Ellisa Barr's Reviews > The Joys of Love

The Joys of Love by Madeleine L'Engle
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Jul 12, 11

bookshelves: fiction, historical, young-adult, romance, read-2011
Read in July, 2011

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 was an early novel, rather than a most recent one. Finding this out improved my opinion of the book quite a bit. Truthfully, as I listened to it, I found it dragged a bit, belabored a bit, and was awkward at times.

Despite this, I still enjoyed it and finished it. There were quite a few moments where L'Engle had the perfect quote or a keen insight, or a beautiful phrase. I loved getting these glimpses of her future skill as a powerful storyteller.

My only warning - I picked it up for a road trip, counting on it to be "safe" listening for my 6-year-old and 3-year-old (not that I expected them to be interested). It turned out slightly less safe than I was hoping, as there is a surprising amount of very mild swearing throughout the book. (Lots of "damns" and "hells," etc.) Also surprising was how much my 6-year-old enjoyed the parts of the story she was awake to hear.
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