By the Book is immensely engaging and captivating. Initially you are drawn into the foundation of the story: college life from a professor’s perspective coupled with her own reflecting milieu. Anne states that at the start of the new school year, it is the day school started and the day finals began. So, too, is it for Anne’s journey through the semester. Being a professor does not grant her immunity from the same emotions or experiences as the students: new loves, missteps and failures to understand. This is especially true when she learns the new college president is her former fiancé. They long ago lost touch after the break up.
The relationship of Adam and Anne is not the only one happening. Anne’s best friend and associate meets actor Jack and begins a covert relationship. Anne meets the college author in residence and their relationship is fraught with trouble and general messiness. Through it all, you see how Anne finally takes the reins of her life and forges through to the end of the semester.