Sunday, January 15, 2012


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Camilla, Madeleine L'Engle, Simon and Schuster, 1951, 278 pp


This was my least liked book by Madeleine L'Engle. She began writing romances suitable for a young adult audience and Camilla is one of those; another tale about a teenage girl having trouble with her parents. Camilla lives with these parents in an apartment in New York City. She loves them both though her father is a distant, undemonstrative sort and her mother is childlike.

When Camilla discovers her mother kissing another man right in their living room, she falls into confusion. She has to learn that her parents are people too who have their own troubles and are not perfect. Her best friend and an older boy help her through and she comes out older, sadder, and wiser.

The weaknesses here are a slow moving plot and a bit of a preachy tone about what is important in life. I had not found those weaknesses in any of L'Engle's other early novels.

In any case, I have now read most of those early novels. When I get to 1960 in My Big Fat Reading Project, I will be reading the books that made her famous, beginning with A Wrinkle in Time.

(Camilla is available in paperback, audio and eBook by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore. To find it in your nearest indie store, click on the cover image above.)

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