Review by Darcie Czajkowski
Is there such a thing as having it all? It seems like there is for the Hawthorne family. The leader of the clan, Gabe Hawthorne, is a partner at a management consulting firm. His wife, Nora, is a prominent real estate agent in a well-to-do region of San Francisco. Their children are thriving as well: the eldest, Angela, has a stellar GPA and an accomplished list of extra-curricular activities; the middle child, Cecily, is the star of her Irish dance class; and the youngest, Maya, is a happy, well-adjusted seven-year-old.
But beneath the patina of idealistic suburban life are secrets, lies, and a family struggling to keep up with fast-paced, do-more mentality of modern society. Will the Hawthorne family fall apart at its seams, or will they all bind together when dreams are crushed, long-buried secrets come to light, and acts of desperation threaten careers?
Meg Mitchell Moore in The Admissions offers up several questions for reflection: Is more always better? Is the rat race worth it? Is there only one route to success? Is it acceptable to live by our own definition of success or should we abide by society’s rubric?
The Admissions tackles age-old issues with a fresh, contemporary perspective. It’s humorous, lively, and on-point in sharing sentiments that we all face in modern America. To be better. To amass more money. To attend the best colleges. To raise the brightest, happiest, most well-rounded children. To be the most successful at our jobs. These things, in and of themselves, are not unworthy goals, but when our lives become consumed by comparative living and working ourselves to the bone, the payout becomes less sweet. We lose sight of the things that matters most, the aspects of life that we hold closest to our hearts. In the end, it’s not the material things that matter, or the diplomas we’ve mounted on the walls that keep us warm at night. When we are gray-haired and wizened, it’s those who are sitting next to us, those who have enriched our lives along the way, and the experiences we’ve shared with family and friends. Those are the memories that will confirm that we’ve lived a life that will leave behind a legacy that we can be proud of.
Mitchell’s novel is a highly enjoyable read, one that will stick with you long after you’ve read its final page.
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About the Author:
Meg Mitchell Moore began writing as soon as she figured out how the cursive 'T' and 'F' were different and hasn’t stopped since. Her debut novel, The Arrivals, was published in 2011 by Reagan Arthur Books, then an imprint of Little, Brown. Her second novel, So Far Away, was published in 2012 and was named one of the year’s best adult novels for young adults by Booklist. Her third novel, The Admissions, is due out in August 2015 from Doubleday. Before turning to fiction Meg worked as a freelance journalist for a variety of business and consumer magazines, where she often managed to pitch stories involving dogs. Before that she worked on the staff of a family of technology magazines. (Despite all of her time there, she is still trying to figure out what a server is.) Meg received a B.A. from Providence College and a master’s degree in English Literature from New York University. The daughter of a naval officer, Meg moved around every few years as a child, including a move her senior year of high school, which she is totally and completely over. Totally and completely: no scars. In 2012 Meg, her husband, their three children and a beloved border collie moved from Massachusetts to northern California. Despite California’s many charms (including the settings that inspired much of The Admissions), they lasted exactly one year and returned to the beautiful coastal town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, where they now live. The characters in The Admissions have many juicy secrets, but Meg’s own secrets are not so newsworthy. (Or are they?)
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