Friday, August 21, 2009

Madeleine L'Engle again

As some may already know, Madeleine L'Engle is my all-time favorite writer. (Because I'm sure you're dying of curiosity, some others are Robin McKinley, Sharon Creech, J. K. Rowling, Orson Scott Card, Tolkien, Austen, and often any author I happen to be reading).

Anyway, Ms. L'Engle passed away in the fall of 2007, but I haven't read all of her books yet, so I still get to have new encounters with her. Toward the end of the summer (and to provide a break from an interesting, but long, book about Australia), I started The Other Side of the Sun, which I found at a used bookstore sometime in the last 3 years.

I always find it interesting to see how Madeleine L'Engle's books fit together. Even though there are defined series (The Time Quartet/Quintet, the Austin family), even her stand-alone books often fit in with other books she had written. Several characters (Zachary Gray, Adam Eddington, Polly O'Keefe) appear in different storylines, and it seems like almost all of her books have a similar feel to them. L'Engle always recognizes the presence of evil in the world, but affirms the greater presence of good. Many of her characters are much too innocent for the "real world" (although, having found myself being embarrassingly naive many times during my life, I find them real), but she creates situations that include all the nasty messiness of reality.

The Other Side of the Sun takes place on the southeast coast of the U.S. (something of a departure from her frequent New England settings), and it's not a contemporary novel--it takes place in 1910. Still, it has the same feel as the other books I've read and loved, and some of the characters are delightfully quirky. One thing I'll be interested in is seeing how L'Engle handles the issues of race and racism, which are prominent in the book.

I'll post my review once I've finished!


Astra Libris said...

YAY for Madeleine L'Engle!! She will always, always, be one of my all-time favorites... I love The Other Side of the Sun - I'm so looking forward to your review, and hearing your thoughts about the book!

Libby said...

Thanks, Astra! I'm currently trying to push through with the Australia book (saving the ML'E as a treat for when I'm done), but I'll be sure to come back to it ASAP. What are your favorites of hers?