Camilla by Madeline L’Engle

July 8, 2009 at 8:38 pm Leave a comment

camillaThere comes a time in a teen’s life when what was solid and predictable gets upended and unfamiliar. Camilla Dickinson lives in a comfortable East Side apartment with her loving parents. She attends a private school. With her best friend Luisa, Camilla does her homework in the gardens of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then, at the age of fifteen, she suddenly sees her parents with new eyes. They are no longer idealized stick people, but adults with their own problems not necessarily about her. Disillusion sets in when she sees her beautiful mother kissing a “friend”.  Luisa’s parents are shamelessly vocal in shouting insults at each other and at Camilla, too. When Jack, Luisa’s older brother, dates Camilla, Luisa becomes jealous and angry. Camilla falls in love with Jack. The two spend their time walking through New York City, talking about God, books, people, a worthwhile life, and other topics that teenagers feel more keenly at this moment than at any other time in their lives. Camille deals realistically with her parents’ estrangement, Luisa’s neediness, Jack’s moodiness, and her own growing awareness of herself. L’Engle perceptively illuminates the stages of how one teenage girl becomes a woman.

Lily Hecker, Pelham

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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