My Oxford Year: A Novel

My Oxford Year: A Novel

by Julia Whelan

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Major Motion Picture Already in Development with Temple Hill Entertainment

One of the Best Books of April for Brit + Co and Liz and Lisa!

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062740656
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 52,416
File size: 800 KB

About the Author

Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While she was in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a tea master. 

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My Oxford Year: A Novel 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Julia Whalen is one of my favorite audiobook narrators, she makes books come alive. In fact, I have purchased audiobooks because she was the narrator. Based on that fact, and that fact alone, when I saw saw she had written a book, I immediately ordered it. I figure if she can make other people's characters come alive, there was a pretty good chance she could do it to her own characters. WOW, I was right. The story was interesting and unusual. The characters were great, and the story just kept twisting and turning right up to the heart stopping ending. I can't recommend this book more highly. I spent all day today and into the night just listening. I hope anyone reading this review enjoys the book as much as I have enjoyed it.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Political policy writer Ella has it all: an up and coming career with a wonderful reputation, an offer from a rising political star and her year in Oxford courtesy of the Rhodes scholarship where she intends to immerse herself in literature, culture and the lectures of a renown academic. Everything in Oxford is different – the walking, the stairs, the sights and sounds: a neighbor using Wilde’s pseudonym as introduction, a never ending series of calls from the campaign- needing insight, input and even just touching base – and her mother’s increasingly frantic ‘please check in’ emails have her torn between exploration and hiding. Sure, things are different – and her first lecture is full of gaffes – no syllabus, using Oxfordian rather than Oxonion, the lecturer being a substitute – the same man who nearly ran her down in the street….. I grabbed this title simply because Oxford (or the “Other Place”) has always fascinated me: the age, reputation, the simple ability to be where some of the eternal names of literature spent time. So I expected to enjoy the book simply because of that. And then, Whelan captured my imagination with Ella and all she was seeing: her determination to make the most of her time until she left the following June. With her flirtations with Jamie that soon morphed into more, her new friends – outrageously different and quirky, and balancing her life with school work, campaign demands and time for herself. Highlighting Ella’s growth and understanding of herself and learning that some things are meant to be felt, not simply experienced in remove – a tactic she’s used since her father’s untimely death when she was 12. Jamie pushes her to feel the emotion in the poems – to see that everything that she is reading is of, for or about love – for it is the ultimate toll-taker – a toll that she may not be willing to see the cost of. But when her relationship with Jamie starts to solidify just as he is then asking for a break, the relationship that was no strings and honest starts to be anything but for her – and his secret is revealed. There are choices we make, and other circumstances that are thrust upon us without consent – and it’s the steps made after – scary, unknown and often emotionally costly steps that are in the way to happiness and fulfillment. All steps that Ella, in her new place with her new understanding of herself and her wants, needs and dreams must follow. Not precisely an HEA ending, but one that leaves everyone better off and richer for the experience – the story was a read in one sitting book, remembered for the lesson of love and the emotional impact. Shape your heart to front the hour, but dream not the hour will last. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Idylls of the King I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: His voice is so melodious, so low and soothing, it should be accompanied by choral music. Everyone else looks very British about it, like this is where fun comes to die. “Given the lovely turn of your figure, it’s quite gratifying you’re not one of those dreadful American girls who subsist entirely on lawn clippings and glacier water,” Charlie says. My mouth is too full of scone to reply. He has this ability to go still, as if he’s stopped breathing. Like a vampire. Which makes me realize I’m not breathing. She also holds a fan. Like, an actual fan. Like it’s Gone With The Wind and she’s about to tap someone flirtatiously on the shoulder with it. She drips money like a leaky faucet. My Review: I adored this delightfully crisp and eloquent book; it pleased me and did so in a cleverly amusing and intellectually stimulating manner. I greatly enjoyed the thoughtful and well-chosen quotes and poems that started each chapter, which provided just a little taste of what was to come. Julia Whelan is a master wordsmith with graceful and elegant wordplay. My Oxford Year was written from the first person POV of Ella, an endearing and wholly relatable character that I instantly connected with. I quickly fell into Ella’s vortex and enjoyed hitchhiking in her head and was loath to leave her and her new friends behind. The storylines were unique, relevant, and expertly crafted. Ms. Whelan’s writing was nimble, flawless, lushly detailed, and a felt like a long awaited gift. I will most likely be stalking her listings as long as I have functioning brain cells.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan was a surprising and entertaining contemporary romance that was very well written by Whelan in her debut novel. Ella Duran is an American fulfilling her lifelong dream of being a Rhodes Scholar and spending a year at Oxford, England. Ella has a rising political career in front of her, but she looks forward to her year studying English literature, her hobby. Just when she arrives, she receives a phone call offering her a position in a presidential campaign; they accept for her to do her scholarship and in her spare time, they can work together remotely. As Ella heads for Oxford, she is thrilled with her opportunity, and the experience of a lifetime going to Oxford. This started surprisingly so well, as I was enjoying Ella’s journey and her joy in both her future job, and her time spent in Oxford. Her first day starts off badly when she meets an arrogant young man with his girlfriend, who was also drunk. To her surprise, the next day she finds out that the same man was one of her professors, which leads her to think perhaps she should change the class. But Ella also meets some friends, who will play a big part of her stay in England. Ella will run into Jaime again, and in a short time things will change, as they become friends and eventually lovers. Both Ella and Jaime just want to enjoy themselves, and not become committed; they were great together, with the fun banter between them. With the support of Jaime, Ella manages to continue to work with her new bosses in America, giving ideas for the political campaign, and is thrilled in a short time when they offer her a full time job. While she looks forward to returning home, things will slowly change, as Ella falls in love with England and Jaime. When she finds out some truths that he hid from her, she must make life altering changes that could have so many tragic results. Ella’s own words say it all: “I came to Oxford looking for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience and I chose to experience a lifetime.” To tell too much more would be spoilers, as it would ruin the story for you. Julia Whelan has written a wonderful story of life, love, experiences, decisions and how quickly things can change. Whelan also does an excellent job of bringing Oxford to life. I strongly suggest you read My Oxford Year.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
Honestly, this was fantastic! I just really loved everything about this delightful story. I know Julia Whelan from her work as a narrator so I was really curious about this book as soon as I saw it. I decided to give it a try simply because of my curiosity and didn't really know much about the book beyond my guess that it would be about someone spending a year at Oxford (nothing gets past me). This book is really so much more than that and I must say that I had such a good time reading this book. Ella is at the center of this story. Ella is from Ohio and has just made it to England to study at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. To make things even better, she gets a call offering her a position to work on a presidential campaign just as she makes it to England. Things are looking up for Ella. She soon realizes that things are a little different at Oxford than she expects but she is making friends. One of her classes is being taught by the same man she had a run-in with at the fish shop on her first day in town. I do think that this a book that will really be best to go in as blindly as possible so I am going to be careful not to include any spoilers in this reviews. I really liked Ella. She is so driven to do well with everything she attempts but it quickly becomes obvious that she will have to make a few adjustments to succeed at Oxford. She was just such a strong character and I found her very easy to relate to. I really liked her more and more as the book progressed and thought that she grew dramatically as a character. Jamie was also great. He was more of a mystery to me at the start of the book but as I continued reading, I really fell in love with him. He was such a great guy and I thought he compliments Ella very well. This story made me think, it made me feel, and it even made me laugh. This book was such a joy to read. When I started reading, I thought that this was going to be one kind of story and then things changed and by the end of the book I was reading something totally different. I loved the fact that this book went in such an unexpected direction kind of like life tends to do. I would highly recommend this book to others. Julia Whelan has proven that she is not only great narrator but that she is also a wonderful writer. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this story and can't wait to read more of her work in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Ella Durran sets out on a journey she has been dreaming about since she was a young girl, she has always wanted to study at Oxford, and now she finally has the opportunity to make that dream a reality. But before she even arrives, a political front runner comes knocking and wants her to help prepare her for her campaign for presidency, it's an opportunity of a lifetime, but the same can be said about Oxford too... So, with not wanting to give either opportunity up, she decides to tackle both at the same time, knowing it will be a lot of hard work and long hours ahead for her, but it's not anything she can't handle. With her already full plate she then meets a man who awakens something in her she never knew was there, and before long the sparks are flying, but she makes it known to him that she can't offer him anything more than a fling. She is only at Oxford for a short time, and plans to head to D.C. once she is stateside, a commitment just isn't in the cards for her right now. But the more time she spends with Jamie the more she begins to realize, he is a once in a lifetime kind of guy, and what they share is far more than the fling she intended to carry on, but staying with him would mean giving up her dream... My Oxford Year is delightful tale riddled with adventure, love, humor and inspiration! I thoroughly enjoyed following Ms. Durran on her life changing adventure, the story line painted a beautiful picture of Oxford giving me the sensation of being there alongside her, and experiencing everything first hand just as she was... at times it left me a little awestruck! I must say that Ms. Whelan is quite the gifted storyteller, rarely do you come across a read that makes you feel like you are an integral part of the story, when Ms. Durran hurt, I felt it, and when she laughed I was right there giggling along with her too! This moving debut is one that should not be missed, the adventure that lies within it's pages is sure to inspire and leave your heart overflowing! Highly recommend!!
RelentlessEliza More than 1 year ago
For American, Ella Durran, attending Oxford University on the prestige Rhodes Scholarship is the culmination of years of hard work and determination. The idea was born during a tumultuous period in her adolescence so she fully intends to embrace this incredible experience and opportunity of a lifetime Her visions of her first experiences in Oxford do not include a near miss with a local and his car, but alas that’s exactly what happens. Off to a false start, she hits refresh with the heady anticipation of her first day of lectures. She soon finds herself choking in the shock when standing in for her lecturer for the next year is none other than the local from the night before. He’s just as handsome and smug as she remembers, and with a reputation to match as she finds out from her newfound friends. As an astute student the criticisms she receives from her piece of writing are hard to swallow, but more so is the way he challenges her thinking and permission she doesn’t give herself to feel. It’s an exchange that affects them both, bringing with it insight that scratches the surface of the many lessons they will teach each other. What begins as a deceptively heart-warming tale and exploration of a new city becomes heartfelt story with depth and unfettered emotion. My Year in Oxford is the wonderful debut from Julia Whelan.The love story stole the show but it has a wonderful supporting cast in the backdrop of Oxford along with the hilarious and lovable cast.