Rated of 5
by Kate G. (City Island, NY) Not Really an "Issues" Book!
Even though both main characters in Andrea Kayne Kaufman's Oxford Messed Up have medical and psychosocial disorders, this book is so much more than that. The story of Gloria Zimmerman going to Oxford to study dead feminist poets and meeting Henry Stone under awkward circumstances is utterly delightful. I recommend it for book groups as well literary fiction readers, especially those with a "thing" for Van Morrison and his music.
Rated of 5
by Shirley L. (Norco, LA) A Love Story Pure and Simple
I have been a therapist for twenty five years and was intrigued by the topic of OCD and Cognitive Behavior Therapy in the description of this book. I loved how this book was written. It is a love story and like all interesting love stories the lovers must have an obstacle to overcome. Enter OCD and other psychological and medical problems. Mental and emotional disorders are never cured by crafty techniques but rather by relationship. It might be the relationship of therapist to patient or as in this story the healing power of a love relationship. Relationship cures. What a beautiful message contained in a beautiful story of two very flawed Oxford students who grow and flourish by loving each other.
Rated of 5
by Lisa G. (Riverwoods, IL) Oxford Messed Up
Being from Chicago, Jewish and having lived in the UK and treated for an anxiety disorder with CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) while living there I felt particularly attuned to this book. I alternated feeling that the OCD aspects were very accurate to being incensed about the way it was treated as quirkiness. I thought the friend to lover relationship between Gloria and Henry was interesting but knew nothing about Van Morrison’s lyrics or the dead poets’ poems until I researched Van Morrison and realized how closely his anxiety issues paralleled Gloria’s. Further his bio says his lyrics go back to those of visionary poets. He also lived in the U.S. for a time before going back to the UK. Had I read this before getting very far into the book I would have realized how incredibly creative Kaufman was in weaving these two elements into Gloria and Henry’s lives. I enjoyed the book but was disturbed in parts also having a close family member with OCD who also will not take her meds. This would be a very good book for a book group and I would heartily recommend it….but read about Van Morrison first, it would make the book make more sense.
Rated of 5
by Joan V. (Miller Place, NY) Never underestimate the power of music.
It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I did I could not put it down. I just HAD to know what happens to Gloria and Henry. Although this could have veered into a clichéd love story, Ms. Kayne Kaufman was careful not to cross over into that realm.
I learned a lot about OCD and the terrible effect it can have on a person’s life. I came to greatly admire Gloria for her courage and Henry for his patience and understanding. The author really made you believe in these characters and care about what happens to them. The insertion of poetry, rather than being a distraction, added a special insight into Gloria’s character. You will immediately reach for a Van Morrison CD as soon as you are finished reading the book!
I think it would make an excellent choice for a book club; there is a lot to discuss
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