Shelf Control #331: My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

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Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

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Title: My Oxford Year
Author: Julia Whelan
Published: 2018
Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

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.

How and when I got it:

I added My Oxford Year to my Kindle library in 2019.

Why I want to read it:

I’m pretty sure that what drew me to this book in the first place was realizing that it was a novel written by a favorite audiobook narrator. And now that I’ve listened to Julia Whelan’s newest book (Thank You For Listening — absolutely loved it!), I’m eager to go back and read her first novel.

To be honest, I find the synopsis above a little confusing, but I’m sure the political piece and the time in Oxford will all make more sense once I read the book. I’m not sure that the synopsis on its own would have particularly drawn me in or made me take notice, but the title and cover are both charming, and I really do want to read more by this talented author.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


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14 thoughts on “Shelf Control #331: My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

  1. The synopsis is very confusing, and some of it makes no sense. I don’t buy the working remotely on a political campaign, unless she’s in doing social media only, and even then… the time differences would make her life hell. Plus, if she’s into politics, why is she taking an English literature class? Economics, or Business, or Political science, I get… But Oxford isn’t like US universities where you take courses outside your area of study. In addition, Rhodes Scholars study for two or more years, not one year. Nope… too many holes here; I wouldn’t read this book, I’m afraid.

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