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The Joys of Love

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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  674 ratings  ·  137 reviews
During the summer of 1946, twenty-year-old Elizabeth is doing what she has dreamed of since she was a little girl: working in the theatre. Elizabeth is passionate about her work and determined to learn all she can at the summer theatre company on the sea where she is an apprentice actress. She’s never felt so alive. And soon she finds another passion: Kurt Canitz, the dash ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,342)
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Debbie
This is a story that Madeleine L'Engle wrote in the 40s (and 50s?) but didn't get published. It was published posthumously last year.

The story follows Elizabeth Jerrold, an orphan whose parents are rather a mystery to the reader until a good way through the book. She has graduated from Smith College with a degree in chemistry to satisfy her aunt, but her true passion is the theatre. After graduation, she manages to get a scholarship to be an apprentice in a summer theatre, where she makes some c
...more
Persephone
I thought I'd read just about everything that Madeleine L'Engle had published, so I was astonished to see this book turn up when I was searching for something else entirely (which is usually how things work for me).

Madeleine L'Engle died nearly three years ago at the age of 88. The Joys of Love was published last year by her granddaughters. This is a very early novel, based on a short story she wrote in 1942 at about the age of 24. She reworked the story into a novel in the early fifties and re-
...more
Katie
Madeline L'Engle wrote this early in her career, but it's only now being published. And, yeah, it's a little rough compared to the writer she becomes, but, oh, it still has so many things I love about her writing: Passionate characters, fascinating discussion about art, real emotion.

And the romance! At first, I wasn't sure if I was really on board with the pairing I was supposed to be rooting for, but, in the end, it left me with that wistful, "Yes, that's what I'm looking for in real life." You
...more
Debra Goodman
In this book, Elizabeth is an aspiring actress - from the South - who gets an internship with summer acting company in upstate New York. Although she is on scholarship, she struggles to make ends meet and depends on her aunt for her room and board. In the theater, she makes close friends, has many acting experiences, and comes to be recognized for her talent. She falls in love with the star male actor - while her friend Ben is fairly openly in love with her.

This is an interesting book - a perio
...more
Libby
I discovered a Madeleine L'Engle book that I'd never heard of before this spring, so of course I snatched it up. I just got around to reading it on vacation, and it doesn't disappoint--if you like Madeleine L'Engle's other YA fiction, which I do.

I marked this as historical, but it's not really--it's set in the 40's, and it was first written in the 40's. It wasn't published until recently, after Ms. L'Engle's death, by her granddaughters, which is why I hadn't heard of it before.

The story follows
...more
Susie
I have always loved this author-A Wrinkle in Time was probably my introduction to science fiction/fantasy. This book is especially precious as it was a hidden treasure and only published a year after her death.I found the introduction by her grandaughter only added to the story. I love that L'Engle supported her writing carreer by acting. This story started as a short story in 1942 and then became a book that somehow never was published. I loved the story of an aspiring your actress apprenticed ...more
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophia
A lovely sensitive book about growing up and following one's passion. Yes, the heroine is naive (as we all were, once). But it's well written: beautifully observed and very telling. And on several occasions I laughed out loud! ‘The Joys of Love’ will be little too quaint for contemporary teenagers, but the adults – woman in particular - who can remember growing up in America in this era (the summer of 1946) should enjoy it.
Jacci
I love Madeleine L'Engle and when I found this on audio I thought it would be fun to listen to her early work. I'm glad I found it on audio as for 2014 it is a slow moving book and I may not have finished reading it, but listening as I drove around was fine. What I love is the authors ability to write characters that you feel you know as friends by the end of a book. She was amazing at that. It also takes you back to a simpler time. She captured that time well, although it is hard to picture it ...more
Erin
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Josiah
"I have never lived before...Until this summer, I did not know what it was to be alive."

—The Joys of Love, P. 4

"If you're too happy about anything, fate usually gives you a good sock in the jaw and knocks you down."

—Elizabeth Jerrold, "The Joys of Love," P. 91

I certainly think that this book is one of the hidden gems of the 2008 young adult literary year that I wish more people would end up reading.
Madeleine L'Engle's prose flows elegantly and wraps around the characters and events of her
...more
Annie
After reading "And Both Were Young" and recently thinking about a passage in "Camilla" that I've always loved, I figured it was time to finally read "The Joys of Love." As the world's greatest Madeline L'Engle fan, you'd think that I would have picked this up the moment it hit the shelves. A lost L'Engle book! One of her first! But I was worried that the reason it was released after her death was because she didn't think it was good enough to print in the first place, and the estate just wanted ...more
Jes
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Abigail
Okay, if I could have given 3 and a half stars, I would have. I'm honestly not into anything resembling "romance" when it comes to books, but since I've loved all the other L'Engle I've read, I figured I'd give it a go. Now I want to clarify my rating. As compared to literature at large, I give this closer to four stars, but comparing L'Engle to herself I give it three. It's very obvious that it was written early in her career.

What I loved:

I loved the main character, Elizabeth. I was amazed that
...more
Ellisa Barr
Most times when I read a book I am focused on the story, rather than on the author but this book made me feel closer to Madeleine L'Engle, like I've peeked through a little window into her life.

This is a sweet, coming of age story, loosely autobiographical, that was published after the author's death, although it was actually one of her earliest written works.

I stumbled across it in the library and the first disc was missing, so I didn't realize until I finished it and looked it up that this wa
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marie Robinson for TeensReadToo.com

Elizabeth has big dreams of becoming an actress. She loves everything about the theater and feels born to be a part of it. Her aunt, who has raised her, wants a more conventional life and disapproves of Elizabeth's ambitions to become an actress.

Taking place over a mere four days, Elizabeth is forced to learn a lot about herself, about her career ambitions, and about growing up. Her aunt disapproves of the lifestyle Elizabeth has adopted while work
...more
Kate
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Melody
What really struck me as I was reading this early L'Engle is how her recurring themes were fully formed already. Also, her love of the apt quote is very evident. The story is, in fact, a little clunky and moralistic- but it's also a L'Engle, so it transcends this slight clunkiness and pulls one into the characters. The story is nearly universal as a coming-of-age tale, and the moment when Elizabeth notices her life has begun made me well up. I marvel anew at L'Engle's skill, if this is an exampl ...more
Laurie
A very satisfying way to start my summer reading. I liked this book, very much. I was so pleased to find this similar in style, quality, and subject matter to the early L'Engle books that I love, particularly The Small Rain. And it was delightful to identify two characters from her other novels in this one. Amazing to think that parts of their stories were sitting in a box for decades.

I am puzzled by the idea that this should be a YA novel (both on L'Engle's part and her publisher's). It is very
...more
Angie
So, there's probably no L'Engle book that I wouldn't give 5 starts to, because I love her. This was fun because it's an early, early one for her that was her last to be published. There's a really nice introduction from one of her granddaughters that made the reading of it feel even more personal. Growing up on her books, I always felt like I knew Madeleine personally (even thought I'd have a daughter named Madeleine when I was young) and the introduction made me feel that even more. When I reco ...more
Kricket
the joys of a new madeleine l'engle book being published after her death! i cannot seem to review l'engle without using the word "quaint." but it was. quaint. 20 year old elizabeth is spending the summer as a theater apprentice on the shore. there's a delightful campy feeling, with all the theater employees living in a big cottage and going to get hamburgers at diners and whatnot. unfortunately i'm not that keen on stage people myself (chalk it up to my high schools insufferable "theatre troupe" ...more
Ellie Sorota
Madeleine L'Engle is one of my favorite writers. Such a favorite that I make it a point not to read everything she's written so that there's always a little L'Engle left to discover. This novel, published posthumously, exposes L'Engle's talent for writing in a contemporary setting with an enduring voice. It's a coming of age story that explores young love amid the sophomoric relationships of the world of theater. As with all of her female protagonists, Madeleine L'Engle imbues herself into the ...more
Patricia Ahl
The Joys of Love is the story of a young actress in her first professional debut at a small summer theater. Elizabeth is dealing with typical youthful problems, an unwise crush, disproving family members, money problems, but with Madeline L'Engle's masterful writing and unique vision what could be an ordinary cliche of a novel turns into a beautiful and timeless account of youthful hope and ambition. The story is set in the 1940s or 50s, but like so many L'Engle novels it is honestly difficult t ...more
Helen
Madeleine L'Engle is an amazing writer. That having been said this book is way less than amazing.

I wonder if she was still alive would it ever have been published. Her granddaughters are responsible for its publication and I have to ask if it was sentimentality or the thought of more dollars to be made for her estate?

They said this was something she had written when she was very young and would let them read (when they were young). She never pushed for its publication. When you read it you can s
...more
Leila
Jul 27, 2008 Leila rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy Madeleine L'Engle's early work
The introduction to this book really helped set a framework to read it in--and, often, I felt like I was reading about a young Madeleine L'Engle, rather than the character of Elizabeth. In tone and development, this novel obviously reads like her early work: and, it's important to note, this early work is not as well developed as what comes later. It tends to show her development as a writer rather than her real gift in action.

As someone who has read practically everything Madeleine L'Engle's ev
...more
RuthAnn
Would recommend: Ehhh...

I am a huge fan of Madeleine L'Engle. I collect her books, and I have high expectations for what I should get out of them. The Joys of Love was just okay for me. The characters were lovely, and I was eager to find out what happened to them, but it wasn't as good as her other books are.

I had a dim view going into it because it was published posthumously; I couldn't shake the feeling that if Madeleine L'Engle wanted it to be published during her successful, prolific career
...more
Libby Ames
Madeleine L'Engle is one of my favorite writers. She creates full characters, interesting plots, and meaningful themes. Although I wasn't impressed with this book, it was comforting to see that even amazing writers have a true developing period. Joys of Love is one of L'Engle's first attempts at writing and was not published while she was living. It is probably one of the most autobiographical of any of her novels and was published fairly recently.

Joys of Love is an interesting read to note L'E
...more
Lady
This is a simply story, set in the world of 1940's theater without really entering it. The focus of the story is so much about Elizabeth that it doesn't have room to really immerse the reader into the theater world of that time, or even the world at large of the era. It's very much a character study and Elizabeth is a simply character, in part because she's young and innocent, and it's that movement out of innocence that this story is about. It's simple and it's straight forward and it alludes t ...more
Miriam
I almost gave this three stars out of nostalgia, but as I read it, I was reminded of all the things that always bugged my about L'Engle's writing. I'm glad her granddaughters published it so that the true fans can add it to their collection, but I can see why it wasn't published during her lifetime. There are a lot of flashbacks and several places where the action stops while somebody tells somebody else a story, and it is hard to tell some of the supporting characters apart; there are a lot of ...more
Julia
Joys of Love is a very early L'Engle book and thus a little different from her others. It's supposed to be somewhat autobiographical. It's about theater and full of Shakespeare references, so I felt at home. It wasn't my favorite book I've read by her, but I enjoyed reading it and finished it very quickly. The end made me happy, and I'm glad to have read it, though I probably wouldn't leap to recommend it to someone who didn't already like Madeline L'Engle.
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Madeleine L'Engle was an American writer best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science: tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regener ...more
More about Madeleine L'Engle...
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2) A Swiftly Tilting Planet (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #3) Many Waters (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #4) A Ring of Endless Light (Austin Family, #5)

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“But my memories are like a fire in winter—whenever I'm cold I can warm my hands at them.

—Ditta”
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“The joys of love...last only a moment. The sorrows of love last all the life long.” 21 likes
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