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When Laura is selected for the prestigious Weatherfield fellowship at Oxford, she believes she’s on the right path to academic rigor and success. Unlike the other fellows, however, she never finds the passion she’s looking for. Though she does earn a PhD and takes pride in her expertise on Henry James, she flounders professionally. She works as an adjunct, but her job dissolves and she can’t quite imagine what might come next. When she is commissioned to research the background of the Weatherfield Foundation and write a history, she interacts with her old friends for the first time in many years and finds herself looking at her youthful experiences as a fellow with new eyes.

With a narrative that alternates among Laura’s thoughtful reconsideration of her past, her interactions with old peers, and her extensive research into the Foundation’s origins, Benefit suggests that the choices made as young, idealistic students can’t always be easily recovered from. Laura has lived enough, and studied enough, to know that academia is a paradise for only a very few. This is a dense, intricately structured novel that will appeal to readers interested in peering through the window of this rarified world.

Reviewed By:

Author Siobhan Phillips
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date 19-Apr-2022
ISBN 9781942658993 Buy this Book
Issue July 2022
Category Popular Fiction