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A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This book, fourth in the Austin family series, is both sombre and thought-provoking in a way that's unusual in teenage fiction. Vicky, who narrates, is almost sixteen. Her grandfather is dying, and she has three very different young men asking her out on dates. She becomes involved in a project related to dolphin communication....

The book is character-based, and beautifully written in my opinion. There's a Christian theme, but no preaching; questions are asked about dying and what happens afterwards, but no 'answers' pushed. The romance theme is quite positive, showing Vicky confident in saying 'no' to pressure from dates to kiss (or more) or to drink alcohol under age. It's seen as a strength that she sticks by her principles, and is aware of her comfort zone.

Very highly recommended to teenagers and adults. All I could feel, when I had finished, was 'Wow!'

I wrote a much longer post about this on my book reviews blog here: http://suesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2018/10/a-ring-of-endless-light-by-madeleine... ( )
  SueinCyprus | Oct 1, 2018 |
Vicky Austin and her family are staying at her grandfather's for the summer, since he has untreatable cancer and not long to live. Added to that, an island inhabitant unexpectedly dies, and Vicky finds three young men vying for her attention.

The Young Unicorns was a bit of a departure in this series, focusing less on Vicky and written in third person during their year in New York. A Ring of Endless Light returns to Vicky's "not quite 16" point of view, including her adolescent struggles with faith and love and growing up. If I had read it years ago, I think I would've taken a harsh view of Vicky's doubts and wondered why on earth she had so much trouble making up her mind about boys. I might not have understood some of the descriptions of her grandfather's decline, either. But as an adult, I find myself understanding why Vicky's not sure she believes in God all the time. I remember being a teenager and not sure if a couple of boys liked me and not sure how to handle it. And a few years ago, I saw my grandmother decline in a similar way where by the end she was less present with the living and knew it was nearly time to go. Really my only complaint is that the ending felt less resolved than I would have liked. ( )
  bell7 | Aug 31, 2016 |
This was the first YA book I ever read when I was in junior high. I found it in my school library. It had a profound impact on me and is still one of my favorites. ( )
  AndromedaStrain | Mar 2, 2016 |
This book had a powerful effect on me as a teenager. L'Engle is a master at writing about adolescence. In this book in particular, she nails a lot of issues—death, teenage confusion, boys—that I was dealing with when I read the book the first few times. I saw myself in this book on so many levels that Vicky might as well have been me. This book will always be special to me. ( )
  AngelClaw | Feb 3, 2016 |
A Ring of Endless Light is a coming of age story about a teenage girl named Vicky Austin. She and her family go to a small island, Seven Bay Island, to spend the summer with her grandfather. During the story, Vicky discovers that her beloved grandfather has cancer and is dying. Watching his deterioration is very difficult.

She also struggles with being the center of attention of 3 very different boys: Zachary Grey, a rich kid struggling with the loss of his mom, Leo Rodney, an old friend that now has romantic feelings for Vicky and seeks her comfort after his father dies from a heart attack suffered while rescuing Zachary from a capsized boat; and Adam Eddington, her brother's best friend that is doing research on dolphins.

While I liked this book, I felt it had a little too much romance and emotional drama and not enough action.

My favorite part of the book was when Vicky figured out that she could telepathically talk to Basil, a dolphin. I wish that more of the book was about this side plot.

Out of the 3 boys vying for Vicky's attention, I liked Adam the best because I liked the way that he treated her and the way that he made her feel. I liked that he was a happy person and was curious about the world.

For me this book highlighted the fact that everyone has a story. Everyone is dealing with something, some hardship. We need to stick together and support one another the best we can to make life bearable. You never really know what someone is going through. ( )
  KendallCH | May 24, 2015 |
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Book description
Watching her grandfather's condition deteriorate as the summer passes on beautiful Seven Bay Island is almost more than Vicky Austin can bear. To complicate things, she finds herself the center of attention for three very different boys: Leo is an old friend longing for romance; wild Zachary is sophisticated but troubled; and Adam, her older brother's friend, offers her a wonderful chance to assist in his experiments with dolphins but treats Vicky as a young girl just when she's ready to feel grown-up.

Why is life so hard when you're a teenager? Vicky wonders. But this summer she discovers that past the darkness of tragedy comes the light of joy.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440972329, Mass Market Paperback)

Vicky Austin is filled with strong feelings as she stands near Commander Rodney's grave while her grandfather, who himself is dying of cancer, recites the funeral service. Watching his condition deteriorate as the summer passes on beautiful Seven Bay Island is almost more than Vicky can bear. To complicate things, she finds herself the center of attention for three very different boys: Leo is an old friend wanting comfort and longing for romance; Zachary, whose attempted suicide inadvertently caused the Commander's death, is attractive and sophisticated but desperately troubled; and Adam, her older brother's friend, offers her a wonderful chance to assist in his experiments with dophins but treats her as a young girl just when she's ready to feel most grown-up.



Called upon to be dependable, stable, and wise, Vicky is exhilarated but often overwhemed. Forces of darkness and light, tragedy and joy, hover about her, and at times she doesn't know whcih will prevail.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

During the summer her grandfather is dying of leukemia and death seems all around, 15-year-old Vicky finds comfort with the pod of dolphins with whom she has been doing research.

» see all 3 descriptions

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