Krista's Reviews > Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage

Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L'Engle
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's review
Sep 03, 10

One of the best memoirs I have ever read, although there is nothing easy about reading a memoir of a marriage written while one spouse is dying of cancer. L'Engle's voice is strong (not surprisingly...she is after all an acclaimed fiction writer as well), and the way she writes about life: love, marriage, art, vocation, career, faith, family, death, and grief is poignant, articulate, and unique.
This book is also helpful in thinking about how we grieve, and also how we mourn with those who mourn, with others who are going through the unthinkable.
I particularly like her thoughts on p. 184 in the edition I have (towards the end of Chapter 8).

"We pull ourselves together when we need to. We do the things that have to be done. But we need to give ourselves times and places in which to mourn. This is strength, not weakness."

And, "I go to bed lonely...During the night I reach out with my foot through force of habit to touch his sleeping body. And he is not there. Nevertheless, we have been making love during this time in a profound way. He is making love with me in the pressure of his fingers. I am making love when I do simple bodily services for him...."

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