Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book Talk

Yesterday was a very long day as I sat in the Urgent Care waiting room of a VA Hospital in a nearby state for my husband to see doctors and have tests.  We thought he may have damaged a prior surgery but thankfully tests showed he hadn't done anything that required further surgery.  He was sent on his way with a warning to be more careful.  That was a very polite way of telling him to act his age and remember he is no longer twenty-nine.  ;)

I thought we would be there a few hours so I had taken my "purse book" with me and fortunately... should it be longer as it turned out.. an insulin pen and two granola bars.  My "purse books" are those with self contained chapters that makes it possible to pick up and then set aside easily.  Fiction is only tucked in my purse if I'm in the midst of a book I cannot put down so it travels wherever I do.

My current "purse book" is The Irrational Season by Madeleine L'Engle.  I am thoroughly enjoying this book so I'm fairly certain it will eventually move from my purse to the coffee table where it can be given some serious attention. It is the third in her Crosswicks Journal trilogy and I haven't a clue why it has taken so long to read it.

The first book in the trilogy, A Circle of Quiet, was my first introduction to Madeleine L'Engle and a much beloved volume.  It has been read and reread numerous times.  The second in the trilogy, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother has been read through once.  I can already tell that The Irrational Season will have sections reread someday. 

While the first two books in the trilogy were more biographical, this one so far seems to be a more spiritual journal, although the first two do contain a lot about her faith.  I have had some people through the years question my love of L'Engle's writing because she is more "High Church" but I think that is why I love it so much.  I have found nothing unscriptural in her writings, just a different way of seeing...

The other nonfiction book by L'Engle that I have read through a couple of times and reread section of over and over is Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith & Art.  In it, she talks about her life as one who loves God and makes Art as well as encouraging other Christians on the importance of their artistic work.

A favorite quote from this book is, "To paint a picture or to write a story or to compose a song is an incarnational activity.".  Amen sister!  Oh, excuse me... they don't do that in her church. Whispering in her ear a gentle, "I agree!".

As we are talking about one of my favorite authors, I have to admit that I didn't read A Wrinkle in Time until I was middle age.  I thought of it only as a children's book but my daughter kept encouraging me to read it (much in the way she encouraged me to start blogging).  I finally bought the edition that had all four of the "Time Books" when it was on sale and began reading... oh, my.

It was one of the most amazing works of fiction I have ever read, although I do admit to enjoying Science Fiction/Fantasy books.  But I think even those who don't would enjoy A Wrinkle in Time.  I was glad I had bought the Quartet so I could continue reading through them.  She went on to write one or two more in the series before her death.

She talks about writing A Wrinkle in Time in Walking on Water, which was fascinating to read as one who loves that book and who enjoys good writing.  The mother in A Wrinkle in Time is one of my very favorite fictional mothers, too.  

I don't care how old you are, unless you absolutely can't stand SciFi/Fantasy book... you must read A Wrinkle in Time.  You may not want to read the rest of the series, which are very good but I didn't think as absolutely amazing as the first.  If you have a child who needs an interesting book, this one is it.  I'd say a Middle School student who is a good reader should be able to get through this just fine.

Madeleine L'Engle was a prolific writer and her other series of children's books are well beloved, too.  I just haven't read them. 

Further Information*

A Circle of Quiet can be found... here.

The Irrational Season can be found... here.

Walking on Water can be found... here.

A Wrinkle in Time can be found... here.

*Most links to are Associate links.  I thank you.


Anonymous said...

To be honest, I don't think I've given L'Engle a fair trial ... we purchased her WIT set years ago thinking we would use it with our children (home schooling), and my husband and I began reading/skimming to "preview" it first. We found the use of threads the Biblical accounts in Genesis a little bothersome - especially because it so closely resembled truth, but was not truth. We felt that might be confusing to the kids - that we wanted them to be secure in Biblical truth and not (at least at so young an age)confused by stories that resembled it. I wonder if you could speak to this concern. I came to the conclusion that M. L'E. may not have had a true Christian faith after all in that she was willing to take the Bible and "alter" it. I'm not saying that we only choose to read Christian authors - I was just disappointed that I may have been mistaken. I see from your reviews that you may believe otherwise about her true faith. Sorry this comment is long - I would appreciate your thoughts. -Joy

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I've not read 'Wrinkle' yet. I'll put it on my to read list. L'Engle definitely had some different doctrinal believes than me, but I try to focus on areas of agreement when I can. If an author's writings don't teach heresy, I can agree to disagree and enjoy them!

Ian's Girl said...

I read WIT in third grade and had no confusion whatsoever. I understood quite well that it was a story and that it was not the same as the parts of the Bible it referenced, for lack of a better word.

I didn't care for the rest of the series, but I did love WIT.

Vee said...

I gave Wrinkle in Time to one of the grands...can't remember which one hoping that it would be a family read. Some Christians become quite alarmed about Christian allegory. I remember Christian parents having concerns about C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. I would likely enjoy these books you have reviewed.

Rebecca said...

Do you remember the year she was "Writer in Residence" for Victoria Magazine?

Sue said...

She is one of my favorite authors and I think her faith runs deep. But, as with any book, you need to make up your own mind. So glad you are enjoying her writing.

Heather LeFebvre said...

I love that term "purse book"!!!!!!!