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Troubling a Star by Madeleine L'Engle
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
For better or for worse, I really loved this book as a young girl and can't tell you how many times I read it. I loved the descriptions of how blue icebergs are, I liked all the Shakespeare references because that was what I pretentiously wanted my life to be, I liked the Dorian beauty of the man you are obviously not supposed to trust, and I was such a romantic at that age that I made the love story aspects of it into more than it even was. I can't explain what else about this book enraptured me so much, but part of it was likely the boatful of intellectuals and the fact that I thought my own adventure story and distant travels were near at hand. (Spoiler: they weren't.) ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Very engrossing. Mystery, danger, shoot-outs, romance... ( )
  TrgLlyLibrarian | Feb 1, 2015 |
Troubling a Star by Madeleine L'Engle is the last book in the Austin Family series. In this story Vicky Austin is granted a very generous gift from a friend of the family to take a trip to Antarctica. Vicky is very excited about this trip until she receives some anonymous warnings from someone who would prefer her to not go on the trip. She disregards the warnings and goes on the trip anyway and finds herself in the middle of an international conspiracy and her life is put in danger by those who think she knows more than she actually does. This was an ok read, but it was a bit tedious in places. I think I actually enjoyed the descriptions of scenery and the characters interactions with the wildlife than I did the actual plot of the story. One thing I didn't like that much was the use of a flash forward scene at the beginning of each chapter. In general this is a literary device that I don't enjoy and find that it just makes the story harder to follow.

I don't think it's strictly necessary to read any of the other books in the series before reading this book, but I would recommend reading the rest of the series first, plus The Arm of the Starfish, if you'd like some background information on the characters and previous events in their lives. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of The Austin Family series or of the author, but I'm not sure how much someone not familiar with the series would get out of this book. ( )
  Kythe42 | Dec 27, 2014 |
Troubling a Star by Madeleine L’Engle. Library section 10C: Youth (gr. 6-8): Fiction. L’Engle is the popular author of the “Time Quartet,” a series of four allegorical science fiction books blending ideas about time – human time and God’s time, intergalactic time travel and the fight between good and evil. One of these books, A Wrinkle in Time, won the Newbery Medal in 1963, quite a feat of imagination in a world of Sputnik and canine astronauts. Another of these books, Many Waters, is an allegory of Noahs’ flood. This set of books secured her reputation as a classic American author that kids and adults still delight over. My daughter even wrote her a fan letter once, to which L’Engle replied. How thrilling!
This book, Troubling a Star, features teenager Vicky Austin, part of L’Engle’s fictional Austin family(a second series). After a year in New York City, Vicki feels restless and out of place back in her Connecticut hometown. Her time away, and her friendship with budding biologist college student Adam Eddington, has made her enthusiastic about new experiences. Returning to her hometown for the final years of high school seems like a step backward. When Adam’s great-aunt Serena offers Vicky a trip to Antarctica for her birthday, Vicki jumps at the chance, especially since Adam will be interning at a research station in Antarctica when she visits. She will be traveling with Aunt Serena’s dependable, true-blue chef, Cook.
The book opens with Vicki marooned on an iceberg, trying to stay awake in the icy cold! The story is told in flashback as we slowly discover how she got into such a life-threatening predicament. She has flown to the fictional nation of Vespugia, in South America, and boarded a research vessel with its ship scientists, fellow tourists, and some Spanish-speaking Vespugians. As the ship stops at the Falkland Islands and then proceeds to Antarctica, she finds that not all these people are what they seem, and the reader slowly unravels an international mystery with political and environmental implications along with Vicki. Her adventure becomes a journey into danger as she is marooned on the iceberg and left to die. Will she be rescued, and if so, how? Is there anyone looking for her? What has happened to Cook?
This mystery in an extreme climate appeals to kids, especially girls, who love nature, marine biology, travel and adventure. I believe L’Engle may have traveled to Antarctica and used that as a basis for this book; it seems like the type of trip she’d crave. Like this book, her other works often feature the ocean or outer space, as well as strong environmental messages. See how she works stewardship into her novels? That’s L’Engle for you - a rousing tale with all sorts of deeper meanings. Kids usually don’t recognize the religious components in her work, but savvy adults will. This can create interesting family environmental and religious discussions about her books! Her descriptions in this book of arctic animals like penguins, petrels and seals in their snowy realms, as well as the activities on the research vessel are unique and ground this book in reality. Kids will love this book as well as the other books about the intergenerational Austin family.
L’Engle has also written many religious books for adults, among them Bright Evening Star, which I have been trying my darndest to find for our library. ( )
  Epiphany-OviedoELCA | Jun 10, 2013 |
It's a book by Madeleine L'Engle. How bad could that be? Well, um, actually? Pretty bad. Spectacularly, teeth-grindingly bad.

The plot's clunky. No, the plot's been recycled so many times that one can faintly see all the other stories below, like a palimpsest. The characters, many of whom we are supposed to know, are not themselves. None of the Austins are recognizable. Even worse, a major character is introduced as a long-time patient of Dr. Austin's, as well as Adam Eddington's beloved aunt- how did those salient facts never get mentioned before? That's just sloppy.

The whole book feels cobbled together, half-assed, phoned in. Even the drugs don't get L'Engle all riled up this time, it's more ho-hum, drugs, yeah, whatever. The bad guys are silly, the good guys are equally silly. The character development is nearly absent in the secondary characters.

It was difficult to read this, especially hard on the heels of the magnificent [b:A Ring of Endless Light|14358|A Ring of Endless Light|Madeleine L'Engle|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1279354664s/14358.jpg|1234050]. I don't recommend it, not even for Austin completists. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
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For Bion & Laurie who were my companions in Antarctica.
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The iceberg was not a large one, but it was big enough so that the seal and I were not crowded, and I was grateful for that.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440219507, Mass Market Paperback)

For her birthday, Vicky receives the gift of a trip to the Antarctic, where her friend Adam Eddington is working as a marine biologist. But as Vicky meets her fellow travelers, it quickly becomes clear that some of them are not what they seem. Vicki's trip into adventure becomes a journey into icy danger.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:09 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

As she tries to stay alive after being left on an iceberg in the Antarctic, sixteen-year-old Vicky recalls the series of events that brought her to the bottom of the world and involved her in a dangerous mystery.

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