Book Review: And Both Were Young by Madeline L’Engle

[as a review of an old childhood favorite, I've decided to write an abbreviated review focusing on my reactions!]

How Excited Was I To Read And Both Were Young by Madeline L’Engle? 8. Elizabeth mentioned this book the other day in our Top Ten Post (character names we would give our kids). And I knew I had to track it down. The library had to call it in from somewhere far away, so by the time it arrived I was really very excited. At the same time, I was worried it might be too childish for my mood.

How Excited Was I After Finishing? 8. Because I enjoyed it (again). A wonderful walk down memory lane for me. However, I’m not about to go forcing it on others. Sidenote: it made me stay up far too late reading about Madeline L’Engle and I’m now even more enamored with her!

Book Jacket: 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?

Review: I remember reading this book as a little girl. I love to ski, so the fact that Flip learns over the course of the book definitely appealed. And she sneaks away to see a boy named Paul! How fun! I also loved Flip – her loneliness and her eventual growth as she became the person she wanted to be.

This book did err on the side of young. Definitely. Flip’s friendship with her friend Paul is really quite innocent. They are dealing with much more than a budding romance, and Paul’s story in particular is quite dramatic.

The best thing about Madeline L’Engle as an author is that she does not write down to her readers. And given that she was writing for a younger audience, I really appreciated that! Picking up this story again reminded me of what a gem Madeline L’Engle was, but for a re-read, I’d stick with A Wrinkle In Time. There’s a reason that one is a classic!