A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle
My Madeleine L’Engle re-read brought me to a reward: this book, which is one of my absolute favorites in her canon. Because I’ve had a lot of twists and turns in my L’Engle journey, I’ve wanted to revisit this book. I read it and *loved* it in college, in no small part due to the dolphin action that takes place. I am pleased that for me, the re-read helped me re-enjoy the story to its fullest.
Vicky Austin is almost 17, and life has taken a hard turn. Her grandfather is ailing, and the family knows his time to die is near. They’ve decided to spend the summer with him with no endpoint in sight until he has died. Then, as our novel begins, another community death happens. Vicky is left reeling and asking questions about why bad things happen. Her brother John is working in a laboratory with Adam Eddington for the summer. Adam recruits Vicky to help with a communication and behavioral project with dolphins, and that’s when the summer turns magical. We also see a recurring appearance from everyone’s favorite douche, Zachary, and we get some closure with him, as well (although he’s still obnoxious and inexplicably, others fall for his manipulation).
This book deals well with stream-of-consciousness and coming-of-age. It asks big questions about tragedies, and forces you to rethink your perception of the universe. It dabbles in magical realism that hearkens back to the fantasy in the Time quartet, but that’s not at all a bad thing. Vicky is coming into her own as a character, and I’m sad my read-through has almost ended. Also, my obsession with dolphins gets some love here.
Seriously, how could you deny that majesty?