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InstaReview: Vladimir by Julia May Jonas

"Compliments made you supplicant, equal, and master all at once. Supplicant because you are below, admiring; equal because you have the same taste; and master because you are bestowing your approval."

Vladimir is a loquacious novel told from the first-person perspective of a 58 year old (unnamed) female professor at a small university in upstate New York. Her husband, also a professor at the university, was recently accused of sexual misconduct with several of his students, but this is not a shock to her because they have an “agreement” of an open relationship. Enter Vladimir. Vladimir is a new, young, HOT, totally married, professor at the university. Our narrator turns his presence into an obsession, often daydreaming about being alone with him. The novel twists and turns and we’re never really sure where it’s going, but we’re along for the ride. Why? Because the narrator is so compulsively readable. We mean NONE of the characters are likable; the narrator is self-absorbed, self-deprecating, and obsessed with her age and imperfections. Her husband is accused of sexual misconduct (need we say more? Yes we do) and is so needy that he’s kind of pathetic, and Vladimir… well we’ll save some of the good stuff for you. Despite these truly loathsome characters, the novel works. We understand this novel may not be for everyone, especially seeing the polarizing reviews and ratings on @goodreads. Though to be fair, the cover is misleading because this is NOT a romance novel - it is however, an OWC recommendation.


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