A WRINKLE IN TIME was one of my Top 10 favorite reads as a child – and remains an all time favorite read of mine. So when I was invited to be a part of the tour to help celebrate the upcoming release of the film – which I cannot wait to see! – of course I had to participate.
And I was equal parts excited and anxious to read BECOMING MADELEINE, a biography about the author, written by her granddaughters. Excited because this would be the first book about Madeleine L’Engle I’d ever read and I’d finally get to know more about this author whose writing was such a huge part of my young life. Anxious because over the years many authors I’d worshipped had fallen from pedestals when I’d learned more about them and I didn’t want to learn that she’d despised her characters or wished she’d never created them at all.
But I settled in to read with a cup of tea for comfort (just in case) and with reading glasses – that weren’t a necessity way back when I first read A WRINKLE IN TIME, A WIND IN THE DOOR or A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET. And I completely fell in love with this book – though I wished I had a box of tissue as that epilogue had me in tears.
If you’d like to know more about what I thought about this lovingly written “story,” my review follows below. If you’d like to visit the other stops on the tour, the schedule follows at the bottom of this post.
And if you’d like to join the conversation on social media, be sure to tag #AWrinkleInTime.
About BECOMING MADELEINE
Title: BECOMING MADELEINE
Authors: Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy
Release date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
Read an EXCERPT
This middle-grade biography explores the life and works of Madeleine L’Engle —written by her granddaughters.
This elegant and insightful biography of Madeleine L’Engle (1918–2007) was written by her granddaughters, Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy. Using never-before-seen archival materials that include photographs, poems, letters, and journal entries from when Madeleine was a child until just after the publication of her classic, A Wrinkle in Time, her granddaughters weave together an in-depth and unique view of the famous writer. It is a story of overcoming obstacles—a lonely childhood, financial insecurity, and countless rejections of her writing—and eventual triumph. Becoming Madeleine will speak not only to fans of the icon’s work, but also to anyone interested in writing.
Note: This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A finished eCopy was purchased for my Kindle.
Filled with pictures and journal entries and correspondence to and from Madeleine L’Engle, BECOMING MADELEINE gives readers an intimate peek at this award-winning author’s life. It has just the right amount of depth to make the read substantial and interesting without being weighty, reveals more than enough about Madeleine to learn who she was at various points in her life, and includes a heartfelt and heartrending introduction and conclusion by the authors – Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy, L’Engle’s granddaughters.
It is a captivating and delightful and inspirational read that shares pivotal moments in Madeleine’s life up to the moment when A WRINKLE IN TIME was accepted for publication. It tells of a girl who always had a passion for writing, who was determined and tenacious and ambitious, who was often socially awkward but who thrived nevertheless, who was confident yet shy, who was brave yet fearful, who was by no means perfect but who strived to be better, and who understood that who she was encompassed every version of herself.
BECOMING MADELEINE’s authors have penned a loving and respectful and incredibly endearing telling of the story of Madeleine’s life. They left in many of the hardships the author faced as a child, young, and not-so-young, adult. They shared her mistakes, her successes, her failures, her disappointments, her setbacks. They showed her journey as a writer – from poet, to novelist, to playwright, to published author – as well as the side trips that took her away from and brought her back to writing. And they allowed a glimpse into some of the more personal aspects of her and her family’s life.
Madeleine L’Engle’s biography can be enjoyed by readers of many ages. It is a quick read, that flows beautifully, even interspersed with images and other lovely distractions. It has more of a story-like quality than that of a typical biography, allowing readers to easily connect with and become charmed by Madeleine. It promises a happy ending, just like Madeline L’Engle wanted for her stories – although its epilogue, divulging just how cherished L’Engle was by her granddaughters, will tug on the heartstrings.
Whether a new or lifelong fan of author Madeleine L’Engle, BECOMING MADELEINE is a must, must, must.
About the Authors
Charlotte Jones Voiklis is Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter and executor of her estate. She has written a biography, Becoming Madeleine, for middle grade readers with her sister, Léna Roy, coming out in February 2018. She wrote the afterword to the 50th Anniversary edition of A Wrinkle in Time, has also written and spoken of her grandmother’s work to a variety of audiences. With a PhD in Comparative Literature, Charlotte’s work experience includes teaching, fundraising, communications, and grant making. She is also a volunteer mediator in the New York City court system.
Léna Roy published her first novel, Edges (FSG), in late 2010. She is the Regional Manager for Writopia Lab in Westchester and Connecticut, and her writing was featured in the essay collection for middle school kids and their teachers Breakfast on Mars and 37 Other Essays to Devour: Your Favorite Authors Take on the Dreaded Essay Assignment. She lives in New York.
The Tour Schedule
- Feb 21st | YA Bibliophile – Favorite YA book quotes
- Feb 22nd | Adventures of a Book Junkee – Top 5 reasons to read A WRINKLE IN TIME
- Feb 23rd | Falling For YA – Fantasy inspired mood board + giveaway
- Feb 23rd | Fiktshun – BECOMING MADELEINE review
- Feb 26th | Addicted 2 Novels – Favorite quotes from A WRINKLE IN TIME
- Feb 27th | Swoony Boys Podcast – Character inspired fashion board
- Feb 28th | Book Nerds Across America – Life quotes a la Mrs. Who
- Feb 28th | YAWednesdays – Favorite quotes from A WRINKLE IN TIME
- Mar 1st | Fiction Fare – A WRINKLE IN TIME review
- Mar 2nd | Bookish Lifestyle –
- Mar 3rd | Forever Young Adult – Themed party planning guide
- Mar 5th | That Artsy Reader Girl – Favorite quotes from A WRINKLE IN TIME
- Mar 5th | Hello, Chelly – Childhood book collection
- Mar 6th | Book Briefs – Favorite quotes in honor of Mrs. Who + Giveaway
- Mar 7th | Ex Libris – Photos of childhood copy of A WRINKLE IN TIME
- Mar 8th | Reading Teen – A WRINKLE IN TIME cover love