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The Joys of Love by [L'Engle, Madeleine]
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The Joys of Love Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Length: 271 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Age Level: 12 - 18 Grade Level: 7 - 9

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Written in the late '40s but not taken on by L'Engle's agent, this posthumously published novel is more artifact than timeless story. As such, it will primarily interest readers who want to know more about the author of the groundbreaking A Wrinkle in Time, especially because an introduction by L'Engle's granddaughter Léna Roy identifies it as semiautobiographical. Elizabeth, like L'Engle a graduate of Smith College, has convinced her controlling guardian aunt to let her take a scholarship apprenticeship at a summer theater, even though her aunt vigorously opposes Elizabeth's lifelong passion for the stage. Set over a long weekend, the action revolves around Elizabeth's infatuation with a womanizing director from the city and her subsequent disillusionment; luckily a decent fellow is around to pledge his love to her. Even with a veil thrown over the characters' sex lives, L'Engle suggests the intimacy, good and bad, within a theater company, and her dialogue pungently evokes the period. The tidiness of the resolutions betrays the inexperience of the writer—which, paradoxically, may endear this work to L'Engle fans. And although the conflicts are dated, the heroine's yearnings often transcend the '40s setting. Ages 12–up. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—Just after college graduation, Elizabeth joins a summer theater troupe where she finds elusive love with Kurt, a pompous director, and deep friendship with her lanky, goofy colleague Ben. L'Engle revisits her own theater experiences at the beach in the 1940s, making this novel's salty breezes, musty shared quarters, and boardwalk burgers vivid. Beautifully unadorned language and fluid dialogue recall a bygone era that might feel foreign to modern teens. Even dated colloquialisms and social mores, however, cannot diminish L'Engle's magnificent rendering of a smart girl's guileless romantic missteps. Teens will cringe as Elizabeth swoons over Kurt and ignores the clear chemistry that she shares with Ben. They will quickly forgive her, as the young woman's unwavering sense of self, her heady belief in acting, and grounded acceptance of life's inequities make her a powerful, appealing character. The wonderfully simple, economic prose allows Elizabeth's revelations to shine with glimmering clarity, like moonlight on the ocean.—Shelley Huntington, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product details

  • File Size: 296 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); Reprint edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Publication Date: April 29, 2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KJV9W4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #770,667 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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