The Admissions

The Admissions is Meg Mitchell Moore's (So Far Away) account of a very eventful autumn for the Hawthornes of Marin County, Calif. After years of academic and extracurricular preparation, eldest daughter Angela is submitting her application to Harvard, while 10-year-old Cecily is preparing to compete in the world championships with her Irish dance troupe, and Maya, the youngest, is entering second grade still unable to read on her own. Nora, their mother, on the verge of the biggest sale of her real estate career, is managing her high-maintenance clients, driving carpool, keeping tabs on Angela's crushing senior-year obligations, and searching for a reading tutor.

Nora has told no one why she blames herself for Maya's trouble with reading. While she pushes to close a challenging sale, she also tells no one that a lawsuit is brewing over another sale she made several years earlier. So close to realizing her dream of admission to Harvard, Angela tells no one that pills are helping her hold onto her spot at the top of her class. And while the whole family knows how much Harvard matters to Angela, only her father, Gabe, truly knows exactly why it matters--and he can't tell anyone.

The Admissions quickly establishes the Hawthornes as an upper-middle-class family dealing with severe pressure, community expectations and their own occasionally desperate decisions. There's plenty of drama--and a surprising amount of comedy--in the convergence of events that exposes all of the family secrets. But while Moore lets her characters unravel, she doesn't leave them in pieces. The Hawthornes may truly have learned from, and been changed by, experience. --Florinda Pendley Vasquez, blogger at The 3 R's: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness

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