Books by Madeleine L'Engle

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Oct. 2, 2012

"Larson's admiration and respect for the original text shines through; this is an adaptation done right. (Graphic fantasy. 9-14)"
A faithfully adapted graphic novel of the beloved 1962 classic, just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Read full book review >
THE JOYS OF LOVE by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: May 9, 2008

"A joy indeed. (Fiction. YA)"
Determined to be an actress, 20-year-old Elizabeth apprentices with a summer-stock company, where over one pivotal weekend she learns about acting, friendship, betrayal and determination. Read full book review >
THE OTHER DOG by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: March 1, 2001

"Touché indeed. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Consequences attendant upon the arrival of a new member of the household, told from the perspective of a superior poodle, from the usually more sedate Newbery winner. Read full book review >
A LIVE COAL IN THE SEA by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: May 1, 1996

"A fast-paced story that, though weighted with the usual L'Engle explorations of faith and science, seems ultimately thin and contrived."
Explosive family secrets are defused by love, wisdom, and a foreshadowed revelation, in this latest intricately plotted adult novel by L'Engle (Certain Women, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
TROUBLING A STAR by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"L'Engle is a master. (Fiction. 12+)"
From Madeleine L'Engle, Newbery medalist and author of the beloved classic, A Wrinkle in Time, comes this sensitive, well-written story of a young girl who unwittingly becomes involved in high-risk political and ecological intrigue, set against the starkly beautiful background of Antarctica. Read full book review >
CERTAIN WOMEN by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"A memorable work."
In her latest foray into adult fiction (after A Severed Wasp, 1983, etc.), veteran author L'Engle recounts—with characteristic lucidity and wisdom—the tale of a dying actor paying tribute to the eight wives and eleven children he has loved. Read full book review >
AN ACCEPTABLE TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Nov. 15, 1989

"But her storytelling skill (a blend of practiced writing and theological roving) will carry even nonbelievers along while—in her attempt to reconcile pagan with Christian belief—the notion that Christ existed long before the historical Jesus is superbly debated."
Polly O'Keefe, back for another adventure, is called into the prehistory of the druids. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 24, 1988

"Those who treasure Lael Wertenbaker's classic Death of a Man or, more recently, Gerda Lerner's A Death of One's Own will find that L'Engle travels through some of the same interior landscapes; her familiar spiritual leanings—at one point, she considers exorcism—may appeal to others: and her memories of her and Hugh's early years together with friends like Jean and Walter Kerr add to the outreach."
L'Engle begins this sustaining memoir with scences from her own unorthodox childhood, then contrasts them with the standard heartland variety husband Hugh Franklin enjoyed, but what occupies center stage here are his intense, progressive bout with bladder cancer and their flinty responses and pained accommodatings until his death last year. Read full book review >
MANY WATERS by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Sept. 1, 1986

"A carefully wrought fable, entwining disparate elements from unicorns to particle physics, this will be enjoyed for its suspense and humor as well as its other levels of meaning."
Sandy and Dennys, twins and middle children in the Newbery-winning A Wrinkle in Time, are transported to the time just before the Flood. Read full book review >
A HOUSE LIKE A LOTUS by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Nov. 12, 1984

"L'Engle attempts a lot here and accomplishes much of it, but readers may well jump ship before Polly heads for home."
An intricate, ultimately overdrawn story about sixteen-year-old Polly O'Keefe and her coming of age. Read full book review >
THE SPHINX AT DAWN by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: July 1, 1982

"He is, however, an ordinary boy who claims friendship with a unicorn—a touch that says more about L'Engle's scheme of things than Christ's."
"It is yours, my son," says the father, referring to the gold, the jeweled boxes of incense, and the oil in crystal bottles—which, says the father, three wise men left for the boy Jehoshua when Yos was a baby. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1982

"With bland characters, all speaking in the same liturgical-paced cadences: an immense but serenely soaring mess—no livelier or crisper than L'Engle's last foray into adult fiction, The Other Side of the Sun."
Bother in the Cathedral—enervating bother—as veteran juvenile author L'Engle frogmarches her 70-ish protagonist through a talkathon of troubles and a marathon of acquaintanceships with bishops, deans, nuns, and others at an Episcopal church in upper Manhattan. Read full book review >
A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: May 1, 1980

"There is an irritating air of self-satisfaction to L'Engle's view of Vicky's deep concerns—and to her picture of the family, whose literate quotes but commonplace thoughts seem cast as examples of superior wisdom and compassion."
Grandfather quotes Teresa of Avila and Henry Vaughn (thus the title). Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1978

"Meg's role is even more passive and less engaging, as she alternates between wringing her hands in the family kitchen and stroking a strange dog on her attic bed while fretfully following Charles Wallace's adventures in her 'kything' mind."
L'Engle's irksomely superior Murry family reassembles here for Thanksgiving dinner, about ten years after Meg and Charles Wallace braved the Wrinkle in Time to rescue their scientist father from malevolent cosmic forces. Read full book review >
DRAGONS IN THE WATERS by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: April 15, 1976

"Deduct ten points at the beginning for self-importance and enjoy the rest for a lark."
The O'Keefe family from Arm of the Starfish (1965) are on hand to join Simon Bolivar Renier and his spooky Cousin Phair on a freighter voyage from Savannah to Venezuela which looks at the outset a bit like L'Engle's version of Ship of Fools. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1976

"For readers who'd tire of the repeated image 'nightside and sunside' (intuition and intellect), who couldn't thrill to 'daisies and dynasties, starfish and stars' or keep anguishing over 'slums and battlefields and insane asylums,' suffocation warnings are posted."
To those who, for starters, don't mind the notion of a book that tapped its author on the shoulder and said "Write me," this highly personal walk through the Christian year might be uplifting. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 20, 1974

"She's dealing, after all, with that unconditional fact of life which faces us all sooner or later."
Great-Grandmother is or rather was Madeleine L'Engle's mother and this is the summer of her 90th birthday and her "swift descent" before she died although she had already lost so much — her memory, her physical and emotional faculties, herself — everything except her ousia defined here as the essence of being. Mrs. L'Engle admittedly advances her new old word as enthusiastically and repeatedly as she did "ontology" in her last book — A Circle of Quiet. Read full book review >
A WIND IN THE DOOR by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: May 7, 1973

"Unfortunately, Meg learns to love the universe with unconvincing ease, and L'Engle seems to be straining unusually hard to relate what's wrong with America to the double-talk phenomenon of mitochondria and farandolae."
"It's not right in the United States of America that a little kid shouldn't be safe in school," but after hearing a sample of Meg and Charles Wallace Murry's conversation ("Do you suppose I'll ever be a double Ph.D. like you, Mother?") we suspect that their peers' dislike of them may be based on more than brute anti-intellectualism. Read full book review >
A CIRCLE OF QUIET by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Feb. 8, 1971

"These are all immanent qualities to be cultivated particularly when so threatened in the world outside her circle of quiet, but serenity comes hard in this ambit of ever 'joyful' beatification."
My special place is a small brook in a green glade, a circle of quiet from which there is no visible sign of human beings." Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 6, 1970

"Many questions indeed and certainly too much talk, 'drenched' in the 'gentle wavelets' of Miss L'Engle's prose — the kind of prose which Waugh called 'rich in evocative description, gluttonous writing."
. . . there be too many questions. Read full book review >
DANCE IN THE DESERT by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: April 1, 1969

"What may seem florid (in the illustrations) and sticky (in the story) to some is, if taken in the spirit in which it was meant, a fervent testimonial."
"The dragons and the owls honor him because he gives waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, and drink to his people." Read full book review >
Released: May 15, 1968

"Miss L'Engle envelops these melodramatics in church music and theological speculations; she also writes with an insinuating slickness: the insupportable is readable."
The Austins, well-met once, have become increasingly cloying in succeeding books, and Miss L'Engle's philosophic concerns, which gave urgency to A Wrinkle in Time, have begun to seem pretentious, their expression sententious. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 1967

"This can be staged (and has been) but it makes intriguing reading also for the receptive young person."
The reluctant prophet comes full circle with the aid of various percipient animals in Mrs. L'Engle's verse-drama, offering an unusual entree into biblical themes. Read full book review >
CAMILLA by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: Sept. 15, 1965

"An earnest, not entirely successful effort, but one that merits selection attention."
As in her other books, the author has incorporated in her characters a deep concern for matters of the conscience—life and death, God, war, responsibility, love, family relationships. Read full book review >
THE ARM OF THE STARFISH by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: March 7, 1965

"The author wrote the prizewinning A Wrinkle in Time."
Taking sides (right vs. wrong) and teaming up provides both the suspense and the philosophical tug-of-war in this imaginative story of a 16 year old high school graduate who unwittingly becomes involved in international intrigue. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 1963

"Young girls who are willing to traipse from one park to another on a nearly eventless journey, will enjoy this last bit of excitement, but it is a long, tedious jaunt."
In this sequel to Meet The Austins (1960, p. 683, J-259), fourteen-year-old Vicky, a babe-in-the-woods, dragging adolescence self-consciously behind, confronts the traumas of growing up. Read full book review >
A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: March 9, 1962

"Readers who relish symbolic reference may find this trip through time and space an exhilarating experience; the rest will be forced to ponder the double entendres."
An allegorical fantasy in which a group of young people are guided through the universe by Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. What — women who possess supernatural powers. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 17, 1960

"A convincing and attractive picture of a family faced with real and important issues."
A twelve-year-old girl tells the story of a season with her large family, her resourceful mother and her country doctor father. Read full book review >
A WINTER'S LOVE by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: May 29, 1957

"The Rose Franken audience should be just about right."
..... intrudes on a marriage, during a rather disconsolate time when professor Courtney Bowen- having been cased out of his job-takes his wife Emily and his two daughters for a year in the Haute Savoie. Read full book review >
AND BOTH WERE YOUNG by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: May 10, 1949

"To many girls the setting will be fascinating — and the boarding school background is usually a popular one (only too hard to find today)."
A Swiss boarding school story with an authentic ring, and the heroine an American girl, thrust into the school unwillingly, and learning to love it. Read full book review >
ILSA by Madeleine L'Engle
Released: March 4, 1946

"There is considerable charm here, an effectiveness compounded of subtlety and indirection, giving this a very definite appeal for discerning readers."
Dominated by an all pervasive, if tenuous, atmosphere, this is a study in place and personality, a still life of the south in all its inertia and its persistence for the past, and of Ilsa, whose elusive charm and casual non-conformity was to impress all those around her. Read full book review >

"This too assumes an act of faith."
The Love Letters in the sands of time, the 17th century, were written by a nun, Soror Mariana, in a small Portuguese village to a soldier with whom she fell in love. Read full book review >

"Well done."
There is considerable charm in this not important but refreshing story of Katherine Forrester, musician in the making, of the conflicts between her personal and budding professional life, and of the few who successively become the focus of her emotional life. Read full book review >