My thoughts: As An Uncommon Education opens, Naomi Feinstein is a peculiar girl with a big intellect and no friends, yet her tale isn't one of sadness. There's a matter-of-factness to Naomi and her honest narration. She writes both of the time in which she's living and with a maturity of observation:
"For entertainment I was given such things as Infamous Women coloring book; Shakespeare's plays in comic book fro; my own miniature Torah, the scroll of which was covered in wavy black lines; historically correct figures of Clara Barton and Abigail Adams; math games made pretty with glass marbles; and a jump rope with a booklet of illustrated counting rhymes to accompany it. In addition to our regular visits to the Kennedy home, every April 19th we drove to Lexington before dawn to witness the reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord; every July 4th we walked the Freedom Trail."At times, I would forget how young Naomi was in the story. As the story moves through time, I settled back into Naomi's growth. Because this novel is so character-driven, parts of Naomi's journey are unsurprising, yet these events still aren't predictable. As Naomi, an intellectual, driven child, has a road map for her life: first Wellesley, then medical school to become a cardiologist, the possibility of her choosing a new path still exists. The curiosity Naomi possesses was fascinating to watch. Percer's writing is strong and fluid, and it entranced me even when Naomi's story slowed a few times.
Favorite passage: "Sometimes that, more than anything, was what made me saddest about the little I knew about my family; it could be worked into almost any story, like a party trick."
The verdict: An Uncommon Education is an eloquent, thoughtful coming of age story. It begins as an intellectual coming of age, but Naomi's journey is as fascinating emotionally as her uncommon education.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 368 pages
Publication date: May 1, 2012
Source: publisher via TLC Tours
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