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A Circle of Quiet Paperback – January 1, 1984


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Frequently Bought Together

A Circle of Quiet + The Summer of the Great-Grandmother (Crosswicks Journal, Book 2) + The Irrational Season (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Series: Crosswicks Journal, Book 1 (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reissue edition (January 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062545035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062545039
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"My favorite of all Madeleine L'Engle's books. Lovely, charming, a book to cherish. I know it will give great consolation to ordinary people who sometimes wonder why they bother to get out of bed in the morning." -- Jean Kerr

About the Author

Madeline L'Engle, the popular author of many books for children and adults, has interspersed her writing and teaching career with raising three children, maintaining an apartment in New York and a farmhouse of charming confusion which is called "Crosswicks."

More About the Author

Madeleine L'Engle, the popular author of many books for children and adults, has interspersed her writing and teaching career with raising three children, maintaining an apartment in New York and a farmhouse of charming confusion which is called "Crosswicks."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 93 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
When I first read this, I was a young mother, working full time and trying to get a master's degree! This book became my "Circle of Quiet" where I could slow down and remember what was important to me. When it came out in paperback, I dipped into the grocery money and bought 10 copies and gave it to every friend, saying "You've got to read this." Madeline L'Engle's way of sharing the magic and mystery of everyday life probably saved my sanity. It was like having an older "wise woman" friend to go to. I've always been grateful she was there when I needed her
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By TKP on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Madeleine L'Engles wonderful book A Circle of Quiet was full of many "a-ha" moments - moments where I thought, "I know exactly what she means," or, "I've thought that too." As a writer, I find her discussion of rejection to be empowering. As a Christian, I find her doubts to be reassuring because I have them too. L'Engle is frank and critical without stooping to meanness. She is often as critical of herself as she is of others or of society. Her writing is clear and vivid. I can see her surroundings and hear her family's voices as I read her words. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys memoirs.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Deb on September 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book (and the rest of her Crosswick Journals) have been a source of great comfort and inspiration for me. Her search for "being" and meaning provide support as I struggle with the same questions about life and faith. Her writings provide much food for thought and this book is beautifully written. Definitely a book to digest slowly. This book and her other journals have formed a good part of my spiritual reading this summer.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Samuel T Mitchell on August 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought A Circle of Quiet for $2 AUD at a local library and it's blessed me beyond all thinking. I agree with the reviewer below; what makes this book so tremblingly wonderful is what Madeleine L'Engle doesn't say as much as what she does. Written only a few years after the 'summer of love' COQ is both counter-cultural and counter-counter-cultural, which is to say old-fashioned. ML was about 50 when she wrote the book and the text sparkles with hard won wisdom and subversive insights but again, its what ML refuses to say that makes this work so powerful and ever-ripe. I can't believe COQ came into my hands so... providentially but it did. Beautifully written it's a work that covers a whole lot of territory: Domestic (un)bliss, raising children, being an agnostic Christian, food, sex, the counter-culture, art, education vs propaganda, creativity, friendship, the self, God, death, writing, solitude, listening, talking, reading, music, love (there's no mention of cricket, but that's OK), small town life, nature, big city life, when not to answer someone elses Big Question (always refuse) - you get the picture. Even if you have to steal a copy, get a hold of this tome and eat it!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Perhaps because I'm a writer myself I particularly enjoyed this book. It came at a moment when I too, was struggling with manuscript rejection. It was a comfort to find that the grande dame of literature also struggled for the publishing world to accept her work. L'Engle's lucid language, her honesty, faith-doubts, glimpses into a fully-lived life I found refreshing. As far as Crosswicks, I felt like each time I sat down to read this book as though I was being invited into the L'Engle fold for a cup of tea, a walk alongside the property's creek or to sit down next to the nib of her fountain pen as Ms. L'Engle birthed her memoirs. For the writing community, this is a must-read book, for comfort, for encouragement, for the pure essence of seeing how the writing gets done around real-time life. For others, sit back and be swept into a lovely autobiographical account of a matriarch model for women.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on September 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Madeleine L'Engle has the great and wise gift of addressing the questions of life in a way that makes everyone who reads her feel welcome in the conversation. Whether she discusses ontology or marriage or writing, she brings deep humility and the evidence of ordinary life to bear.
This first journal of the series she wrote at Crosswicks was very comforting. Like millions of people, Madeleine L'Engle became a childhood fixture of mine with the Wrinkle in Time series. Reading this book was like tea with an old friend, when perhaps the conversation goes a little slow, but you know you don't have to say anything to be understood.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on January 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
A long time fan of Madeleine L'Engle, I have only recently taken to reading her autobiographical works. "A Circle of Quiet" may have been written in the 1970s, but it is every bit as relevant today as it was when L'Engle first recorded her thoughts and questions. Reading her reminiscenses and insights is almost just as good as having a one-on-one conversation with the author.

In "A Circle of Quiet", L'Engle traverses vast territory including the inspiration and necessity of writing, to questions that have plagued her about faith and God. She is intelligent in her answers and able to recognize her own failings. For such a talented writer, it is amazing that L'Engle endured years of rejection. No one wanted to take a chance on stories that couldn't be categorized. While some may see L'Engle as only a children's author, she is dead-on in her insistence that there is no separation between what makes a book a good children's or adult's book. The fictional stories of imagination should appeal to all ages if they are open to discover the truths that they seek.

L'Engle smartly covers so-called taboo issues and the effect that the changing nature of education and language has played on America's youth. "A Circle of Quiet" is truly a wonderful conversation with a cherished friend. Peppered with analogies of her own life and those of her friends and community, she tries to find a light in the darkness that surrounds all of us. In the end, she succeeds.
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