LOVE LETTERS by Madeleine L'Engle

LOVE LETTERS

KIRKUS REVIEW

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. She became a lingering legend and now the letters are re-read, re-interpreted by Charlotte Napier, a refugee from her husband, Patrick, following the death of their child and his comfortless response. Charlotte has come here in order to find his mother, Violet, always "her point of reference." This is the story which emerges slowly, gravely, like a contrapuntal chorale. There is a certain parallelism in her own life with that of Soror Mariana (they had demanding, dependent fathers: Charlotte had an innocent convent schooling): and they both assume the supplicant's stance, questioning, searching, resolving that "love is an act of commitment." There is a great deal of vaporous sentiment--"Love must be enfleshed": querulous questions-- "Why does the joy of love contain so much sadness?", anguished answers "Without the sadness there is no joy." The audience is one which will have to be attuned. This too assumes an act of faith.
ISBN: 0877885281
Page count: 302pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1966




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