To say that this book has been influential for me would be a vast understatement. Last week I posted about the Author, but this book is one of the main reasons that I decided to become a writer. Partially because I related to Vicky and partially because I love how L’Engle wrote the book.
If you don’t know anything about the book, it’s about a fifteen year old named Vicky Austin. She and her family have gone to an island for the summer while they deal with the dying of her grandfather. She goes through the summer writing and meeting wild dolphins and trying to come to grips with the fact that her grandfather isn’t going to be around anymore.
The book is part of a series based around the Austin family. I found this book not knowing that it was part of a series. (Happens to me all the time…) But, I think it works pretty well as a stand alone book.
The title comes from this poem that she quotes in the book.
I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
I love how the book weaves together poetry and prose. It does so in a realistic way. Her grandfather loves books and shares poems to help her figure out her place in the world, then she as a poet writes poems to help her work through the emotions that she’s facing. The prose itself is pretty poetic.
I even love the way that the book doesn’t quite resolve. There’s a dissonance that seems genuine. In real life, even when we get our happy ending, things don’t get all tied neatly together. No matter how much we want them to.
I found the book when I was 14, but it’s still a book that I come back to at least once a year. I checked it out from the library more times than I’ve checked out any other book. I kept hoping that if I checked it out enough times then they would just give me the book (why don’t libraries work like that?). Then I would check their used books to see if they would retire it so I could buy it. I didn’t own my own copy until a few years ago when my little sister bought it for me for my birthday. (Best Present EVER). I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it…
I recommend you just buy it if you like it.
It’s worth it, rather than just checking out over and over again. But, if you prefer to check it out, and you live in Salt Lake Area, I’ve linked it here
What’s your favorite book? How did you find it? I’d love to hear about it!