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The Rock That Is Higher: Story as Truth

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  620 ratings  ·  71 reviews
We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes... -Madeleine L'Engle, from The Rock That Is Higher

Story captures our hearts and feeds our imaginations. It reminds u
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Convergent Books (first published 1993)
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Justin Wiggins
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently re-read Madeleine L'Engle's most well known book A Wrinkle In Time, and this afternoon finished The Rock That Is Higher Story As Truth, which I had been eagerly wanting to read. L'Engle writes poignantly about how she survived a horrific car accident, her struggles and joys of being a writer, Mother, Grandmother, wife; her theological views, love for the power of art, and how we all have our own unique life narrative filled with failure, struggles, beauty, mystery, and joy, was quite ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as my 2020 Lenten bedtime book.

It was a wonderful choice. Considering story - and true story - in to the Gospel, King David, and interwoven with her own life events was a beautiful way to study the incarnation and Resurrection.

L'Engle and I have theological disagreements, but she always makes me think and her perspective helps me to understand others with whom I may disagree in specifics but not essentials.

Her long career as a storyteller makes her eminently qualified to contempla
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madeleine L'Engle is one of, if not my very favourite authors. This book was mixed for me. I found that she wandered more than usual and at times, I lost the thread of each chapter/essay. On the other hand, the chapter on Story as Truth is one that repeatedly made me want to stand up and cheer. Her reflections on how scripture can be true without necessarily being literal and the dangers of entirely literal thinking put into words a sense that I have always had but would never be able to articul ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, own-it
This is a fantastic book, full of much of the same ideas about story and myth and faith that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis speak of. And while it's similar in thought and premise, it is still fresh and interesting; a delving into the different faucets of what story can be to us rather than a reiteration of things that have been said before. The simplest lesson I draw from this book is about Christian myth. That sometimes the stories we tell are not in Scripture, may not be factual, but like othe ...more
Not entirely what I was expecting - I thought there would be more emphasis on Story (I've been reading Tolkien and Lewis on Story lately, so that's where my mindset has been) - and instead got a gentle rambling of meditation, sometimes connected to stories, sometimes not. Still, a beautiful little book, filled with hope and faith. And the latter part does tie more into Story than the first. ...more
David Bjorlin
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a bit of fluff between, but then there are these absolute jewels of wisdom:
"I am using myth in its ancient meaning--that which was true, that which is true, that which will be true, that strange truth which is as elusive as home."

"As I read Scripture I saw that God used strange people to do the work of Love, ordinary people who were just like the rest of us, not perfect, not morally virtuous, but people who listened to God and, often reluctantly, did what was asked of them."

"Story helps
Shelby Lynne
I've moved away from needing Madeleine as desperately as I did when I was a teenager, but even as I read her nonfiction and crave deeper & less simplistic arguments, I'm grateful for her influence. There was a time when her thoroughly biblical worldview was precisely what I needed to step out of my narrow mindset, and those first, faltering steps were crucial to where I am today. She introduced me to many things, but the idea of a radically inclusive, all-loving God is perhaps the greatest. That ...more
Samantha Barnes
Parts of this book I loved, and parts of it I skimmed. L’Engle writes in a stream-of-consciousness style that I sometimes got lost trying to follow. But there were some good parts, too, that sparked my own thoughts and creativity.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It was a slow read for me but there were hidden gems in it. The best part was feeing like I got to know this amazing author a little bit as a person.
I enjoyed this one and learned some things, but I don’t think it was her best. There were some rants that I didn’t enjoy and some straying from the topic.
Mary Reilly
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this one slowly and sooo good. Madeleine wrote this book almost 30 years ago but still so pertinent. I experience the world as story so this book speaks to me. Lots of things I am going to have to spend some time thinking about.
Bailey T. Hurley
Made it halfway and could not hear anymore. She is wise and has wonderful thoughts but it was like a diary of thoughts that never take me anywhere or provide much meat to the life of faith.
Janet Cline
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I could read over and over and still get more out of it.
Olivia Murphy
L’Engle is a talented storyteller, but this one felt distracted. I still dog-eared many pages and appreciated her thoughts on the impact of story—especially as it pertains to the greatest Story—but I did not love this one. Her and I share some theological differences and some of those were hard to stomach in this book. If nothing else, it caused me to go to Scripture and think through some foundational truths, but I would not recommend this particular book. She has so many others that are wonder ...more
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book by Madeleine L’Engle is an incredible undertaking! Somehow she manages to take what appears to me to be extremely different genres and tie them all together into a well written book about the truth in story and myth. Her writing style is engaging as she shares with the reader her long held beliefs about religion. While I can’t say I’m completely on board with everything she wrote, I very much enjoyed reading this book and felt uplifted by many of the comparisons and observations she sh ...more
Miss Clark
3.5 - 4 stars

One of L' Engle's finest. Highly recommended!

PP. 56 - 57: Her description of meal time, this shared meal in so many times & various people - so beautiful and real.

PP. 106 - 107 - Complication and Peripety

"Don't we trust the Lord enough to tell him how we really feel? To question? To rail? But we must also accept that sometimes we don't hear answers."
Rachel Murphy
A lovely reflection on Story, and how crucial it is to our growth, our formation, and inspiration for our lives. The main "inspiration" that L'Engle gave me here was a further prod to return to Scripture and deepen my knowledge of it. ...more
Apryl Anderson
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She doesn't so much "write" as "have a conversation" ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L'Engle wrote The Rock That is Higher in the aftermath of a terrible automobile accident. It would appear that the lengthy period of recuperation gave her time to muse over Christianity's place and roll in her life and life in general. L'Engle does not separate the spiritual and secular, but sees the ways in which the two are closely knit together. She sees God and Jesus as an intricate part of home, family, love and truth in the lives of believers.

L'Engle comes from a line of storytellers. S
Cara Gabrielse
Mar 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My love for Madeleine L'Engle continues to grow with each book of hers that I read. 'The Rock that is Higher' is the story of story and its importance in our lives. set amid the backdrop of her near-death car accident, it is a personal glimpse inside her suffering and determined faith. it is a book for readers, certainly for writers of story, and for all of us who wrestle with God and the whys and what-ifs of life.

Chapters: Story as Homecoming, as Family Affiar, as Affirmation of God's Love, as
Megan Byrd
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books-read
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I really enjoyed it and took a lot from it. I loved Madeleine sharing her experience with writing, talking about how she writes and why she writes. I loved the explanation of the importance and purpose of story in writing. She shared how a car accident she experienced in which she was seriously injured, affected her faith and her relationship with God as well as the stories that she learned from it.

The chapters all talk about one aspect of story as
Michelle Kidwell
The Rock That Is Higher

Story as Truth

by Madeleine L’Engle

Crown Publishing

Convergent Books


Pub Date 18 Sep 2018

I am reviewing a copy of The Rock That Is Higher through Crown Books and Netgalley:

In this book beloved author Madeline L Engle reminds us that story captures our Hearts and Feeds our imaginations. Story reminds us who we are and where we come from and it gives us meaning and directions in our lives as we learn to see it as an affirmation of God’s love and truth. Our acknowledgem
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: madeleine
“I ask God to set me upon a rock that is higher than I so that I may be able to see more clearly, see the tragedy and the joy and sometimes the dull slogging along of life with an assurance that not only is there rock under my feet, but that God made the rock and you and me, and is concerned with Creation, every galaxy, every atom and subatomic particle.” p. 172

I’ve definitely started to notice recurring themes in Madeleine’s work (I think this book marks the halfway point for me, but who’s coun
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I thought this would be more like her book "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art." Instead, this is a sweet but rambling book (very personal, which was nice but a bit distracting from what I'd hoped the focus would be: writing truth).

I stopped reading due to lack of interest. Maybe I gave up too soon. Maybe my timing was off and it wasn't a good fit. Not sure. However I still love L'Engle. But if you're a writer looking for a good book centered in faith, read L'Engle's "Walking on Wat
Rachelle Sperling
This book is all L’Engle in style. It is insightful and rambling all at the same time. In it the author gives us a great deal of auto-biographical insight into her life and her thinking. She relates her own story to her process of storytelling. This is not a “how to” book for writers. This work is not so much about the process of creating a story as it is the process of how she lived her own story and the impact that had upon her work.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helped sharpen my critical thinking skills. There were many points in the book where I disagree with L'Engle's spiritual and Episcopalian perspectives, and I would encourage readers to fact-check with their Bible alongside this book. That being said, L'Engle offers beautiful insight to ideas of story, writing, practical living, physical injury and recovery, and grief. ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must read L’Engle’s nonfiction very slowly for there is much to digest. I rarely agree fully with every point she makes, but I aways find my thinking challenged by her words and take away much that ultimately gives me clarity on matters I had not known needed her help.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just.... Maybe this book has nuggets of wisdom, but I simply could not finish it. It's way too rambly and distracted with so many irrelevant rabbit trails. Plus, some things she said were simply /not true/ in light of the Bible. ...more
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-faith
Madeleine L'Engle has woven together reflections on story, her own experience physical recovery after a car crash, and general principles of life and spirituality. This book reads like a pleasant, well-connected series of essays. ...more
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Madeleine L’Engle ist as brilliant as always. Much of what she has written here, echoes in some of her other works, but the message remains full of truth. She speaks to my soul and I am grateful for her writings.
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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

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