook on life, purpose, and God. Sensitive and questioning, Weber invites us to travel along with her in an initially reluctant quest to discover meaning. As a student of literature, her thoughts and utterances are rife with references and quotes from Dante to Tolkien.
Surprised by Oxford, written in a style reminiscent of A Severe Mercy, is a book for both those surprised by God’s every day goodness and those still searching for such surprise. It is an intense and passionate portrait of the glory of grace, and of the poignant, beautiful ache of surrender. And of the surprise of joy.
In accordance with Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, I am disclosing that I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My opinions are my own, and I am not required to write a positive review.