This is the second in a series about Madeleine L’Engle’s Austin family books. If you are new to what I’m doing with her books, please check out this link to know what the point of this “review” is about; Madeleine L’Engle. This book was also new to me, so it was my first time through it. It is also a good, but easy read.
What suppers did the Austins enjoy? Steak with salad, potato salad and marshmallows, scrambled eggs with hashbrowns and coffee of course, spaghetti, pork chops with turnip greens and salad, stew and salad, hash, tuna and veggie salad, fried chicken with potato salad and lettuce salad, and hamburgers.
What did they listen to in this particular story? The Emperor Concerto, and the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, as well as Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, also sung a lot, including All Through the Night, Now the Day is Over, I Will Lift Mine Eyes unto the Hills, Tallis’ Canon, and the Eddystone LIght.
What were the kids reading or the adults reading to them? A Connecticut Yankee, Anna Karenina, Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict, and The Conquest of Space. The poem “Patterns” by Amy Lowell was also mentioned. The Diary of Anne Frank played a bit role, but the play was the focus, not the book.
Their furry companions were in the story a bit less, but still there; Colette their french poodle, Mr. Rochester their Great Dane, and Prunewhip.
What was the fam up to in this story? Traveling and camping across country, and lots of people watching. We also learned that Wallace “Daddy” Austin has a blackbelt in Judo, and were also introduced to Zachary Grey for the first time. As they traveled they played several games, including one I’d never heard of; the Botticelli word game. They also did a twist on the alphabet game; going through the alphabet naming a song or poem that begins with the letter; for example A = Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” begins with “Afoot…” and B = “The Blessed Damozel.” (The only other one mentioned was I = “I Will Lift UP Mine Eyes…”)
Good prayers and quotes included? (BTW, when I can, I try to find the reference and the correct form of the quote,)
“Mark Twain’s” attributed quote, “When I was seventeen I was amazed at how little my father knew about life. At the age of twenty two, I was amazed how much he had learned in five years.“
One that became a theme, “Comparisons are odious” attributed to Donne, Fortescue, AND Marlowe amongst others. lol
One of my favorites from the book:
The Rain is Raining all Around
The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s umbrella.
– Lord Bowen
The themes of growing up and also God was strong in this book; the different characters weigh in either directly or indirectly on their own beliefs or thoughts on God. I think my favorite character in this one was Uncle Douglas…