Is was a good book
It Does A Good Job does a good job 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 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 My xperience with this book is not very pleasant I mean it wasn t bad No not at all I suppose it can be compared to when one is reading the back of a Raisin Bran box of cereal while shovelling spoonfuls of them in their mouth it s good for you but in the nd it s no choco puffs The thing is I feel like I ve been gipped The blurb at the back of this book advertises FORBIDDEN ROMANCE in big bold letters And if you know me you know that s a huge bait Besides it s MADELEINE L ENGLE How could you now want to read this Well I did And I m sorry to say it was a tad disappointingThe writing is very odd I suppose it reflects the ra from whence the novel took place The dialogues are very clinical and some too formal But again that probably had to do with the way people spoke at the time post World War 1This is the story of a young girl sent to a boarding school in Switzerland Flip s father being a traveling artist did not want to take Flip around the world with him So Eunice his companion suggested she goes to a boarding school He s also made it a goal in life to search for all the missing kids displaced during the war What I don t get is why his travels brought him to China when the war was centred in EuropeEunice the woman who wants to replace Flip s mother in her father s life plays the uintessential vil step mother role very haughty xpects too much of Flip and very critical of Flip And I guess the reason why Flip was so against the boarding school to begin withIn the boarding school we see Flip be her awkward self The girls call her Pill instead of Flip and we see her stumble haplessly in Imaginary Runner every social situation With the help of her Art teacher and her nephew Paul she starts blossoming on her own We see her adapt and accept her lot in life But while Injoyed seeing her come of age I was still a little confused about how old the kids wereThere was also supposed to be a romance between Paul and Flip but to be honest they were better off as siblings I really wish they didn t packaged this book as having a forbidden romance because of two things one there wasn t any And second it was an awkward romanceWhat I From Cottage to Bungalow: Houses and the Working Class in Metropolitan Chicago, 1869-1929 enjoyed about this book was the depicted life on a Swiss boarding school Though Flip had to go through a version of bullying aka hazing at first in time the girlsventually warmed up to her I Fresh Water especially liked the shown camaraderie during Christmas time It was gorgeously described It makes me want to stay at home on Christmas and create our own family traditionOver all I almost feel like it s sacrilege to say I didn t uitenjoy this book I can compare it to someone listening to an aria in a monotone voice Lifeless novel packaged as a romance that didn t French Daguerreotypes exist And Both Were Young is good as boarding school stories go and has a sweet uiet romance but I don t think the part of the plot which has to do with Paul s history works very well with the rest of it I mean the wartime amnesia thing is fine and interesting but not the mysterious stranger part Anyway I do like the convincing way in which Flip grows from shyness to confidence during the course of the book and of course I pretty much always like boarding school stories Not my favorite L Engle but still worth reading About a teenage girl whose mother has died who gets sent to a Swiss boarding school and her adjustment to her new life her relationships with a new boy her teachers fellow students at the school her father and his girlfriend I love L Engle s flawed but gifted girl characters A lot here that rang truespecially how an adolescent girl might feel when a father dates after the mother diesImportant to read the reissue with Madeleine L Engle s poignant note about how when she originally published this book writing about death and sex had to be toned down and how with the From Notes to Narrative: Writing Ethnographies That Everyone Can Read edition reissuedpublished in the 1980s she was able to make it as she d originallynvisioned 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 highearly high school It was originally published in 1949 which makes it one of her very arly novels it appears this was 3r. T from the others sketching or wandering in the mountainsBut 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 This made me want to go to a Swiss boarding school with
stick up the ass rules and a bunch of kind of snobby up the ass rules and a bunch of kind of snobby I think this may have been the last Madeleine L Engle book I read for the first time as a teenager And for some reason it holds a sort of distinction in my head because of that fact I like most other readers I know who love her books got in on the whole thing with A Wrinkle in Time moving on to the other Murry and O Keefe family books and then the Austin family series and so on from there I must have been somewhere around ten or so when I first read the Time series and by the time I got through all the others and worked my way around to her standalones I was a bit older Although one of my very favorite things about her body of young adult work is that there are so many connections between them And while AND BOTH WERE YOUNG is probably one of the most standalone of them all for the discerning reader there is a very lovely very obliue reference to its main character in L Engle s much later novel A Severed Wasp Interestingly I don t think I ver realized just how old this book is Originally published in 1949 it was actually her first young adult novel Incidentally my copy features the old 1983 cover But a lovely new hardback Doris Salcedo edition was just released on Tuesday and as it is one of my very favorite of L Engle s books I wanted to highlight it here while I convince my local bookshop to order a copy into the store Phillipa Hunter better known as Flip oh how much I love this never wanted to leave her father and her Connecticut home to come to a Swiss boarding school That was her father s new friend Eunice s bright idea Since her mother passed away Flip has grownven closer to her artist father and the idea of leaving him and attending a foreign school among a host of strange other girls terrifies her But her father is bound for China to draw and Eunice is traveling with him instead of Flip And so Flip tries to hide her trembling and put on a brave face for her father s sake But boarding school is just as alien and difficult as she feared Though the girls hail from all over the globe Flip finds it hard to fit in Long limbed and lacking in coordination she watches her fellow students from the sidelines and prays for the year to be up soon The one bright spot in the gloom is her art teacher Percy a young woman who seems to understand Flip s solitude and need to filter her kaleidoscopic Twelve Days of Pleasure emotions through some sort of creative act Then one day outxploring further than she ought to be above the school grounds Flip runs into a young man named Paul Paul lives with his father in a small cottage not far from the school These two dispossessed young teenagers form a friendship and in the process find the kind of acceptance and understanding in ach other that they ve been searching for Flip is the kind of foot in her mouth arms and legs verywhere protagonist that I connected with instantly as a teen reader I loved her for her haplessness and the way that she just kept on stumbling through her outer coating of awkward to a place where she could voice her thoughts and Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter's Eye experiences so that someonelse could see them and appreciate her for who she was In my Grand Illusion: The Third Reich, the Paris Exposition, and the Cultural Seduction of France eyes that made her admirable that drive to keep going despite the many misconceptions and deliberate slights of those around her That was what was so hard for me at that age and I like to think I drew a little strength from watching her try and fail and try again and succeed It helped that her interactions with Percy were so poignant particularly in the wake of having lost her mother and being without her father The other girls at the school werespecially well done as well At first you think they will be mere stereotypical characterizations the way Flip almost xpects them to be but they ach Great Plains: America's Lingering Wild emerge from their initial roles to play an important part in Flip s development And then there s Paul Lovely Paul He has long reminded me of Jeff Greene from A Solitary Blue and a kinder less destructive Zachary Grey Yes You will fall in love with What girl doesn t fantasize about going to a Swiss boarding school having a dashing artist father a mysterious and beautiful mentorteacher and a dark brooding forest boy to fall in love with This was apparently uite 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 meNevertheless th. Flip doesn't think she'llver 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 apar. D and I probably read it around 1978It is uite dated but that doesn t mean it isn t also Hard Bread (Phoenix Poets 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 mostxotic interesting things Electromyography for Experimentalists ever and I franklynvied Philippa for what I perceived as a wonderful opportunityThis time around I njoyed the fact that Flip was obviously an introvert and I was interested in how L Engle approached her introversion Being an in a boarding school be tough it s not a place where a boarding school would be tough it s not a place where is asily 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 uiet 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 ven today Flip didn t always handle herself well but her peers also really didn t understand her and they seemed to xpect that she would change to suit their xpectations rather than suiting their xpectations to her character which was frustratingThe romance is xtremely 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 dition of the book which restored some of L Engle point in the book There is apparently an updated La heredera del mar edition of the book which restored some of L Engle original manuscript which had been cut by her publishers because itither 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 kissesI don t think it has worn uite as well as some of L Engle s other work but I still njoyed it Philippa Hunter apparently makes a cameo appearance in one of the later works A Severed Wasp published in 1983 Underrated underappreciated I mean it didn t hit my buttons and I still loved it I think because it s original How many stories with a widowed father don t have him getting married off How many stories of a lonely girl have her favorite teacher scolding her for self absorption How many stories of boarding schools are there in which almost all the girls are nice How many stories talk about Lost Children and the lives of the Germans as they rejoin the international community after WWII and adults who are real peopleEven the buttons are special It s boarding school on the continent not in England And our heroine saves the boy from his motional torment and from a bad guy And the romance has subtle but serious kissing not clumsy curiosity EtcAnd it s beautifully written Unfortunately I was too absorbed to mark it up with book darts but let me tell you that you must at least read the first page L Engle knows how to start a book with sunlight that was as bright and sudden as buglesI don t know if I would have njoyed this when I was a teen I hope that I would have Had I I might now be a better person a braver friendlier person And probably a better reader tooFive stars might seem high but I do recommend it to just about verybodyI don t mean 19th c didactic stories I mean literature for young people Dammit I love Flip I love Madeleine L Engle I love the idea of boarding schools Switzerland and French boys and girls snowed into a storm of romance adventure and heartbreaking loneliness I ve also only realized that I ve always had a strange attraction for the widowed father and only daughter stories This one absolutely fills that nicheI ve reread this book countless times now and ach read only makes me happier and sentimental for the gorgeous but grounding tales of Madeleine L Engle Some may say And Both Were Young is not her best but for those readers who can appreciate L Engle s work for its simplistic beauty it certainly will prove satisfying and complete I d also like to comment that since I was 12 this book has made me want a winter wedding by candlelight in a chapel in the middle of the woods Just fyi in case someone out there shares the same fantas. Hen Paul seems a stranger to her And since dating is forbidden xcept 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 futur. .
Is was a good book