A friendship between the lost and lonely Caroline, and the unhappy Sebastian, leads to an illicit love that threatens them both.
Caroline Wilson is trapped in a cold and loveless marriage with an older man. When her husband finally wins a long sought-after promotion, Caroline feels she has little choice but to follow him to a new home in San Diego. There she meets Sebastian, a young man of 17.
For an all too brief summer, their happiness blooms.
But external pressures begin to bear down, not least from the overbearing David, and Sebastian’s parents begin to suspect that their son has a secret. Even Caroline’s new friend, Donna, realizes that dark passions exist below the serene surface.
“When I hear her voice, the world disappears
When I hear her voice, I have no more fears.
She takes away the sadness, she takes away the pain
She takes away the darkness, she takes away the rain.
When I’m traveling from so far away
She’s my path, she’s my sun, she lights my way.”
Wow! I finished The Education of Sebastian a couple of days ago now, but I felt like I needed a few days to…digest it let’s say, before writing a review. Especially after the killer cliffhanger ending of this book.
It is a story of forbidden love. Like really forbidden. As in legally forbidden. But it was amazingly good. I think it’s important to say since the age difference between the characters might disturb some potential readers (Caroline: 30 years old unhappily married woman, Sebastian: 17 years old about to turn 18). The subject is far from easy and Jane HB treated it really well. I enjoyed the whole book and never felt bored or annoyed with the characters.
“What do you think I’ve got here that I wouldn’t give up in a heartbeat to be with you? There’s nothing to keep me here: I’ll go anywhere, do anything to be with you.”
Sebastian was the sweetest boy ever. Very mature but oh so sweet and very open about his feelings. And even if he was a mature character he stayed a teenager in some of his reactions.
Caroline was a very interesting character. In this book, when she meets Sebastian again, she realizes that she has spent her life doing what people expected and wanted of her without ever putting her foot down and raising her voice. She is stuck in a loveless marriage that she fell into to flee her unloving mom and is now treated more as a servant and sometimes sex toy than a wife.
The only thing I feel the need to comment on about her character is that sometimes, her speaking voice felt a little bit like one of a teenager. And in a way, she was, even though she is thirty, because with Sebastian, she discovered what it was like to be loved for what you are, to make plans for a future for yourself, to be in love for the first time, to be loved and to show and receive love from someone physically.
“I chose love over law. And I didn’t care.”
Her affair with Sebastian (17 years old), because that’s what it is even though it never feels like this in the book, never once felt creepy or wrong considering their situation. It’s really just two people mutually in love with each other, that happen to have an inconvenient age difference.
“The matter, Sebastian, is that you’re a minor. What we’ve just done… what I’ve just done… it’s against the law. It’s a felony, for God’s sake!”
This book, among other things is steamy, heart wrenching, emotional, thought provoking and a bit naughty.
“Sebastian, women like sex just as much as men… if it’s good.”
He tried to smile but still looked uncertain, his forehead creasing with worry.
He bit his lip.
I knew what he was trying to ask me.
“Yes, you’re good. In fact I’d say you’re amazing: in so many ways.”
Oddly enough, the last scene was my favorite of the book and spurred me to read book #2. It is a very emotional, climactic scene that leaves you kind of hanging and wanting for more.
The Education of Sebastian is one of those books that stays with you long after you finished it and plagues your mind for days. I highly recommend it, it is a must read and you will not regret picking this book!
I’m off to book #2: The Education of Caroline. Ten freaking years after the end of book #1!
“Anywhere. Nowhere. Somewhere. I don’t care – just as long as it’s with you.”