A scintillating scorcher, a cut above the usual

 New York Time’s bestselling author Susan Choi’s My Education draws you in with elegant prose and keeps you riveted with raw sexuality. I am tempted to say that it is the thinking woman’s Fifty Shades of Grey. The torture in Choi’s novel is more sophisticated than EJ James’ whips and handcuffs. Choi’s characters agonize about passion, love, divided loyalty, adultery, and growing up. My Education is a beautifully written novel about the coming together of passion, intellect, and maturity.
 
Regina Gottlieb is a beautiful, young graduate student. She has heard about the elegant and “dangerous” Professor Nicolas Brodeur.  He has a reputation for seducing female students, unnamed perversions, and enjoying Roman Polanski films. Upon arriving on campus, Regina makes straight for him.
 
Brodeur is fascinated by Regina and her intellect and offers her a position as one of his teaching assistants. Soon Regina is drawn into campus life, teaching Chaucer with Brodeur, and partying with her roommate and best friend, Dutra. When Regina meets Brodeur’s wife, the two women are instantly attracted to each other. Martha, like her husband, is tall and striking. She is also a professor as well as the mother of the couple’s young son.
 
After a very drunken dinner party at the Brodeur’s home, Regina finds herself in a passionate embrace with Martha. Soon the two women are involved in a clandestine affair that will ultimately change the course of both their lives and all who are close to them.
 
For all that, My Education is a subtle novel. It is not just the story of a wife leaving her husband for a lesbian lover or a young woman coming out. The characters’ sexuality morphs, along with their intellectual and emotional needs. Choi’s novel captures the often painful ambiguity of contemporary relationships with their lack of boundaries.  My Education skillfully weaves together physical and psychological seduction.
 
The novel is also a very sexy coming of age story, which explores Regina’s passage from a protracted adolescence to adulthood. The catalyst for this, as well as a theme explored in this many layered novel, is parenthood.
 
My Education is a scintillating scorcher that is a cut above the usual passionate page turner.
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