ILSA by Madeleine L'Engle
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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. The story is told by Henry Percher, a younger cousin, Henry who was to be in love with Ilsa from childhood on, who was to serve as an audience- an accessory, and witnessed her unhappy marriage to Monty, another cousin, the passing love affair with Franz Werner, second rate actor, Monty's death- on bootleg liquor, Ilsa's blindness- to which she does not compromise her independence, and the passing of the years as, without intent, she pulls Brand- her daughter, and Henry, into nonexistence with her. There is considerable charm here, an effectiveness compounded of subtlety and indirection, giving this a very definite appeal for discerning readers.
Pub Date: March 4th, 1946
Publisher: Vanguard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1946


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