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A Circle of Quiet: 01/15/23
A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle is the start the Crosswicks Journals. The blurb promises thoughtful reflections on life and career prompted by her time at a place near her country home. Yes — but
The first chapter was fairly delightful. It begins with her needing time away from her boisterous family and taking a hike through the meadows and fields behind her home. She describes the nature she sees and she ruminates on ontology of all things.
I should have known the book would go off the rails. The opening in tone and topic is similar to another horribly disappointing memoir, H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (2014). The pastoral opening is a bait and switch for a rambling diatribe couched in passive aggressive politeness.
The next vignette tells of an out of town family who moves to her small town. They don't fit in because they're liberal, over achieving atheists who are raising horrible children. Of course they end up suffering a tragic house fire.
Except, and here's the kicker, she admits to making the whole thing up! She admits to mixing together bits and pieces of different families to tell this tragic tale. And yet, despite her fabrication, she goes onto insist that life can only be happy and fulfilling with God.
I gave up after that. I can get the same fictional take on small town Maine values from the Lucy Stone mysteries. At least there we can all agree that the story is fiction from stat to finish.
The second book in this series is The Summer of the Great-Grandmother (1974).