Author: Julia May Jonas
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Avid Reader Press
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
Book Description: A provocative, razor-sharp, and timely debut novel about a beloved English professor facing a slew of accusations against her professor husband by former students—a situation that becomes more complicated when she herself develops an obsession of her own…
“When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.”
And so we are introduced to our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose charismatic husband at the same small liberal arts college is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple have long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extra-marital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder box world comes dangerously close to exploding.
With this bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured debut, author Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the boundaries of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart. Propulsive, darkly funny, and wildly entertaining, Vladimir perfectly captures the personal and political minefield of our current moment, exposing the nuances and the grey area between power and desire.
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Review: My feeling at the end of this book is one of confusion and I will actually begin there.
Our lead protagonist is a professor at a University, who is married to another professor in her department, who is under fire for having affairs with students through the years, Their marriage has always been open so really she has no issues. Another caveat this all happened before rules were put in place that student/teacher relationships were a no go. She is getting pressure from her students to leave her husband and her peers want her not to teach while her husband is under investigation.
Vladimir is a young new professor in her department on track for tenure and married to an adjunct professor with a young child. He is the hot author that everyone loves. When Vladimir asks our protagonist to read his upcoming novel, this starts a spiral I was not expecting.
The first two-thirds of this book I was completely engaged, but then Jonas completely lost me in the last pages. Reality almost felt like a fever dream to me and I kept asking what I am reading? This could be just my experience, but be forewarned, not everything appears as you might think it should be.
Thank you NetGalley and Avid Reader Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.