The Joys of Love by Madeleine L’Engle
Short Review: This sweet story of romance and self-discovery is lovely. We join twenty-year-old Elizabeth’s for week of working in a summer theater in 1946. Beautifully read – a nice story for a dreamy afternoon.
Long Review: Madeleine L’Engle wrote this story long before her great success with the Wrinkle in Time series. Published posthumously, this story is semi-autobiographical. She too spent time working in summer theater in the 1940s. The introduction by her granddaughter explains how L’Engle let she and her sister have the manuscript of The Joys of Love to read. Years later, now we all have the chance to share the story.
I love the way this is read. Reed strikes a nice balance between the voice she uses for the narration and the voices she creates for various characters. The portions of the book which are passages from plays are especially nicer to hear than I think they would have been to read.
Geared towards a young adult audience, I still found it charming. If you are a Madeleine L’Engle fan, this book will give you a glimpse of another facet of her life. Before this book, I had no idea that she had been involved in theater and acting. I am not sure why, but getting this sort of private glimpse into the life of someone whose stories colored my childhood was really special. It is not a complicated story, but the characters ring true and the story stayed with me long after the last CD ended.