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Camilla Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 27, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Camilla Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 27, 2009
$18.91 $5.45

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Struggling to make sense of all that conflict, walking the snowy city streets with a boy named Frank, Camilla tries to fathom the sweet, slow progress of desire.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

From the Publisher

Life had always been easy for fifteen-year-old Camilla Dickinson. But now her parents, whom she had always loved and trusted, are behaving like strangers to each other and vying for her allegiance. Camilla is torn between her love for them and her disapproval of their actions.

Then she meets Frank, her best friend's brother, who helps her to feel that she is not alone. Can Camilla learn to accept her parents for what they are and step toward her own independence? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (April 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374310319
  • ASIN: B0046LUILU
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,106,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently finished this book - CAMILLA - by Madeleine L'Engle. I had picked it out simply because L'Engle is one of my favorite authors and I hope to collect all - or most - or her works someday ... certainly I had not expected it to be so well written, with a total understanding of the thoughts, words, and actions of teenage girls, especially those with disagreeing parents. Which, of course, it was. Camilla Dickinson, the title character, is a girl in her middle teens whose father is a stern and undemonstrative architect, and whose mother always has a Jacques around. Camilla suspects that Mrs. Dickinson is seeing Jacques, but knows it for sure when she walks in on them kissing. CAMILLA is about this girl trying to deal with the fact that she is an individual - and nobody else is like her, and most may not be thinking about her as she is at her bedroom window, wondering if they are - and her parents are, too, individuals: Faulted and unique individuals, and she has to accept them as that. Her best friend is also going through parental disagreements. Her brother, Frank, takes an interest in Camilla and the two spend hours together. I especially like their special talks, where they philosophize about death, life, religion, and how their existence came about. The end, I felt, but satisfying but unexpected. I assure you, if you read this book, you will A) love it; and B) not be able to put it down until you've finished it. I urge you, in the name of good books, read it!
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By A Customer on March 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read "Camilla" during different stages in my life and have found new meaning in the novel each time. I have always loved the book for its rich imagery and descriptions of everything from New York's Central Park to a piano concerto by Prokofiev. I also love it for its strong protagonist, Camilla Dickinson, who can seem unbelievably perfect for a teenage girl. After all, she isn't just intelligent and sensitive, but she also has a sense of the cosmic and the beautiful. For instance, she reads the classics not because she is forced to at school but because she likes reading them.
Another thing fascinating about the book is that each character has his or her own take on what Life is. These philosophies are great to take apart when analyzing each character's motivations. Madeleine L'Engle is good at writing books with many different characters because she can give each one a different take on Life (as she does here), on Death ("A Ring of Endless Light"), on Love ("A House Like a Lotus"), and on Existence and the Universe (any book in the Time Quartet).
The plot is basically about how a young girl, in the course of a few weeks, becomes a young woman. The story is deeper and richer than that description, however. What makes "Camilla" stand out among other bildungsroman stories for young people is the fact that its protagonist's "growing pains" are less troubling and awful than usual, not because the author gave her a break, but because she had learned to cushion her fall into adulthood with a strong faith in the beauty and goodness in the Universe. If I could compare Camilla Dickinson to any other person, real-life or fictional, I would pick Anne Frank.
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Format: Hardcover
Madeleine L'Engle is one of the greatest authors I've ever come across, but I shamefully admit that before Camilla I mostly stuck to her more well-known books--the Time Quartet, the Austin and O'Keef families, etc. But finally, after years of passing over Camilla on the library bookshelves, I decided to give it a try.

For me, getting involved with Camilla's plot was so unsuspectingly gradual that I was shocked when I found myself totally engrossed and already halfway into the book. A warning for those who are already avid fans of L'Engle--this book might come as a surprise. It has a different tang.

Camilla is set, not on an island or in the country, but in New York City, and the book captures the city's atmosphere. This world is harsher, the characters, in a sense, are more human. L'Engle does not hesitate to build very complex relationships between the characters or show human nature and emotion naked on the page.

A usual, L'Engle introduces the reader to classical culture and innovative ideas about the world, religion, and existence. Camilla is a regular L'Engle character whose sensitivity and honesty are rolled together with her personal desires and sense of insecurity. Through her, L'Engle further addresses several issues, including self-proportion, family troubles, human perception of God, and especially growing older and feeling less protected.

I strongly recommend this book to absolutely anyone. The dialog is refreshing, and neither the characters nor their emotions are sugarcoated. Their ideas and personalities will linger long after you're finished.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one of the few books I had not read by Madeleine L'Engle. As usual, it was excellent.
Camilla is the story of Camilla Dickinson, a 15 year old living in New York City, right before the Vietnam War. It was written in 1965, and it was probably one of the first "coming of age" books. In the story, Camilla learns her parents are not the infallible beings she thought they were. She learns of their mistakes, their infidelities, their coldness, and she must learn to love them because of that.
Camilla begins to see Frank, her best friend's older brother. She must learn to deal with her friend's jealousy and she must learn to understand these new feelings she has for Frank.
Ms. L'engle approaches the topics of suicide, life, love, and religion with her usual sensitivity. Camilla is a character the reader will grow to care about and admire as she finds a more adult footing in the world.
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