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The Irrational Season (Crosswicks Journals #3)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,366 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Alternate cover ISBN 0866839461

The 3rd of Madeleine L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals, THE IRRATIONAL SEASON is especially valuable, for it's exploration of her life as a professional woman, wife, mother, and grandmother.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by HarperOne (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,603)
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Michele Morin
Jan 08, 2016 Michele Morin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Battlefields, Slums, and Insane Asylums

I cannot abide bouillon in a mug, but I’m always a little sorry about that when I read the opening pages of Madeleine L’Engle’s The Irrational Season. She sips from her warm cup, gazes out her two a.m. window at the Hudson River, and begins an Advent reflection that meanders through the liturgical year and the seasons of her life, ending up at her country farmhouse just in time for the Michaelmas daisies.

Although she passed away in 2007 and the four volumes
Leigh  Kramer
I have adored L’Engle’s writing ever since I stumbled across A Wrinkle In Time as a young girl. I have heard rave reviews about The Crosswicks Journal for several years. I expected to love this one. But a few pages in, I realized the problem. Every friend who raved about The Crosswicks Journal is married and a mother. It is no wonder they viscerally related to L’Engle’s words. It is no wonder I did not.

Now I hasted to add there is much I can learn from someone’s thoughts about being married and
Feb 25, 2013 Jes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read with many deep sections that I felt like a second-reading would help me absorb better. The layout of the novel, moving through the traditional Christian season, was interesting to me, as I have been immersed in a non-traditional church background for over ten years. I wonder if we "non-denominationals" lose something when we reject the traditions in the church. I love how Madeleine receives so much from "simple" things like communion and the prayer book (which I personally f ...more
Deborah Duke
Aug 28, 2012 Deborah Duke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: becpl
The Irrational Season is the most spiritual of the Crosswicks Journals as it follows the church year. I was hesitant to begin reading it because I thought that Madeleine L'Engle's faith walk might not be compatible with mine. I was wrong, and I was hooked a few pages into the first chapter. Although our paths are not identical, I found much with which I could identify. Moreover, L'Engle does not make the reader feel as if you have to believe exactly as she does. Here are some of my favorite pass ...more
I loved this book. It is the kind of book I want to buy several copies of to pass around to friends.

Originally, written in the mid 70's when L'Engle was in her 50's, it is similar to a personal spiritual diary. The 3rd in the Crosswicks Journals, this book takes place after the Summer of the Great Grandmother but before The Two-Part Invention, a memoir of her marriage. In here she shares what she has learned on the journey about motherhood, marriage, church and living a Christian life.

Ms. L'Engl
Jul 04, 2011 Dnicebear rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its been a while since I've read L'Engle, and I'm finding her writing still potent, this book in the autobiographical vein and tied closely to Time, especially the Calendar of the Church Year. I also am aware I've now experienced one visit to the northeastern U.S. and the geography similar to what she is writing in, which gives me another door into her experience. I was influenced strongly by her writing as a practicing Episcopalian; the Sunday after I read this book I abandoned my Anabaptist pr ...more
Apryl Anderson
This is my least favorite of L'Engle's books. Her faith is so evident in all her writing, but this one gives me twinges of religiosity. Not that she's got all the answers to the great mysteries, she's too wise for that! Instead, she lays out all her questions, and I feel as if I'm reading the spiritual musings from her journal. Rather, that she cut and pasted the church bits, and this is the first draft of another Austin story.

Deja vu, we've seen all of this before, but in the final versions. L'
Lacey Michael
Apr 22, 2015 Lacey Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I keep accidentally reading these books out of order. Oh well. They can be taken out of context and still enjoyed. Once again I found myself swept up in L'Engle's thoughts. She wrote this journal/essay style compilation in the 70's- a time of great turmoil and change. Sometimes I wonder what she would think of today's issues... She always causes me to zoom way out and look at the big picture in an out- of- the- box, fantastical way. Her occasional bouts with Atheism (which she considers a diseas ...more
Sara floerke
I consider L'Engle to be a mentor of mine...even though I've never met her. This book was like sitting down and listening to her talk about spiritual life and seasons. The book traces her thoughts over the chronology of the religious seasons -- advent, lent, Easter, etc.-- all the while tracking it with some of the spiritual struggles of life.

I so appreciate her candor, her willingness to say, "I don't know..", the lack of judgment, the recognition of beauty where many of us haven't recognized b
Ali M.
Dec 30, 2010 Ali M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as I consider C.S. Lewis my third grandfather, Madeleine L'Engle is my third grandmother. She is such a role model for me –not only because of her wisdom but because of her foolishness. She is so honest and transparent about her faults, failures, and doubts; it makes her statements about hope and joy actually resonate as truthful experience, instead of hollow wishes. And I'm so inspired by her as a writer. She drives me to persevere in creating.

The Crosswicks Journals are slices of life, ca
Beth Melillo
I love A Circle of Quiet, so I thought I would also love The Irrational Season.

Unfortunately, it wasn't what I expected, and I found myself coasting through, buoyed by nuggets of wisdom and insight, but overall failing to feel carried away by any depth. I didn't expect what felt like 1/3rd of the book to be poetry, and I think this had a lot to do with my distaste.
Dawn Weaver
If you love Madeleine L'Engle's writing you will enjoy this rambling journal roughly pieced together by the chronology of the liturgical church calendar. It is meandering but there are gems of wise thought for the persevering.
A word of warning to the conservative evangelical, her liberal take on theology may drive you crazy; it did me. Her basis for making assumptions theological and otherwise is based more on intuition and feeling than on clear logic or sound theological reasoning. This is a j
Jul 03, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Used this for Christian Education and Women's REtreats.
Krisette Spangler
This is a beautiful look at Christianity through the eyes of Madeleine L'Engle. Ms. L'Engle shares with her faith in a way that made me ponder and think about my own faith. She is such a beautiful writer, and I have enjoyed all of the Crosswicks Journals thus far.

"We make complicated what is simple, and the powers of darkness rejoice."

"The original relationship between male and female was meant to be on of mutual fulfillment and and joy, but that relationship was broken, to our grief, and turne
The most helpful thing I can say about this book is that it resists categorization, so don't spend the first half trying to figure out what kind of book you're reading (like I did). It's sort of a journal/memoir with the feel of a devotional, but at many points I felt like I was reading short articles on an assortment of topics (marriage, ecumenism, nature, etc.) She includes quite a bit of her own poetry as well, which I would normally skip over but found myself appreciating here and there. Onc ...more
Jan 03, 2014 LVD rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reads, interim-08
wow. This is one of the best "Christian" books I've ever read. L'Engle is certainly a kindred spirit to the O.E. brand of thought.

some unorganized reflections and quotes:

-- Heaven = truly knowing what it is to be

--the fall = slums, battlefields and insane asylums

--she could be pals with Stringfellow and Ellul:

"As I read the Old and New Testaments I am struck by the awareness therein of our lives being connected with cosmic powers, angels and archangels, heavenly principalities and powers, and th
Mar 01, 2015 Maura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
i saved this book from flynnifer's pre-move cleaning spree; i already had books 1 & 2 in the series and now i'm complete. and of course, if it's just sitting there on the table looking at me, how am i going to be able to resist re-reading it? I love her writing style; thoughtful, personalized yet illustrating generalities, reasoned and passionate all at once. I found myself reminded of some of kassrachel's writings, tho she comes at the world from a Judaic viewpoint, as opposed to L'Engle's ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought-provoking and wonderful book. Perhaps my favorite of the four Crosswicks Journals.

Sentences I love:

"Affluence tends to bring with it a stupor, a flatulence of spirit. It is difficult to laugh freely as long as we are clutching all that we have accumulated and are afraid to lose."

"I would like to travel light on this journey of life, to get rid of the encumbrances I acquire each day."

"In a Good Friday sermon Alan talked about the human desire to play God. We all have it. The trouble is th
Bcoghill Coghill
Oct 03, 2015 Bcoghill Coghill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
She was a wonderful person but this book lives in the 1970s.
It address issues of the 1970s but not of the current era and things have changed. God may be eternal but these thoughts are not.
I have never enjoyed her poetry but did find a gem here and there. Not enough to give this another star.
The final of the Crosswicks books. It was good, and the most spiritually focused of the three, but the first one, The Circle of Quiet, is still my favorite.
Feb 08, 2015 AJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my least favorite of the Crosswicks Journals, but I still loved her writing and thinking that pushes me beyond my own comfort zones.
Feb 18, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of L'Engle's Crosswicks journals. I first read these reflections on religion and faith about twenty years ago; they continue to prompt me to pause and reflect on my own feelings about God, church, and spiritual journeys. What I do not care for in this book (and I think I skipped over them in twenty years ago) are the poems. I'm not fond of musicals, and on the few occasions in which I have dined at a restaurant where the wait staff has lined up in front of the salad bar and broken in ...more
Jen Yokel
I started The Crosswicks Journals with book 3 because I thought it was an Advent book. Actually, it's essays on the entire church year. A lovely read on a variety of topics, from writing to marriage and motherhood to theology and incarnation.

I expect I'll return to this one often in the future, and maybe read the sections during their proper time of year. Guess it's time to re-read the Epiphany chapter already. :)
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 21, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
This memoir (the last Crosswicks Journal I hadn't read) is loosely set within the framework of the church calendar, starting in Advent. The general theme is how to believe in and trust a good God in a world of "wars and insane asylums," and with so many tragedies happening recently, it's VERY relevant to this moment in time. It's almost as good as A Circle of Quiet - I wanted to highlight probably the last third of the book. Overall, it's classic L'Engle, so if you love her, you'll love this.
Oct 06, 2011 Helena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Reading L'Engle's work always seems to give me hope, somehow, whether it's her YA fiction or her nonfiction. This book was no exception. It's an exploration of the author's faith (Christianity) over a liturgical year, but it touches on many other topics as well. Took me a bit to get through it, but I'm glad I read it. It was written in the late seventies, but so much of it could have been written yesterday--it's all still quite relevant, including her commentary on the state of the world.
Elizabeth Amber
This book veers in style and pacing from her other books. She follows the church calendar and it is written more in a devotional style. She includes much of her poetry in it as well. This is a wonderful book if you don't want something you feel compelled to read cover to cover. It is a good book for simply picking up and beginning in the middle. You will probably find you want to go back to the beginning though. She has that way about her. She is just so interesting.
Oct 26, 2007 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I'm planning my wedding, and on more than one occasion have freaked myself out with this whole marriage thing. I've loved Madeleine L'Engle since I was little (when she died it broke my heart a little) and I though I should listen to what she had to say on the subject. What this book is is a dip into what her marriage is like, from the beginnings, until her husband dies of cancer. While it gave me some wisdom, it wasn't preachy and I really liked what it said about love.
Aug 14, 2011 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in L'Engle's inimitable style, this book follows life through the church year, and in it L'Engle writes about her faith and it's growth over the years of her life and throughout her long marriage. I think I would have enjoyed it much more had I been a Catholic myself, but even without that it was a nicely written book, and beautifully written.
Leah Colbeck
Jan 26, 2014 Leah Colbeck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, memoirs, read-2014
It took me a long time to get through this book as each chapter is so weighty. For me it started slow and I wasn't sure but after the first few chapters I was savouring each chapter with beautiful thoughts on community, creating, control, church (different from faith), blessing and how her faith interweaves with all of these things.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Crosswicks Journals (4 books)
  • A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journals #1)
  • The Summer of the Great-Grandmother (Crosswicks Journal, #2)
  • Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (The Crosswicks Journal, #4)

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“Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.

To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.”
“One of the most pusillanimous things we of the female sex have done throughout the centuries is to have allowed the male sex to assume that mankind is masculine. It is not. It takes both male and female to make the image of God. The proper understanding of mankind is that it is only a poor, broken thing if either male or female is excluded.” 43 likes
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