A Winter's Love

A Winter's Love

by Madeleine L'Engle

Tenuously holding on to a failing marriage, Emily Bowen finds herself caught up in a relationship with a man who offers her the love and affection she so desperately desires.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 3.59
  • Pages: 0
  • Publish Date: January 12th 1984 by Ballantine Books
  • Isbn10: 0345306449
  • Isbn13: 9780345306449

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Emily gets closer to their friend Abe and becomes torn about staying in her marriage or leaving to go with Abe. The writing was excellent but I don't think the plot line did much for me.

Courtney has taken his wife Emily and his two daughter's on sabbatical to stay in this small picturesque village in Switzerland where he is concentrating on writing but is getting very little done. Abe is staying in the little village of the only hotel with his son Sam in Switzerland also. Abe is almost always at Gertrude's chalet when Emily and Courtney get invited to go out for drinks at the hotel or just spend time listening to phonographs at Gertrude's home. Abe is the opposite of Courtney with the way he treats Emily. Emily is invited up to Abe's hotel room alone. Emily is very conflicted because although she has grown to love Abe she is still in love with Courtney. Who does Emily choose her husband Courtney or Abe? I have not read the much acclaimed novel "A Wrinkle in Time," so I can not comment on that other than I know it has won many awards and has also been a banned book in the United States. I loved the lovely setting of the frozen Swiss Alps and the little quaint village this novel takes place in.

Madeleine L'Engle is best known for her ever popular children's book A Wrinkle in Time. The book is told through Emily's eyes and she's the mother of a teenager and a four year old and is married to an academic writer who's recently lost his university post and has lost his direction and self confidence, worst of all he's emotionally distanced himself from his family.

Also I experienced a small illumination: this book made me think that literature is separated from other reading material by its requirement of sensitivity (or awareness, or perception) on the part of the reader. I could also (I think) see the influence of this style on Pamela Dean - this book is very dialogue- and internal monologue-driven.

But essentially its a love story, a story of a marriage and domesticity and a gentle and compelling read.

Emily and her husband Courtney are spending a sabbatical in Europe so that he can write (he's just been let go from his teaching job).

It was too "adult" for me to read when I was at the age when I was devouring all of her books.

I read this book with conflicted feelings: on the one hand, I was impressed by what a talented and insightful writer L'Engle was even so early in her career, and on the other, compared with her later works, it's clear here that L'Engle hadn't quite hit her stride. Meanwhile, Emily, the main viewpoint character, who is Courtney's wife and more than ten years his junior, is wrestling with her own attraction to an old family friend, who is also overwintering with his teenage son in the same town. Although Emily and her daughter Virginia are not just early prototypes for Meg Murry of "A Wrinkle in Time" and her relationships with her own mother and then later with her daughter Poly, the richness and delicacy is already there, as is the emphasis on women as having thoughts, feelings, and stories of their own. I have to admit that I didn't like Emily and Virginia *as much* as I did the protagonists of the later, YA books, and the plot lacks some of the same urgency, not to mention the presence of magic, but "A Winter's Love" is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in L'Engle's work, or anyone who just wants to curl up with something warm and read about a chilly winter and an impossible love in the Alps.

At age 12, she moved to the French Alps with her parents and went to an English boarding school where, thankfully, her passion for writing continued to grow. She had a baby girl and kept on writing, eventually moving to Connecticut to raise the family away from the city in a small dairy farm village with more cows than people. They moved back to the city with three children, and Hugh revitalized his professional acting career. As the years passed and the children grew, Madeleine continued to write and Hugh to act, and they to enjoy each other and life.