I need more Madeleine L’Engle in my life. Sure, she’s retro, but friends, I’m sort of sighing over the sweetness of And Both Were Young. Weird as this sounds, And Both Were Young totally relaxed me and was such a calming read – bringing me back to a different time.
So Phillipa (Flip) Hunter lives an ideal life with her painter father – traveling and then going to live in NY with her Grandmother when she can’t go with dad. Then this sophisticated beautiful woman named Eunice comes along and F-s things up, just like these types always do. Eunice convinces Flip’s dad to send Flip to boarding school in Switzerland. Which would be totally cool – only Flip doesn’t get along with the other girls at her school – they all act much older than her. Plus Flip is painfully shy. She meets Paul, a boy, in the woods by chance and the two strike up a friendship.
Oh, friends, sometimes I will take a chaste read over steamy sexytimes – especially if Madeleine L’Engle is at the helm. And Both Were Young recalls innocent first love. Obviously Flip and Paul are into each other, but they aren’t having sex or anything. It’s just innocent and fun and cute overload.
Flip’s a character I love because I relate to her in that she’s painfully shy, but grows out of it. When I was a kid til I became a teenager, I was very shy and didn’t talk to people, much like Flip, out of a sort of fear. Now, well, you can all attest to the opposite, but I did like being able to relate to Flip, especially as And Both Were Young was published originally in 1949.
Part of the reason And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle was so soothing to me is I listened to the audiobook version produced by Listening Library narrated by Ann Marie Lee which is unabridged and is 7 hours and 55 minutes long. Ann Marie Lee’s voice never gets super loud, she doesn’t have an annoying accent. Her narration isn’t your face pow pow pow. Rather, she lends a gentle voice to the story and is easy on my ears. She used this elegant accent for Flip’s classmates to show how sophisticated and grow up they were and it was like listening to some of the characters from the parties in Breakfast At Tiffany’s talk. Goodness I loved it. And Both Were Young by Madeleine L’Engle is a great listen especially if you live in an area prone to horrible drivers – like me – seriously who goes 45 in a 55? It’ll relax your nerves. Trust.
Disclosure: Borrowed from my local library – which is totes a hot spot.