A Circle of Quiet

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle is my new favorite book about life, balancing motherhood with other vocations, literature, and writing.

I’m so glad I saw the recommendation on Modern Mrs. Darcy, as I can see myself wanting to read this book again and again.

Although the book was written decades ago, the insights still seem fresh.  L’Engle wrote about life in a way that informs writing and writing in a way that informs life, and all with a thoughtful and spiritual approach.  While she was up front about her doubts and crises of faith, she held a high standard of truth, and the short description of what ultimately drew her back to the church was powerful.

At many points in the book L’Engle’s opinions and insights made her seem like a kindred spirit–she may be the only other person who shares my conviction that gray and grey are completely different colors–and I found myself wanting to write her a letter.  In looking up her website I found that she died in 2007 and I really felt bereft.

I took pages and pages of notes, and plan to buy my own copy at some point.  I also decided to check out L’Engle’s other non-fiction books, because I enjoyed her thoughts so much.

I’d highly recommend A Circle of Quiet to anyone who writes, balances parenting with other callings, or enjoys reading insights about human nature, literature, and faith.


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8 thoughts on “A Circle of Quiet

  1. I do enjoy her writing. At some point I decided to collect her works, but then I started having children instead of buying books. Check out “The Small Rain” and the sequel “A Severed Wasp.” In fact, I think I’ll be reading them as soon as I finish “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” not L’Engle, but I do enjoy Betty Smith too.

  2. I remember feeling exactly the same way after reading that particular book. I think I even wrote in my daybook at the time about “talking to Madeleine” because I felt like she was speaking directly to my soul.

    All her essays are well worth reading: The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, The Irrational Season, and Two-Part Invention are the other three in my collection. She was amazing at thinking through things, then communicating her observations and experiences so eloquently. I think she must have been an INFP.
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