Elise's Reviews > And Both Were Young

And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle
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's review
Jul 14, 2011

really liked it
Read in July, 2011

This is the story of Phillipa, or Flip. Her mother recently died and her artist father is off doing his part in post-WWII Europe. Flip finds herself in a Swiss boarding school with few friends and she misses her father terribly. Enter Paul and his dog, Ariel, and things start to change for the better.

This was a sweet coming of age story written by L'Engle in 1949. Even though it was written over 60 years ago it still felt current. I read the Time series when I was young, but haven't returned to L'Engle's writing since then. I'm awfully glad I stumbled on this gem last time I was in the library.

L'Engle drew me in to the world of the school and the beautiful mountainous landscapes. There aren't any jarring obstacles in Flip's year of growing up--the book unfolded much like most adolescent lives--with minor triumphs and setbacks. This was a restful book, especially after 2 from Deeanne Gist, which were entertaining, albeit rather saccharine.

Flip's character resonated with me; I've always felt like I was a pretty average being in the world's eyes, but I know I mean a great deal to those who love me and they mean the world to me. I've finally become ok with that because, after all, isn't family (genetic or adopted) the most important anyway?

I especially liked Flip's relationship with Paul. Just like she found her metaphorical footing by helping and loving this boy, I feel like my relationship with my sweet husband has given me sure footing and expanded my [often meager] attempts at living life to the fullest.

So hooray for sweet boys and Flip and quiet, gangly girls figuring out life!

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