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Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (The Crosswicks Journal, Book… (edition 1989)

by Madeleine L'Engle

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Member:TimBazzett
Title:Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 4)
Authors:Madeleine L'Engle
Info:HarperOne (1989), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:memoir, journal, death and dying, marriage, child-rearing, writing, madeleine l'engle

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Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage by Madeleine L'Engle

(4) 2007 (3) autobiography (44) biography (38) biography/memoir (4) Christian (8) Christianity (5) death (10) essays (5) family (6) fiction (12) grief (8) history (3) journal (8) L'Engle (14) love (4) Madeleine L'Engle (7) marriage (70) memoir (110) NF (3) non-fiction (61) own (5) read (14) relationships (6) religion (12) spirituality (14) Theology (3) to-read (9) unread (7) women (5)
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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
i liked this. i could see a writer writing this for comfort. ( )
  mahallett | Jan 14, 2014 |
As a confirmed atheist, I find it odd to say that I found this book intensely spiritual; but, that is the truth. It was easy to identify with L'Engle's joy and subsequent loss - and the strength she had in letting go reminds me of the death of my grandfather, when at the end I just wanted him to have peace.

A powerful book. ( )
  ratastrophe | Nov 3, 2013 |
TWO-PART INVENTION: THE STORY OF A MARRIAGE is only the second L'Engle book I have read. Regrettably, I didn't like this one much more than I did the other Crosswicks journal. A very touchy and difficult subject, death and dying, so I hesitate to say much about L'Engle's documentation of that of her husband, Hugh Franklin, who died of complications from bladder cancer. The book itself, however, seemed formless, meandering and redundant, as L'Engle tried to tell the story of their rather unconventional forty-year marriage even as she still struggled with the enormity of her loss.

A tough subject to tackle, no matter who is telling the story. I felt deep sympathy for L'Engle, but wondered if she should have published this book at all. Anne Roiphe's EPILOGUE or Joyce Carol Oates's A WIDOW'S STORY were both, I think, better-written books on the same subject. ( )
  TimBazzett | Jan 5, 2013 |
On the surface, this book covers a lot of the same ground as "The Year of Magical Thinking" -- a wife looks back on her long-lived marriage when she's faced with the death of her husband. Like TYOMT, it even contains a lot of "name-dropping," mainly from within the theater world but also within the literary one, although most of the references in both books were totally lost on me.

Still, this book was infinitely more moving to me, probably because Madeleine L'Engle maintains a certain humility through it all, whereas Joan Didion's tone came across as self-important. There's a "down-to-earthness" about Madeleine that makes her story very relateable -- yes, she was married to a man who became a quite recognized actor, and yes her book became a classic of science fiction and children's literature, but she talks very little about those aspects of their lives. Instead, she dwells on the hardest times, the times that forged the marriage most of all--the times when there was no money, when their work kept them apart for weeks or months at a time, when they weren't sure where they belonged, when Madeleine suffered years of rejections on her writing and the loss of confidence that comes with it. Although at times it felt like she romanticized or aggrandized her marriage, for the most part it felt real, complete with times of admitted anger, loneliness, and alienation. Much of the book was actually written the summer Hugh was dying, since at that time Madeleine had trouble focusing on writing fiction (the same thing happens to me when I'm going through a big transition). So the book has a certain immediacy and intimacy that might have been lost otherwise, and its in these regards that the book really shines. Beyond just being a memoir of marriage, it's also a reflection on faith, and I have a deep admiration for Madeleine L'Engle's spiritual beliefs, and knowing that that which she illustrates in her fiction she also lived in her life.

This wasn't a perfect book; I never felt like I got a really good grasp on what Hugh was like as a person, and I thought the opening section was more drawn out than it needed to be. Still, it's worth sticking with this one -- as long as you have plenty of tissues nearby as you draw toward the end. ( )
  sedeara | Jul 4, 2012 |
This book captures my attention more so than most modern day novels. I find myself so uninterested in great portions of today's literature; so it's always refreshing to find something that satisfies. I'm reluctant to comment on L'Engle's writings, for my comment's will be inadequate in revealing the impact of her writings.

I like her writing style. It wanders, much like the mind does at time. Yet she still ties it together, so one doesn't feel they are reading a bunch of random thoughts.

The last quarter of the book was painful, and rightfully so. It dealt with the dying of her husband, and the hope he wasn't really dying. She exposed some of the invasiveness of medical technology even at that time. It caused me to wonder "do we really know what normal dying looks like anymore? (if there is such a thing)" You know much as we consider, "do we really know what normal aging looks like anymore?"

I like her books and need to keep reading them. ( )
  Motherofthree | Mar 7, 2011 |
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Crosswicks is a typical New England farmhouse, built sometime in the middle of the eighteenth century, so it is well over two hundred years old.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062505017, Paperback)

The story of a marriage of true minds and spirits--a brilliant writer's tribute to lasting love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Those who have enjoyed L'Engle's fiction or who have followed her husband Hugh Franklin's character of Dr. Charles Tyler on All My Children should enjoy reading about their real - life marriage"--Amazon.com.

(summary from another edition)

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