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Up at the College

Up at the College

3.7 19
by Michele Andrea Bowen

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Yvonne Fountain Copeland is shattered when her husband of 15 years decides to leave her because their marriage was getting "boring." Disheartened and confused, Yvonne returns to her hometown of Durham, North Carolina, convinced that a change of scenery will help her draw closer to God and find inner peace. What she doesn't know is that her journey to peace will


Yvonne Fountain Copeland is shattered when her husband of 15 years decides to leave her because their marriage was getting "boring." Disheartened and confused, Yvonne returns to her hometown of Durham, North Carolina, convinced that a change of scenery will help her draw closer to God and find inner peace. What she doesn't know is that her journey to peace will lead her straight to sexy, single, and childless basketball coach Curtis Parker. But Yvonne and Curtis soon discover that you can't find true peace and joy without God's help. What begins as a series of "why me's" soon evolves into an extraordinary journey of victory, faith, joy, and love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Yvonne Fountain Copeland, the heroine of Bowen's lamentable faithy novel, finds strength in the Lord when her husband leaves her. Back in hometown Durham, N.C., she lands a teaching job and meets Curtis Parker, who is everything she could want in a man-except he isn't saved. Curtis has his own problems, many of which are linked to his job as a college basketball coach, but with Yvonne by his side, they learn nothing's insurmountable if they have Jesus on their side. Unfortunately, the intense faith theme overwhelms every other aspect of the narrative. The characters are poorly drawn, their troubles lack urgency, and there's never a doubt about how things will turn out. (Apr.)

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Library Journal

After her husband of 15 years leaves in search of more excitement, Yvonne Fountain Copeland returns home to Durham, NC, to find peace of mind and renew her closeness with God. There, she meets basketball coach Curtis Parker, on his own spiritual journey. Featuring some characters from Holy Ghost Corner, Bowen's fourth novel is a feel-good story full of humor and hope, and readers will relate to the characters' determination to move on with their lives after facing difficulties. Recommended for public libraries, especially those with a demand for titles that feature African American characters. It may also appeal to fans of ReShonda Tate Billingsley (Let the Church Say Amen) or Sheilah Vance (Land Mines). [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/15/08.]

—Tamara Butler
Kirkus Reviews
More pop-religious pap from Bowen (Holy Ghost Corner, 2006, etc.). When her pretentious husband of 16 years kicked Yvonne Fountain Copeland and her two daughters out of their Richmond, Va., home, she became determined to make a better life for herself. Now, after moving to North Carolina, she has a faculty job in the Department of Design at Evangeline T. Marshall University, "or Eva T., as the school was called by most black folk in Durham County." Yvonne soon crosses paths with Curtis, the insanely handsome and popular head basketball coach. Instantly attracted, she hesitates because he has yet to be saved by the Lord. For his part, as the basketball season goes downhill and his job is threatened, Curtis struggles over whether or not to give himself to God and wonders if it's worth quitting his playboy ways for Yvonne. Scheming members of the Eva T. administration and a rival college's coaching staff propel what little story line there is, with Curtis and Yvonne's burgeoning love adding some slight forward movement, but plot is mostly supplanted by religious fervor. Yvonne carries anointing oil in her purse; an entire chapter is devoted to watching "Apostle Grady Grey's Half an Hour of Holy Ghost Power" on DVD; and emotions run borderline hysterical as various people decide to turn their lives over to Jesus. Mind you, plenty of characters go astray as well. The narrative reads like a sermon, complete with jeremiads against strip joints and licentious preachers. Indeed, the preachy prose has a spicy subtext; sexual undertones, flirtation and women's figures-particularly their backsides-get plenty of time on the page. Bowen commits the mortal literary sin of making any interestingcharacters or plot take a backseat to the obvious star of the show, GodThe Final Judgment: overly proselytizing. Author tour to Chicago, Atlanta, Memphis

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Michele Andrea Bowen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an M.A. in History and a M.P.H. in Public Health. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Michele is the author of the #1 Essence bestsellers Church Folk and Second Sunday.

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Up at the College 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although some of the characters were off the chain, I didn't find this book too exciting. It seemed to focus more on the antics of the other characters, and less on the relationship between Yvonne and Curtis. Of all the books Ms. Bowen has written, Church Folk is the best one so far.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
*Enlightening about the "behind the scenes" activities of college sports. *Informative in regards to the "evil" presence of those working against good, as well as "shining a light" on those trying to destroy worthwhile programs for young men and women on college campuses. *Character development, the storyline, and setting were well formulated, and will stimulate the reader to keep reading to find out the next twist in the plot. *Educational. *An eye-opener. *If you choose to read this novel you will learn what goes on Up at the College. **Favorable review: gave valuable insight to college life.
Ms_MDA More than 1 year ago
Michele Andrea Bowen has written another highly entertaining, thought-provoking novel in "Up At The College." Her writing highlights her faith in God and His Word and, at the same time, allows the reader to be encouraged and uplifted. Combine all of this with writing that will in some instances tug at your heartstrings and at other instances make you laugh out loud and one can see that "Michele Andrea Bowen Does It Again!" It is a joy to meet some of the characters from her previous novels once again; it is like reacquainting with old friends. I have read each of her novels and eagerly await her next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michele has become one of my favorite christian fiction authors. I love reading her books because she always provides an "update" on characters from previous books. However, I think if you haven't read any of her previous books it can throw you off just a little. The ONLY reason I gaved this book 4 instead of 5 stars is because I think there was just a little too much detailed descriptions of areas/room/houses and what people were wearing; one description took up 2 and half pages-too long. Other than that this book is very good. I love the way Curtis' relationship with God develops so smoothly that it even takes him by surprise. This book really illustrates how God is ALWAYS working and coordinating not only our lives but also the lives of those around you so that "ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER.....". I can't wait for the next book, I want to know what's next........ This book was really good and I recommend you read the 3 previous books from this author: Church Folk, Second Sunday and Holy Ghost Corner. I will definitely recommend this book to others.
palmetto01 More than 1 year ago
i love reading all her books i have not found one book of her's yet that i did not just love. i also talk about the books i read with others. and tell my friends to get her book. i can't wait for the next book
harstan More than 1 year ago
Yvonne Fountain Copeland is distraught when her husband PH.D Dr. Darrell dumps her for his peer, arrogant as he is, Dr. Bettina Davidson; Instead of moping Yvonne turns to the Lord who helps her get through her marriage break-up and even his idle threat of obtaining custody of their kids high school aged D'Relle and middle school aged Danesha. She returns with her children to her hometown of Durham, North Carolina where she obtains an adjunct professor position at Evangeline T Marshall University. Yvonne meets religious "Eva T" U Collegiate basketball coach Curtis Parker who enjoys his bachelor lifestyle. He had no plans of marrying anytime soon until he falls in love with Yvonne. However, as he has problems with reconciling what his work requires for him to be a success with what his soul demands, Yvonne remains at his side helping him understand what matters. Well written with an interesting lead pairing, the overwhelming premise of UP AT THE COLLEGE is with Jesus throwing assists, you can slam dunk through life. Faith is how the audience will define Yvonne while her ex is a sort of King Solomon filled with knowledge but lacking passion. The most interesting character is Curtis who has a struggle between what his job requires and what the Lord requires of him. Although the abundance of preaching slows down the fast breaks, Christian romance readers will enjoy Michele Andrea Bowen's fine contemporary. Harriet Klausner
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AnointedHugz2002 More than 1 year ago
Im enjoying the book so far. Im hoping that Curtis will stop running from the Lord and let Him in..
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I found the book to be quite entertaining. The characters really came to life for me. I enjoyed meeting them and traveling with them through their escapades and spiritual struggles. Glad it was available through B&N as an eBook.
Temika Mccollum More than 1 year ago
And leaves you wanting more
GodFirst More than 1 year ago
This book was very original and kept my interest. It was great for lots of laughs.