An Uncommon Education: A Novel

An Uncommon Education: A Novel

by Elizabeth Percer


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An Uncommon Education: A Novel by Elizabeth Percer

For fans of Prep, Dead Poets Society, and Special Topics in Calamity Physics comes an elegant and remarkably insightful coming-of-age debut, in which a young woman’s serendipitous discovery of her college’s underground Shakespeare Society leads to an unforgettable series of transformations. When Naomi finds herself among “the Shakes” at Wellesley, she finally lets herself embrace the passionate inner self she’s always kept locked away. But when a sudden scandal unfolds, she will be forced to learn the limits of the relationships that have sustained her. An intimate and enthralling narrative, Elizabeth Percer’s debut novel An Uncommon Education marks the emergence of a stunning new literary talent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062110978
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/08/2013
Series: P.S.
Pages: 342
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Percer is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been honored by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. She received a BA in English from Wellesley and a PhD in arts education from Stanford University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship for the National Writing Project at UC Berkeley. She lives in California with her husband and three children. All Stories Are Love Stories is her second novel.

What People are Saying About This

Lauren Belfer

“Haunting and poignant, Elizabeth Percer’s coming-of-age novel portrays a bright young woman confronting her limits as she watches those she loves deal with illness and betrayal. Each turn of this elegiac debut revealed stark truths that left me both moved and astonished.”

J. Courtney Sullivan

“A moving and bittersweet coming-of-age story about love, loss, friendship, ambition, and the power of memory. This complex and satisfying tale introduces a cast of quirky, hilarious, intellectual young women, struggling to find their place in the world.”

Nicole Mones

“It’s impossible not to care about Naomi Feinstein . . . An Uncommon Education beautifully [brings] Naomi to the Bard (the play’s the thing), but also gives the reader something much rarer—a world, and a life, that seem real.”

Caroline Leavitt

“Eloquent, haunting and exquisitely written, Percer’s stunning debut finds surprising beauty in the broken places of our lives. Here, winning can’t mute pain, but love endures despite the odds, and the education of a remarkable young woman is as uncommonly original as this novel itself.”

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An Uncommon Education: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
elabenSS More than 1 year ago
A unique and extremely fulfilling reading experience. What an incredible book! There are passages where you have to pause, digest, process and luxuriate in the perfection of the language. This is a beautiful coming of age story of a middle-class woman with the extraordinary capacity to realize both the expectations and possibilities of her parents' hopes and dreams. Naomi's Wellesley experience is poignantly articulated and the final outcome of her choices both hopeful and uncertain. Percer has an uncanny ability to capture the nuances of the emotional journey in a coming of age journey. Truly outstanding. I can't wait for her next novel.
EdenRW More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing novel. The writing was so beautiful and the story of Naomi was incredibly moving. You have to read this!! I just found out this is her first novel but she is a poet, which doesn't surprise me. This is a new novels you will recognize as fine literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's so poorly written. Where were the editors when all the bad grammar was being thrown around? It reads like a high school creative writing project. Red marks for the many sentences ending with prepositions, the unidentified pronoun use, the banal metaphors.... and so and and so on. Ms. Percer needs to order and read a good writers handbook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate to reach the end of a book and realize hours were spent waiting for something...anything exciting to happen and it never does. I was very disappointed in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrific meaty read, worth a second reading to savor
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A hook in the synopsis that involves a girl as she heads off to college and gets involved with a secret Shakespearean society and drama should ensue.  As the book started, I was confused as to the amount of pages that were devoted to her early childhood; towards the end I understood why that took such a precedence  but I was lost and wanting to get to the college years.  
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
An Uncommon Education is a coming-of-age story that follows Naomi from early childhood to her adult years. Over the years, Naomi learns things about her family that she wonder might have been better left alone, she finds love in different people and in different forms, and she comes to terms with who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Naomi is a gifted child with a photographic memory. An ambitious child, she isn't satisfied with passing the days in blissful ignorance. She asks questions, hard questions for adults to answer given her young age. At the same time that her talent allows her to read and remember texts beyond her level, however, it isolates her from those around her, beliving her cursed or possessed. From childhood through college, she makes few true friends, and even then they all have their own secrets and she must watch those she care about leave her. She runs to leave her problems behind her, and she even finds some comfort in studying during her first year at Wellesley. Life moves on though, and she must learn to confront her deepest fears. The story is told in five parts, which I found interesting because of the significant role that the Shakespeare Society has on Naomi's life. There, she is able to free herself of the many burdens that she's placed on herself, giving her the freedom and space necessary to explore who she is as an individual and not who she thinks she must be. She makes friends that stay around through her college years and even into her adult life, she learns how to love and move on, and she learns about betrayal. I always wondered, growing up, about my mom's words that the college years would be the best years of my life. Was she right or wrong? I know believe that it is worth the experience. Even more than during the adolescent years, the college years are about discovering what we truly want in life, and it is when we really find our self identity. Away from her parents, Naomi is alone and cannot continue to let anyone else other than herself define her if she wants to survive. And it is at Wellesley that she breaks free of her limitations and finds her own form of happiness. I love this book and recommend it for readers looking for New Adult books, especially readers that lean towards more literary works.