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And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle
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And Both Were Young (1949)

by Madeleine L'Engle

Other authors: Ann Marie Lee (Narrator)

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6612021,410 (3.89)26
  1. 00
    The Small Rain by Madeleine L'Engle (elenashek)
    elenashek: Both books are very similar in tone and plot. That is not to say if you've read the one, you've read the other. Rather, L'engle, as a character writer layers meaning on top of meaning with the stories of these two girls. L'engle writes with such feeling on adolescence and its accompanying loneliness and pain. Small triumphs are huge at that age and L'engle is a master at capturing those meaningful rites of passage.… (more)
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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This book, written in 1949, while the effects of WWII were still fresh, has it all for the middle school reader: Swiss boarding school, some drama, and a little romance. Flip (Philippa) Hunter reluctantly enrolls at a Swiss boarding school at the recommendation of a woman whom she insists "lusts after" her itinerant artist father. Not surprisingly, relationships of all kinds (friendly, romantic, filial) develop as Flip comes to know her surroundings, her peers and herself better. The story is a well-told treat.

However, because it was written so long ago, the content is tame by today's standards--Flip's mother died a year ago, which is tragic, but we are not enjoined to relive the gory details of the accident. Flip's sneaking out to meet the mysterious boy entail skiing forays & hot cocoa by the lodge fire for a relationship is one of fondness and friendship. The boarding school is strict but not inhumane, populated by girls who, while they can be catty initially, are human and not merciless bullies.

Here is the description of Flip's first flush of love: "And he wants to see me again! she thought exultantly. He's not frightening the way I always thought being alone with a boy would be. It was just like talking to anyone, only nicer, and he wants to see me again!" (p. 87)

All of this is to say that "And Both Were Young" is a pleasure, exciting without being lurid or titillating, and just the dreamy read lots of kids are after. Find the 2010 Farrar Straus & Giroux edition with the sweet cover to match. ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
This book, written in 1949, while the effects of WWII were still fresh, has it all for the middle school reader: Swiss boarding school, some drama, and a little romance. Flip (Philippa) Hunter reluctantly enrolls at a Swiss boarding school at the recommendation of a woman whom she insists "lusts after" her itinerant artist father. Not surprisingly, relationships of all kinds (friendly, romantic, filial) develop as Flip comes to know her surroundings, her peers and herself better. The story is a well-told treat.

However, because it was written so long ago, the content is tame by today's standards--Flip's mother died a year ago, which is tragic, but we are not enjoined to relive the gory details of the accident. Flip's sneaking out to meet the mysterious boy entail skiing forays & hot cocoa by the lodge fire for a relationship is one of fondness and friendship. The boarding school is strict but not inhumane, populated by girls who, while they can be catty initially, are human and not merciless bullies.

Here is the description of Flip's first flush of love: "And he wants to see me again! she thought exultantly. He's not frightening the way I always thought being alone with a boy would be. It was just like talking to anyone, only nicer, and he wants to see me again!" (p. 87)

All of this is to say that "And Both Were Young" is a pleasure, exciting without being lurid or titillating, and just the dreamy read lots of kids are after. Find the 2010 Farrar Straus & Giroux edition with the sweet cover to match. ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
I've been doing a L'Engle read for the last year or so & decided to read this standalone in connection with a genre reading challenge - February is romance month. I previously read this book back when I was in junior high/early high school. It was originally published in 1949, which makes it one of her very early novels (it appears this was 3rd), and I probably read it around 1978.

It is quite dated, but that doesn't mean it isn't also enjoyable. It is set in a Swiss boarding school, which was one of the things that fascinated me when I read it as a public school student growing up in Boise, Idaho. A Swiss boarding school seemed like one of the most exotic, interesting things ever and I frankly envied Philippa for what I perceived as a wonderful opportunity.

This time around, I enjoyed the fact that Flip was obviously an introvert, and I was interested in how L'Engle approached her introversion. Being an introvert in a boarding school would be tough - it's not a place where solitude is easily accessed. Being an introvert myself, I felt for Flip and understood her hunger to spend time alone, and didn't like the way the various characters approached her need for quiet. No one really seemed to understand, much less respect, the fact that a young woman might need to spend time alone to recharge her batteries. This rings really true, even today. Flip didn't always handle herself well, but her peers also really didn't understand her, and they seemed to expect that she would change to suit their expectations, rather than suiting their expectations to her character, which was frustrating.

The romance is extremely chaste, with some mild kissing between Flip and Paul. I also grew up skiing, which might have been another reason that this book made such an impression on me as a young woman, since a ski meet represented a major plot point in the book.

There is apparently an updated edition of the book which restored some of L'Engle's original manuscript which had been cut by her publishers because it either referenced death or was "sexually suggestive." Set in Europe in 1946, many of the various characters are dealing with the aftermath of WWII and the Jewish genocide. More than one character has family that was murdered in the concentration camps. It is sort of astonishing to me that, given the time and the subject matter, it was considered appropriate to sanitize that topic. And, having read it, I can't actually imagine how the words "sexually suggestive" could've been applied to this book. All of the adult characters appear to be celibate, and Paul and Flip share a couple of kisses.

I don't think it has worn quite as well as some of L'Engle's other work, but I still enjoyed it. Philippa Hunter apparently makes a cameo appearance in one of the later works, [b:A Severed Wasp|2816|A Severed Wasp|Madeleine L'Engle|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1438987884s/2816.jpg|2268193], published in 1983. ( )
2 vote moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
The author's foreword explains that when the book was originally published the world was not as comfortable talking about death and sex with young people. This 1983 version restores the story to what she originally wrote; she has not made any changes to reflect her own growth as a writer and person. She concludes the foreword by noting that the main character becomes a successful artist: one of her portraits is important in another of Ms. L'Engle's books.
While the book deals with important topics, some very personal and some about global events (World War II), its happy ending feels too much like wish fulfillment. Especially the lovely quote by a teacher who not only admits that she misjudged the heroine but also tells her that she is happy that she was wrong. ( )
  raizel | Nov 27, 2016 |
Narrated by Ann Marie Lee. As the new girl at a French boarding school, shy, awkward, unremarkable Filippa finds it difficult to fit in among the more seemingly poised and glamorous girls. She eventually finds comfort and selfl-confidence through her blossoming romance with Paul, a boy with a tragic past, and through the support of Madame Percy, a friendly art teacher at the school. Narrator Lee expresses Filippa's loneliness and shy manner, and her careful pacing suits this quiet story. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeleine L'Engleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lee, Ann MarieNarratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill...
And both were young - and one was beautiful.
--The Dream, Canto II
Lord Byron
Dedication
To Jo
First words
"Where are you going, Philippa?" Mrs. Jackman asked sharply as Flip turned away from the group of tourists standing about in the cold hall of the Chateau of Chillon
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440902290, Paperback)

Flip doesn't think shell ever fit in at the Swiss boarding school.  Besides being homesick for her father and Connecticut, she isn't sophisticated like the other girls, and discussions about boys leave her tongue-tied.  Her happiest times are spent apart from the others, sketching or wandering in the mountains.



But the day she's out walking alone and meets a French boy, Paul, things change for Flip.  As their relationship grows, so does her self-confidence.  Despite her newfound happiness, there are times when Paul seems a stranger to her.  And since dating is forbidden except to seniors, their romance must remain a secret.  With so many new feelings and obstacles to overcome in her present, can Flip help Paul to confront his troubled past and find a future?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Philippa is miserable at an all girls' boarding school in Switzerland until she forms a supportive friendship with the mysterious Paul.

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