The last year of college is developmentally speaking, an important one. It is the emotional and psychological bridge between young adulthood and full adulthood.
My Last Innocent Year: A Novel, by Daisy Alpert Florin, was published in February. In 1998, Isabel Rosen is months away from college graduation. Attending a formerly WASP-only university in New Hampshire, she is one of a handful of Jewish students on campus. The daughter of an appetizing store owner from New York City‘s Lower East Side, she feels like an outsider.
In the shadow of the affair between Monica Lewinsky and then President Bill Clinton, she starts sleeping with her writing Professor. He is older, married, and makes her feel seen and attractive. As the school year wears on, their “relationship” forces Isabel to start answering difficult questions. As his secrets come to light and the older generation reveals their flaws, she discovers that life is far from black and white.
I loved this book. This coming-of-age tale is full of complications, narrative twists and turns, and a protagonist I immediately connected with. Isabel is intelligent, hopeful, slightly insecure, and unaware of the potholes that life will be shortly sending her way.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely. I would also argue that it is one of my favorite books that I have read so far this year.
My Last Innocent Year: A Novel is available wherever books are sold.
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