7.28.2022

finished reading

Get past the cover of this book because it's an incredible piece of writing!  The unnamed central character is a popular literature teacher at a New England college whose husband, the department chair at the college, is being investigated for inappropriate sexual behavior with former students.  As a 58-year-old woman, she is experiencing the effects of aging, comparing herself to her youthful students, and fantasizing about the new hotshot junior professor, Vladimir Vladinski.  The author writes her character with complete honesty.  The novel is about so many issues--feminism, aging, shame, and fidelity.  I just can't get over how interesting this book is and it's a debut.  There are so many passages that spoke to me in so many ways.  I can't wait for my book group to dive in!

From the publisher:
A provocative, razor-sharp, and timely debut novel about a beloved English professor facing a slew of accusations against her professor husband by former students—a situation that becomes more complicated when she herself develops an obsession of her own...

“When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.”

And so we are introduced to our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose charismatic husband at the same small liberal arts college is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple have long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extra-marital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder box world comes dangerously close to exploding.

With this bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured debut, author Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the boundaries of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart. Propulsive, darkly funny, and wildly entertaining, Vladimir perfectly captures the personal and political minefield of our current moment, exposing the nuances and the grey area between power and desire.

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