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Publisher's Summary

Fifteen-year-old Camilla Dickinson has led a sheltered life on the Upper East Side with her architect father and stunningly beautiful mother. But this winter the security she has always known has vanished, because her parents' marriage is coming apart - and Camilla is caught in the middle. She finds a way to escape her troubles when she meets Frank, her best friend's brother, who is someone she can really talk to about life, death, God, and her dream of becoming an astronomer. When Frank introduces her to the important people in his life, who are so different from anyone she has met before, he opens her eyes to worlds beyond her own, almost as if he were a telescope helping her to see the stars.

This novel, one of the author's earliest, is the story of a girl who, with the help of her first love, leaves childhood behind and enters adulthood with a newfound sense of self and inner strength.

©2009 Madeleine L'Engle (P)2009 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Struggling to make sense of all that conflict, walking the snowy city streets with a boy named Frank, Camilla tries to fathom the sweet, slow progress of desire." ( O, The Oprah Magazine)

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What a coming of age story should be like

I am working my way through Madeleine L'Engle books. I have not read anything by her in a decade or so and wanted to revisit books of my youth. I have not read this book before and was very surprised how much I enjoyed it. It is a book that is really about coming of age, realizing that all the problems of the world do not revolve around you and coming to terms with what your place in the world really is. It does have a small love story, but unlike many modern coming of age stories does not involve any sex. It is a very internal book, with the main character explicating her thoughts in long internal dialogues. But that fits with the book very well. The content is a bit mature, there is adultery, attempted suicide, divorce, drinking and alcoholism and more. But these are handled well and not in a showy way, just as a matter of the world and part of growing up.

2 people found this helpful