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In book four of the award-winning Austin Family Chronicles young adult series from Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, Vicky Austin experiences the difficulties and joys of growing up.
"This wasn't the first time that I'd come close to death, but it was the first time I'd been involved in this part of it, this strange, terrible saying goodbye to someone you've loved."
These are Vicky Austin's thoughts as she stands near Commander Rodney's grave while her grandfather, who himself is dying of cancer, recites the funeral service. Watching his condition deteriorate over that long summer is almost more than she can bear. Then, in the midst of her struggle, she finds herself the center of attention for three young men. Leo, Commander Rodney's son, turns to her as an old friend seeking comfort but longing for romance. Zachary, whose attempted suicide inadvertently caused Commander Rodney's death, sees her as the one sane and normal person who can give some meaning to his life. And Adam, a serious young student working at the nearby marine-biology station, discovers Vicky, his friend's little sister, incipient telepathic powers that can help him with his experiments in dolphin communications. Vicky finds solace and brief moments of peace in her poetry, but life goes on around her, and the strain intensifies as she confronts matters of love and of death, of dependence and of responsibility, universal concerns that we all must face. The inevitable crisis comes and Vicky must rely on openness, sensitivity, and the love of others to overcome her private grief. Once again, Madeleine L'Engle has written a story that revels in the drama of vividly portrayed characters and events of the spiritual and moral dimensions of common human experiences.
A Ring of Endless Light is a 1981 Newbery Honor Book.
Books by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time Quintet
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wind in the Door
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
An Acceptable Time
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L'Engle; adapted & illustrated by Hope Larson
Intergalactic P.S. 3 by Madeleine L'Engle; illustrated by Hope Larson: A standalone story set in the world of A Wrinkle in Time.
The Austin Family Chronicles
Meet the Austins (Volume 1)
The Moon by Night (Volume 2)
The Young Unicorns (Volume 3)
A Ring of Endless Light (Volume 4) A Newbery Honor book!
Troubling a Star (Volume 5)
The Polly O'Keefe books
The Arm of the Starfish
Dragons in the Waters
A House Like a Lotus
And Both Were Young
The Joys of Love