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The Other Side of the Sun: A Novel (Wheaton Literary Series) Hardcover – April, 1996

4.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Wheaton Literary Series
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harold Shaw Pub; 1St Edition edition (April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877886156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877886150
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,365,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Innocence can be a deadly thing. So Stella Renier, nineteen-year-old bride from England, learns when she reaches her new husband's home in South Carolina. It's 1910, and the veterans of the War Between the States are growing old. Yet the conflicts that war failed to resolve - along with some new ones created by its aftermath - simmer just below the surface of the coastal community surrounding the house called Illyria. That house will become the one place Stella regards as home throughout her married life, which is destined to be long. We know this because elderly and recently widowed Stella narrates the story for her adult grandson, during another era of turmoil in the American South. But in 1910, as she comes to Illyria without the husband she's barely had time to wed - sent to his family while Terry Renier sets off on a secret assignment for his employer, the U.S. State Department - it's a fantastic house in an alien country. And her husband's family are, of course, strangers.
How can Stella, who grew up at Oxford, understand the basics of keeping herself safe in a place where she's expected to treat the first Negroes she has ever met as if they were members of a different species? How can the girl reared by an agnostic father grasp the conflict between the powerful Christian faith of Honoria, a one-time African princess who takes care of everyone at Illyria, and the dark spirits invoked by the "Granddam" in the desperately impoverished black hamlets just inland from the beachfront homes of the Reniers? Stella doesn't even know the significance of robed horsemen who ride by night. But her husband's people all know it. And so does the English-educated black physician whose danger she increases with every innocent gesture of friendship.
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Format: Hardcover
I think L'Engle touches...even caresses...a special nerve in those of us who become her lifelong fans. She touched my imagination when I was just 10 years old as I read "A Wrinkle in Time." Her image of Camazotz has stayed solidly at the front of my mind ever since, and I have enjoyed dipping into her well throughout the years to meet more characters, to travel to new cultures, to have new adventures, and to silently cheer on many as they come of age.
That all said, and as many other reviewers have said, this book IS DIFFERENT!!! In this story, L'Engle makes some very heavy points through very beautiful but sometimes dark mediums. At first, the story seems ordinary enough as an English bride, Stella, moves in with her husband's family down in the south at the turn of the century. But even as you meet the cast, you have premonitions that this tale might not flow as nicely as some of her other works. There is a darkness to the people that takes away even from the amusing eccentricities of the family.
As the story builds - bringing in the frightening power of the KKK and of the African-American demon worshippers - you continually fear for this incredibly vulnerable English girl. While Stella is able to find some comfort in the journals of a long-deceased relative named Mado, you wonder where she can turn for help as she unintentionally stirs up a very dark hornet's nest. You know Honoria, the "maid", is a spiritual powerhouse, but is she strong enough? Will Stella's husband come back in time? Will anyone else intervene for her?
Via this very difficult set of circumstances, L'Engle is attempting to prove out Mado's point that only when love has had to go through the burning of the sun is it pure. Before it goes through such fire, it is filled with impurities and deception.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a Madeleine L'Engle fan and this is my favorite book ever.
The story is told through the eyes of Stella a woman in her eighties returning to her beach home in the deep south.
She tells of first coming there as a newly married young bride from England in 1910. The place is beautiful and wild and completely out of her realm of experience. Her words touch a place at the depths of the soul.
She has married in to the Renier family a genteel, old money southern family and must get to know them in her husbands absense. The charecters are rich and exotic and well developed. One of these is Mado the grandmother whose influence is still quite strong and whose wisdom, fortitude and love remain though she no longer lives. The housekeeper Honoria,an African woman of royal bearing, is full of goodness and peaceful strength. There is also the eccentric but lovable Aunties who live in the past, quote Shakespeare and other literary greats and argue with one another.
There is intrigue and mystery as well as an element of danger threatening to errupt in to violence. It becomes clear the destrutive nature of hatred can not be taken for granted.
The story has the quality of being haunting and lovely and upliftingly joyous. It is a journey of love, tragedy and triumph, of "loves terrible other side", the other side of the sun. It captures the Era of the Post Civil War South in all of it's turbulence and beauty and includes all the ingredients that make a great story. What ever type of reading you prefer, what ever authors you enjoy this book is for you, this story transcends preferences.
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