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And Both Were Young (1949)

de Madeleine L'Engle

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7131923,632 (3.87)28
Philippa is miserable at an all girls' boarding school in Switzerland until she forms a supportive friendship with the mysterious Paul.
  1. 00
    Abigail de Magda Szabó (foggidawn)
  2. 00
    The Small Rain de Madeleine L'Engle (elenashek)
    elenashek: Both books are very similar in tone and plot. That is not to say if you've read the one, you've read the other. Rather, L'engle, as a character writer layers meaning on top of meaning with the stories of these two girls. L'engle writes with such feeling on adolescence and its accompanying loneliness and pain. Small triumphs are huge at that age and L'engle is a master at capturing those meaningful rites of passage.… (mais)
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This book, written in 1949, while the effects of WWII were still fresh, has it all for the middle school reader: Swiss boarding school, some drama, and a little romance. Flip (Philippa) Hunter reluctantly enrolls at a Swiss boarding school at the recommendation of a woman whom she insists "lusts after" her itinerant artist father. Not surprisingly, relationships of all kinds (friendly, romantic, filial) develop as Flip comes to know her surroundings, her peers and herself better. The story is a well-told treat.

However, because it was written so long ago, the content is tame by today's standards--Flip's mother died a year ago, which is tragic, but we are not enjoined to relive the gory details of the accident. Flip's sneaking out to meet the mysterious boy entail skiing forays & hot cocoa by the lodge fire for a relationship is one of fondness and friendship. The boarding school is strict but not inhumane, populated by girls who, while they can be catty initially, are human and not merciless bullies.

Here is the description of Flip's first flush of love: "And he wants to see me again! she thought exultantly. He's not frightening the way I always thought being alone with a boy would be. It was just like talking to anyone, only nicer, and he wants to see me again!" (p. 87)

All of this is to say that "And Both Were Young" is a pleasure, exciting without being lurid or titillating, and just the dreamy read lots of kids are after. Find the 2010 Farrar Straus & Giroux edition with the sweet cover to match. ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
This book, written in 1949, while the effects of WWII were still fresh, has it all for the middle school reader: Swiss boarding school, some drama, and a little romance. Flip (Philippa) Hunter reluctantly enrolls at a Swiss boarding school at the recommendation of a woman whom she insists "lusts after" her itinerant artist father. Not surprisingly, relationships of all kinds (friendly, romantic, filial) develop as Flip comes to know her surroundings, her peers and herself better. The story is a well-told treat.

However, because it was written so long ago, the content is tame by today's standards--Flip's mother died a year ago, which is tragic, but we are not enjoined to relive the gory details of the accident. Flip's sneaking out to meet the mysterious boy entail skiing forays & hot cocoa by the lodge fire for a relationship is one of fondness and friendship. The boarding school is strict but not inhumane, populated by girls who, while they can be catty initially, are human and not merciless bullies.

Here is the description of Flip's first flush of love: "And he wants to see me again! she thought exultantly. He's not frightening the way I always thought being alone with a boy would be. It was just like talking to anyone, only nicer, and he wants to see me again!" (p. 87)

All of this is to say that "And Both Were Young" is a pleasure, exciting without being lurid or titillating, and just the dreamy read lots of kids are after. Find the 2010 Farrar Straus & Giroux edition with the sweet cover to match. ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
The author's foreword explains that when the book was originally published the world was not as comfortable talking about death and sex with young people. This 1983 version restores the story to what she originally wrote; she has not made any changes to reflect her own growth as a writer and person. She concludes the foreword by noting that the main character becomes a successful artist: one of her portraits is important in another of Ms. L'Engle's books.
While the book deals with important topics, some very personal and some about global events (World War II), its happy ending feels too much like wish fulfillment. Especially the lovely quote by a teacher who not only admits that she misjudged the heroine but also tells her that she is happy that she was wrong. ( )
  raizel | Nov 27, 2016 |
Narrated by Ann Marie Lee. As the new girl at a French boarding school, shy, awkward, unremarkable Filippa finds it difficult to fit in among the more seemingly poised and glamorous girls. She eventually finds comfort and selfl-confidence through her blossoming romance with Paul, a boy with a tragic past, and through the support of Madame Percy, a friendly art teacher at the school. Narrator Lee expresses Filippa's loneliness and shy manner, and her careful pacing suits this quiet story. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Just a wonderful story, set shortly after World War II.

Philippa Hunter, a timid, artistic teenager, must attend a Swiss boarding school while her father, a professional painter, travels Europe. Philippa ("Flip" to her family) knows this year is going to be horrible. She's never been able to make friends – she's awkward both socially and physically, more so than ever thanks to a kneecap shattered in the car accident that killed her mother the year before. She's always clung to her family, and now she's going to be on her own for the first time in her life.

Spoiler alert: The girl who's convinced she has no courage at all finds enough to perform a truly heroic act for the sake of someone she cares about. The unpopular girl becomes one of the best-liked kids in her class, not by getting a spiffy new haircut and attitude but by sharing her artistic gifts. The klutz finds a sport she can enjoy and excel in. The motherless girl who's never talked to a boy in her life finds friendship and more in a young man who teaches her that being able to remember a lost loved one is a precious gift.

The prose here isn't as luminous as that in L'Engle's Camilla, but there's also no horrifying sexism. The love story makes you want to cheer. And the dialogue is terrifically funny. Also, Flip's relationship with a particular teacher reminds me a great deal of some scenes in Jane Eyre.

If you like the sound of a good old-fashioned young adult novel that stands up perfectly to the test of time, read this book.
( )
1 vote Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (5 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Madeleine L'Engleautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Lee, Ann MarieNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Roy, LénaIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill...
And both were young - and one was beautiful.
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"Where are you going, Philippa?" Mrs. Jackman asked sharply as Flip turned away from the group of tourists standing about in the cold hall of the Chateau of Chillon
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Philippa is miserable at an all girls' boarding school in Switzerland until she forms a supportive friendship with the mysterious Paul.

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