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And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle

And Both Were Young (1949)

by Madeleine L'Engle

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5701317,442 (3.83)23
  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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I picked this audio book up at a library sale to listen to while I sew. Not a normal choice for me but an entertaining story that kept my attention for the 2 days I spent in my sewing room. I had no prior knowledge of Madeleine L'Engle and did not know what to expect but since I have been choosing books that were written at least 30 years ago I have been founding them an enjoyable experience. ( )
  theeccentriclady | Apr 4, 2015 |
And Both Were Young is the tale of Philippa, a rather unhappy girl whose mother died tragically in a car accident a year earlier and whose father is being perused (in Philippa's mind at least) by Mrs. Jackman, who would really like Philippa out of the way. The result is that Philippa is sent to a Swiss boarding school while her father travels to work on illustrations for a book (he's an artist). She immediately finds herself out of her depth and having no tolerance for the teasing of her schoolmates, self-ostracizes herself. Her only joy is her illegal friendship of Paul, a French boy who is living nearby with his father. But gradually, with a little luck and a few shoves from a favorite teacher, she comes into her own to find her place at school and in the process finds herself as well.

This is one of my favorite novels. For whatever reason, it always leaves me feeling warm and happy inside. Originally published in a rather bowdlerized version in 1949, it was rewritten and republished in a form closer to the original manuscript in 1983. The novel is set in the late 1940s, so there are lots of interesting references to life in postwar Europe. Highly recommended who loves a good story, boarding school fiction, or Madeleine L'Engle. ( )
1 vote inge87 | Oct 7, 2014 |
I enjoyed this story as an audiobook and quickly fell in love with both the character and the reader. According to the introduction to this book by Ms. L'Engle's granddaughter, this later published version more closely follows the original manuscript, which was thought when initially published, to deal with ideas too adult for the times. By today's measures, it is quite tame. It was a joy to read a coming of age story with strong characters, and a romance built on a real friendship rather than sort of conjured out of thin air as so many young adult stories seem to do lately.
Flip, our main character, isn't the most likeable girl when the story opens. She is rather lost; her mother recently died and her artist father has chosen to install her in a Swiss boarding school while he travels for his latest project. At first, Flip is sullen and withdrawn. She is an awkward girl who has difficulty in communicating with her peers and making friends. Despite these character flaws, the reader is drawn to her, perhaps feeling sorry for the motherless child. As the story unfolds we are treated to real character growth, a great set of supporting (and supportive) characters, and a lovely sense of contentment as Flip finds her place in the world. I would recommend this to readers of any age. ( )
  amielisa | Jul 16, 2013 |
It was so innocent. The dialogue between Flip and Paul felt like they were 12 year olds not 17. Of course, this book was originally written in the 1950's. This would be a good book to recommend to a young teenager. The romance was not all that convincing -- they interacted more like good friends than two people attracted toward each other. ( )
  noahsmae | Nov 23, 2010 |
This was apparently quite daring when it was originally published in the 1940s, so much that it had to be bowdlerized. But it seems awfully tame to me. I read the original (non-bowdlerized) version and find myself wondering just what they felt they needed to cut out. The whole "mysterious stranger lurking around" subplot seemed pretty truncated to me.

Nevertheless, this was a good book. It does a good job portraying the claustrophobic, almost incestuous boarding school atmosphere (I would have HATED it) and it's also interesting to see Philippa mature from a painfully shy, sulky and rather whiny girl to a stronger, more independent and mature person as the months go on. And all the topical stuff of the post-war period was well integrated into the story. ( )
  meggyweg | Oct 19, 2010 |
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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
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:22 -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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