Book Review: The Admissions

I’m not sure if I’ve recently read anything I’ve loved more fully than Meg Mitchell Moore’s The Admissions. As soon as I finished, I added her other work to my TBR list.

I don’t want to give too much away regarding the story, because it’s really a treasure that should be discovered for itself, so I’ll just provide a little synopsis.

The Admissions is essentially a drama centered around the frazzled Hawthorne family – Nora, Gabe, and their two daughters Angela and Cecily (and their youngest daughter, Maya.)  Angela’s in the process of applying to college, Nora is trying to handle difficult real estate clients, Gabe has a huge secret in the he’s attempting to keep shuttered and Cecily is struggling to maintain her typically sunny exterior. The title refers not only to Angela’s application process but also to the family members’ revelations and realizations to themselves and to each other.

You’ll notice that I almost mentioned Maya as an afterthought and, in some respects, that’s exactly how she reads. This is not meant as a slight on the character or the author for that manner, but it is how Maya functions in the story.

The story centers around the Hawthornes’ inabilities to control – and even deal with – the many different facets of their everyday lives. Nora, Gabe, Angela and Cecily are pulled in multiple directions and essentially, are doing what they can to survive. Of course, they each make mistakes resulting from their distracted and terrible judgment. They are so distracted that they each cannot see how strained their loved ones are until it all comes to ahead and it’s too late to change.

I adored The Admissions! I will be singing its praises to whomever will listen. It’s such a beautiful, honest and pure look at a loving American family collapsing under the weight of modern expectations and time constraints.

There is so much love between the Hawthornes’ and that it’s so evident is such a testament to Moore’s talent. It would so simple for the affection to be hidden and boggled down by the drama and tragedy of this tale. In the hands of a lesser talent, it would be difficult to really see the family’s connections. Nora and Gabe are loving, if not attentive parents. It’s so easy to see that they love their girls and care so much for them, but that their own problems blind them to their daughters’ pains.

What Meg Mitchell Moore has crafted here is a thing of absolute beauty. The Admissions works not just because the writing is lovely and clear or because the characters are so interesting. It novel works so incredibly well because it is so very real. I often find, even in contemporary literary fiction, that even there is a lack of plausibility. Additionally, even with the most plausible situations, at times, there is such an artifice. I didn’t see that with The Admissions. It just feels so real. I graduated college in 2008 and Angela’s dilemma reminded me of my own. I loved The Admissions because it’s real and true and pure. I’m in love.

It should be noted that I received a free copy of The Admissions from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I cannot wait until it’s released because I’m going to purchase a copy. I want Meg Mitchell Moore to have my money. She deserves it!

**This review has also been posted at my blog**