Read Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage by Madeleine L'Engle Free Online
Book Title: Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage|
ISBN 13: 9780374280208
The author of the book: Madeleine L'Engle
Edition: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of issue: October 1st 1988
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.56 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.1
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Such a beautiful (largely fictional) recollection of the L'Engle-Franklin marriage with wonderful nuggets of marriage-related wisdom to pass along:
* "I learned fairly early in my marriage that I did not have to confide everything on my mind to my husband; this would be putting on him burdens which I was supposed to carry myself." (73)
* "A long-term marriage has to move beyond chemistry to compatibility to friendship, to companionship. It is certainly not that passion disappears, but that it is conjoined with other ways of love." (76)
* "The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys. I suspect that in every good marriage there are times when love seems to be over. Sometimes these desert lines are simply the only way to the next oasis, which is far more lush and beautiful after the desert crossing than it could possibly have been without it." (100)
* "When I married I opened myself to the possibility of great joy and great pain and I have known both. Hugh's death is like an amputation. But would I be willing to protect myself by having rejected marriage? By having rejected love? No. I wouldn't have missed a minute of it, not any of it." (231)
I have long been a fan of L'Engle's work, and even years after last reading one of her books, I noticed little parts of her own history that she wove throughout her fiction works.
* Canon Tallis (of The Young Unicorns, among others) was a real person and a good friend of her family.
* L'Engle and Franklin took their family on a cross-country camping trip, like the Austins also did in The Moon by Night.
* Adopting a friend's orphaned daughter is a central plotline of Meet the Austins.
* Moving from a country village to New York City is a focus of The Young Unicorns.
* As a girl, L'Engle attended a European boarding school, like Flip in And Both Were Young (which may be my favorite L'Engle book of all).
* The emphasis on swimming was echoed in An Acceptable Time.
* While mentioned only in passing, L'Engle's love of traveling on freighters became the principle setting for Dragons in the Waters (tied for second on my list of favorite L'Engle books--it's tied with Troubling a Star).
* Oh, kything. I never quite believed in this as much as some other fantastical aspects of L'Engle's work, but she does, which I suppose has to be enough for me. A Wind in the Door uses kything as a means of 'love communication.'
* Echthroi, like kything, is a concept I never fully grasped, but the idea pops up in A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet--two books I never quite liked as a child, but they may be due for some adult rereading.
* As I was reading through this, I saw parallels between Hugh's decline and that of the grandfather in A Ring of Endless Light, but I'm not sure the timeline matches up.
On the topic of religion, L'Engle adds a cutting remark, highly applicable for today: "But to certain Christians it is un-Christian to affirm the dignity and worth of human beings." (145)
And finally, some very good rules to live by: "When Lena [teenage granddaughter] moved in, Hugh said, 'There will be rules.' Lena blanched. I said firmly, 'The rules are these. You do not drink up your grandfather's grapefruit juice so that he has none in the morning. Rule two is that when you are going to be late, you telephone. Those are the rules.' She thought she could live with those. Later I added a third one: 'When you empty an ice tray, you refill it.'" (97)
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Read information about the authorMadeleine L'Engle was an American writer best known for her young adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science: tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regeneration in The Arm of the Starfish, and so forth.
"Madeleine was born on November 29th, 1918, and spent her formative years in New York City. Instead of her school work, she found that she would much rather be writing stories, poems and journals for herself, which was reflected in her grades (not the best). However, she was not discouraged.
At age 12, she moved to the French Alps with her parents and went to an English boarding school where, thankfully, her passion for writing continued to grow. She flourished during her high school years back in the United States at Ashley Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, vacationing with her mother in a rambling old beach cottage on a beautiful stretch of Florida beach.
She went to Smith College and studied English with some wonderful teachers as she read the classics and continued her own creative writing. She graduated with honors and moved into a Greenwich Village apartment in New York. She worked in the theater, where Equity union pay and a flexible schedule afforded her the time to write! She published her first two novels during these years—A Small Rain and Ilsa—before meeting Hugh Franklin, her future husband, when she was an understudy in Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. They married during The Joyous Season.
She had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to Connecticut to raise the family away from the city in a small dairy farm village with more cows than people. They bought a dead general store, and brought it to life for 9 years. They moved back to the city with three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career. The family has kept the country house, Crosswicks, and continues to spend summers there.
As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they to enjoy each other and life. Madeleine began her association with the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where she has been the librarian and maintained an office for more than thirty years. After Hugh's death in 1986, it was her writing and lecturing that kept her going. She has now lived through the 20th century and into the 21st and has written over 60 books and keeps writing. She enjoys being with her friends, her children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren."
Copyright © 2007 Crosswicks, Ltd. (Madeleine L'Engle, President)
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