Item description for A Live Coal In The Sea by Madeleine L'Engle...
Overview When Camilla Dickinson's teenage granddaughter comes to her with a disquieting question about her parentage, long-hidden secrets are revealed that test the love, faith, and loyalty of the Xanthakos family. Reprint.
Publishers Description Madeleine L'Engle's first adult novel in four years -- now in paperback With 23,000 copies sold since May 1996, this haunting domestic drama (Publishers Weekly) examines the powers of faith and mercy in one family's confrontation with a legacy of evil.Best known for A Wrinkle in Time -- the children's classic that has sold more than 2 million copies since 1962 -- Madeleine L'Engle is as adept at exploring faith and human experience as she is at spinning fascinating, fantastic tales. Now this masterful storyteller blends her two passions and offers an engrossing new story to delight her devoted audience.When Dr. Camilla Dickinson's teenage granddaughter confronts her with the disquieting question of whether Camilla is, in fact, her grandmother, long-kept secrets rise to the surface to test the faith, love and loyalty of the Xanthakos family. This skillful, gripping tale shuttles between past and troubled present, providing clues to a multigenerational mystery -- clues that begin to focus on Camilla's son, the deeply troubled TV idol Artaxias, and on Camilla's mother, the irresistibly beautiful and adulterous Rose. Though riveting and psychologically complex, A Live Coal in the Sea is infused with the warmth of love and mercy (Booklist), showcasing the keen eye and deep compassion that have made L'Engle one of this century's premier writers on faith and its place in human experience.Madeleine L'Engle is the author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction titles. She lives in New York City.
Citations And Professional Reviews A Live Coal In The Sea by Madeleine L'Engle has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Fiction Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 494
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More About Madeleine L'Engle
Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L'Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L'Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard.
Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L'Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience.
Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book A Ring of Endless Light won the Newbery Honor. L'Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.
Madeleine L'Engle lived in New York City, in the state of New York. Madeleine L'Engle was born in 1918 and died in 2007.
Madeleine L'Engle has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A Live Coal In The Sea?
Poorly written melodrama Oct 2, 2007
I, too, am surprised by how many 5 star reviews this book got. It's mildly entertaining, and I did actually finish it, but it reads like Sydney Sheldon read *Camilla* and decided to write a sequel. The style was overly-simple, with constant short segments with clunky transition phrases (like Sheldon's writing, but I expect less from him), and the whole story was contrived and soap-operatic. The characters seem flat as well. Usually L'Engle's characters walk off a page, but I never got a real sense of Mac or Taxi or any of the main characters in the story.
Moreover, the Camilla in this story doesn't seem to resemble her counterpart in *Camilla.* (I never would have thought she'd have stayed friends with Luisa Rowan in a million years, for instance.) And the melodramatic aspects of this book seem to do disservice to the characters created in the original book. Rose Dickinson comes out in this book as a more simplistic charcter than she does in *Camilla.* I consider this book non-canonical, whereas I accept and like L'Engle's character crossovers in other books.
That this was written by one of my favorite authors makes it all that much worse.
Wonderful! A Must Adult Read Mar 6, 2006
Madeleine L'Engle is most known for her young adult award winning titles. Her adult titles are just as well written if not even better. A LIVE COAL IN THE SEA is perhaps the best. If I could only recommend one book, it would probably be this title. It will leaving you gasping.
Did Madeline L'Engle Really Write This Book? Apr 30, 2005
First, a disclaimer to all of the L'Engle fans out there: I, too, adore the writings of Madeline L'Engle. She is one of my favorite two or three authors. I loved the Wrinkle series and her other books for children and young adults, and I was thrilled when I discovered that she also has fabulous adult novels (I've had previous bad experiences with favorite childhood authors who wrote horrible adult books).
I may have given this book three stars, but the fact that this mediocre work came from a woman I consider to be one of the 20th century's most talented and accomplished authors disappointed me tremendously and added to my dislike of the book. I have to admit that I was shocked with all of the five-star reviews granted by readers here at this site.
So what's my beef, you may wonder? The writing is abrupt; the language is too common, repetitive and full of clichés; the story is melodramatic and sensational.
I love L'Engle's ability to weave a story through time and places and people in a way that makes me barely realize that I am reading a book rather than watching the world she creates. She can make each page flow together, each part of the story line seem a completely natural progression. She takes complex circumstances and characters and paints a picture with her beautiful, smooth, sophisticated and yet simple choice of words and language.
In "A Live Coal in the Sea," L'Engle puts none of these unique and exquisite talents to use. With this book, it felt like she was trying to force the story and its moral into my head and heart with a sledgehammer. With her other books, it feels like she surrounds my head and my heart with a warm, colorful, intense, soft cloud of air, and by the end of the book the air has warmed me and filled my lungs and become part of me.
Yes, the message of mercy is good and the support for the value of that human trait is established again and again... and again. Yes, the story is original and entertaining and one that you can both relate to and daydream about on some level. But this book is not up to L'Engle's standards, and (especially since I had been saving it for vacation) I was miserable with how much I disliked it.
I wanted to abandon this book about two-thirds of the way through (but couldn't bring myself to do it), whereas with her other books I didn't want them to end (thinking of her "The Small Rain" and "A Severed Wasp," specifically).
My recommendation is to skip this book and delve into the dozens of other masterpieces L'Engle has given us. She remains one of my favorite and most admired authors.
One of L'Engle's Best Apr 23, 2005
This is a book I keep going back to read. The characters are well-written, complex, and sympathetic. The wisdom of the book's narrator is one of the books best features-even though that wisdom was hard won. She, and nearly every character in the book, must figure out how to go on and continue loving family members when terrible truths surface. Every family can relate to the need for forgiveness, love,healing. The book is a realistic love story.
Mercy in an unmerciful world Nov 18, 2002
Oh that more people in our world had read this sweet and poingant story! This is perhaps one of the most telling tales of humanity that I have ever read, and has remained hopeful for our possibilities. L'Engle has told a story of Grace, like in the parable of the vinyard workers, which is radical and even offensive to our natrual inclinations, yet hopeful that we might find grace and mercy for ourselves and those who hurt us.
Read it, and hear it. If you listen closely you might hear the Christ telling his Gospel of peace, mercy, faith and hope.