by Madeleine L'Engle
I am pretty sure this book wound up on my shelf from a library sale or secondhand shop. I picked it up just because it was an unfamiliar L'Engle to me, with a girl riding a dolphin on the cover! It's the first beyond the Wrinkle in Time quartet that I've read. I think I would have loved this book as a teen, but unfortunately reading it first as an adult, I wasn't so impressed. And that saddens me, because so many other readers mention this is their favorite of the Austin family books. It's got a lot going for it- young teen longings, cute and mysterious boys, exciting moments with the dolphins, a very bookish and wise family. I think the main reason I couldn't really get into the story was, surprisingly, the amount of deep, serious conversations everyone had. About life, death, humans wrecking the environment, animal communication, cryonics, suicide, poetry, science, discoveries in outer space and so on. It was interesting reading and has some wonderfully quotable lines, but I don't know many people who actually talk like this to each other- always sounding so profound. It stretched my ability to believe in the characters. I really felt for Vicky though. There's so much death in this book, so much grief. They handle it very well. The part about the dolphins and their telepathic communication was almost too much. If the book had been more mystical maybe I would have gone along with it easier. It did make me curious to read An Arm of the Starfish, though.
I should hand this one to my ten-year-old and see what she makes of it!
Rating: 3/5 324 pages, 1980
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