Portia Nathan, the sympathetic protagonist of this novel, has the whole world on her 38-year-old shoulders. This overworked Princeton admission officer approaches her job with such extreme earnestness that the rest of her life seems to fall away. A single visit to an experimental school unfolds into a series of events that lead poor Portia to the edge of occupational ruin and even madness. Admission is an ambitious novel that persuades you to accept its emotional rollercoaster rides becuase its central characters are plausible. It also has a major attribute that should make it a favorite among hopeful parents of high school students: the fiction offers a very detailed account of the deliberations that take place behind those closed admissions department doors.
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