The Education of Sebastian (The Education of..., #1) - Jane Harvey-Berrick I was very hesitant to read this book. While intrigued by the many rave reviews that I read on my goodreads feeds about it, it just didn't sound like my cup of tea.

The story is about a 30 year old woman that has an affair with a 17 yr old (4mo shy of his 18th bday) guy. Being a 30 year old woman myself, it just sounded like all kinds of wrong to me.

Eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I ended picking it up... and was kicking myself for not reading it sooner!

Jane Harvey-Berrick is an incredibly talented author. Not only is her writing fantastic, it flows beautifully and paints a picture that unfolds for you page after glorious page. She was able to pull off something that I really don't know many authors could pull off; take an essentially taboo subject, but make you invested in it and make you truly FEEL for the characters you're reading about.

Caroline is stuck in a loveless, suffocating, and controlling marriage. She's been married since she was 18, and hasn't known anything else aside from the controlling whims of her husband. She wasn't able to go to college, have a career, have friends. Her entire life and what she does, wears, spends, etc is essentially controlled by her husband and what he deems appropriate for her. I really felt sorry for her because even though she is a 30 year old woman, I didn't feel that she had much of a life. I could really understand what would attract her to Sebastian. She is starved for love and affection, and given her lack of life experience, you can understand how she would be able to relate to Sebastian.

Sebastian is a 17 year old boy that is forced to grow up much too soon because of his abusive and alcoholic parents who really don't seem to care much about their son. He has never known much kindness or love in his life.

But oh, Sebastian and Caroline together are such a beautiful pair. They both help the other find what they so desperately need, love. Reading about them first getting together, and watching their love grow.....sigh



The author really makes the reader understand and sympathize with what draws these 2 lonely souls together. How she manages to take such a dramatic age difference (not so much the diff in years, but Seb only being 17 and Caroline 30) and have it come across as beautiful and touching is truly a talent.

I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire book, anxiously dreading when their love affair will be caught and when the ending came...


HOLY WOW!

I am now very glad I waited to read this one until the second book, The Education of Caroline came out. I am glad to be able to read their HEA in the next book after the heart break in this one. But dang, what a ride this book was.

So if any of you are like me, and are hesitant to pick this up due to the age difference, don't be. The writing and story are so worth the read.