Ilsa by Madeleine L'Engle

Ilsa

A novel about the darker side of love by the bestselling author of A Wrinkle in Time and the Crosswicks Journals. From the moment Henry Porcher first sees Ilsa Brandes, he worships her. Despite controversy surrounding the young girl, Henry is drawn to her, a fascination that turns into a lifelong infatuation.   As the years pass, Ilsa’s memory never leaves him, not until the day he returns to their sleepy Southern hometown and renews their chi...


Details Ilsa

TitleIlsa
Author
Release DateFeb 7th, 2017
PublisherOpen Road Media
LanguageEnglish
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction
Rating

Reviews Ilsa

  • Bookgasms Book Blog
    2017-03-14
    I have loved the books of Madeleine L'Engle since childhood, and even now those old paperbacks have an honorary place on my bookshelf, despite being worse for wear. Tattered covers, dog eared pages, those are the books that I read over and over again. When it came time to read Ilsa, I was as eager as I was nervous. An adult book by a favorite author? So much excitement. Yet, would it hold up to the childish idolization I judged the others by? I o...
  • rivka
    2018-05-27
    2.5 starsWhile somewhat interesting for its presentation of time and place, I mostly found this tedious and disappointing. It's mostly about things that don't happen, or that happened years before the events of the book.One of L'Engle's earliest works, and despite the claims of the publishers that have recently re-released it, there are good reasons it was so long out of print.
  • Libby
    2017-11-26
    UghWanders. Characters are weak individuals. I kept waiting for something definitive to happen but it never does. The ending was horrible.
  • Mandy
    2017-02-21
    Everything in this compelling and very readable novel centres on Ilsa, a young woman who becomes an obsession for one of her neighbours, Henry, and it his unrequited love for her that powers the narrative. It’s an atmospheric novel, set in the American south in the early part of the 20th century, where lives are often still blighted by prejudice and bigotry, but where it’s impossible to escape the clutches of the extended family. It’s certa...
  • Misti
    2017-09-26
    Almost 5 stars, but a few things bugged me: the ending that just ended...wahhh??? And the narrator who was really there just to tell the story, very little character development other than maybe he didn't have a character? Otherwise, I was very pleased with this being my first L'Engle novel and I loved where it took place. I wanted more and wished it could have been developed a bit further.
  • Jim
    2012-09-21
    Underrated by the author, and darker than most of her other work, Ilsa is worth seeking out.
  • Margaret Sholders
    2017-02-06
    Well, I admit I have never read one of Madeleine's books. I didn't have any idea what I was going to be reading. I worried that there were 67 chapters, even if some were short chapters. I made it through but I'm not sure what I read. This is set in the South. Mother ran the house and wow to the person who broke a house rule. This was the day of color too. This was a large family and not really all together. I did d like this story but this is a l...
  • Amie
    2018-02-26
    Just a bit too boring. It read like a play that goes on for too long, and as a book it’s even longer. There’s no resolution for the main character and the titular character isn’t mesmerising enough to credit his obsession with her.You can tell that the author was a play write, but not in a good way.
  • Gloria
    2017-10-06
    I love Madeleine L'Engle's young adult novels so I thought I would try this. The descriptive language is magnificent. The storyline, not so much. It was very dark and depressing and the ending left too many characters hanging.
  • Byron Reads Now
    2018-05-03
    The rare life-changing, new favorite read!This novel came into my life because it was on sale. Pure and simple, the eBook was on sale, and after looking into it, I took the plunge. But it came into my life at the perfect moment. And I can't overstate how much I have loved being within its pages.I'm shocked by the depth of feeling I have for this novel. I haven't been so transported and in some ways devastated since A Separate Peace. I am learning...
  • Kelsi H
    2017-02-11
    Please read all of my reviews at http://ultraviolentlit.blogspot.ca!First published in 1946, Ilsa is one of the first adult novels from L’Engle, who is most well-known as the author of the children’s series, A Wrinkle in Time. Although it begins with a childhood friendship between wealthy Henry Porcher and bohemian Ilsa Brandes, this is certainly not a story for children. It is often dark and gritty, and even though some parts feel dated, oth...
  • Tami
    2017-05-13
    This was my first novel by Madeleine L’Engle and for the most part, I found it an engaging and enjoyable read. I definitely was more interested in the first half of the novel, but found last half a bit disappointing.The disappointment is mainly due to the character of Henry. We meet Henry as a young boy when he discovers a new friend, Ilsa, who is a few years older. He becomes fascinated by Ilsa. As the years pass, Henry never grows out of this...
  • Charity Dušíková
    2018-03-27
    The start of this novel was very Willa Cather-esque for me: meeting characters in their youth, the importance of the natural surroundings, a connection with nature, etc. I found myself immediately intrigued by Henry and Ilsa and wanted to know where their futures led. The book is told with a peak into Henry’s mind, yet it is Ilsa that has the more complicated sequence of events around her. I found the ending to be quite abrupt. I wanted more, m...
  • Madeline
    2017-12-13
    L'Engle never fails to draw me into her stories. I have read almost all of her books and enjoyed her characters immensely. Some more than others. In this book Ilsa is the main character but we meet and learn about her from Henry, her neighbour who idolizes her at first meeting. But he doesn't understand her because he does idolize her.Ilsa remains a mystery to the reader because we only know her through Henry's eyes. She is fond of Henry but she ...
  • Esther Bos
    2017-11-03
    This novel was published in the 1940's. L'Engle includes some beautiful descriptions in this story of a Southern family in the early 1900's. I am glad I read the entire book, but I got frustrated with the inability of the main character to change and grow. Henry becomes infatuated at 10 years old with Ilsa, a girl who is 3 years older, and continues to long for her throughout years of separation and nothing but friendship in their relationship. T...
  • Classical Lady
    2017-03-20
    This book really surprised me. I found this book at a library and fully aware of its rarity(also unaware of its recent availability as a e-book) got just out of curiosity. After a few pages a soon found myself fascinated, finding it difficult to stop. It was a sad book, but it spoke to me because of that. This story of Henry Porcher unrequited love for Ilsa Brandes through the years and the disappointments they both faced shows how hard life coul...
  • Joy Lynne
    2017-11-13
    I really loved parts of this book, particularly in the first half. I found myself highlighting passages to go back to later because I loved them so much. I would rate the first part of about four or five stars. The second half of the book was good, but read like an adapted screenplay, it felt like strings of scenes and acts and dialogue without the cohesiveness of the first part of the book. Overall, it was good and I would definitely read it aga...
  • Ioana
    2018-08-16
    I picked this up because of its intriguing title and my childhood love of Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time series. However, I was disappointed that there was no plot and little character development in the book. Kept reading hoping for something interesting to happen but it never came. Wouldn't recommend. Only plus was that it created a lovely little country atmosphere and built up a nice setting, which was pleasant to be immersed into.
  • Emily
    2017-05-05
    Not my favorite L'Engle workI love all of L'engle's work. This book was a little strange though. The entire basis is one man's obsession with a girl from childhood through much of his adult life. While still good, this was my least favorite of Madeleine L'engle's work so far.The ebook edition also needs some more editing. There were many typos and while most of them I could figure out from context, a couple were quite confusing and in general the...
  • Andrea Engle
    2018-06-19
    Intriguing story of a young girl who grows up near the ocean in an unconventional household, and the boy who meets her, and falls in love, even though he is three years younger, a vast age difference when you are ten and thirteen respectively ... this being a book by Madeleine L’Engle, the childhood parts are best, but on the whole an entertaining read ...
  • Joyce Munz
    2017-10-08
    This is the first of L'Engle's adult books that I have read. The time is in the early 1900's in the South. The Confederacy is not dead, and "old" ways are to be treasured. I found Henry-the eternal admirer of Ilsa-very frustrating. The ending was at first unsatisfactory, but I then realized it was typical for a L'Engle book.
  • Kate
    2018-02-14
    I have read every Madeleine L'Engle novel and while I like some much better than others I enjoy all of them at least in part. This is not one of my favorite books by her but it is still quite good. Her writing style always engages me and I find at least one character in every one of her books that I can relate to in some way.
  • Charlie Shaw
    2018-08-17
    Utterly detestable book that only a woman could write about a man who pines for a woman who is knowingly using him as her friend while at the same time knowing that he loves her very much. Finally, after years of unrequited love and her paramours, he decides to move on. Good riddance to bad soup!.
  • Jenelle
    2018-05-19
    Nice descriptive writing, and I liked the setting of the early 19th century South (as written in 1946), but reading about 30 years of Henry’s unrequited love made me like him less and less as the book progressed — and that was it, nothing really happened... like, nothing.
  • mindy
    2018-06-15
    Always a journey that stays with youHer worlds are what get me first. She builds them into such tactile layers. Then the characters with such a true sense of being. She is one of the few authors I have read over and over and I will have to return to Ilisa again.
  • Lindsay (Santafefan)
    2017-07-02
    A lovely book about ordinary people. Well, not all are, but even their "specialness" is more in the ordinary vein. Realistic. A morass of Southern conformity and ideas about family and what is proper, yet told with enough grace and distance that I didn't flee from it as I did in my own youth.
  • Jennifer Jordan
    2017-10-11
    I had read some of the children's novels by L'Engle, but not her adult works. This novel was eye opening. Thoughtful, brooding, and hard to put down. Her skill with words and phrasing was evident throughout the book. Highly recommended.
  • Sarah
    2017-10-21
    I love Madeleine L'Engle's writing. This is not my favorite of her books, but definitely worth the read. This is an interesting picture of the poor but privileged members of the Old South, and a woman with spunk raised outside of the conventions of that time.
  • Lindsay
    2017-05-31
    Wanted to love this as much as A Wrinkle in Time but felt like the story was very front loaded. I could see how I was supposed to feel about the main character but don't think she ever warranted the devotion she seemed to instill.
  • Aubrey
    2017-12-08
    Abrupt ending, beautiful storyA sharp departure from her beloved YA fiction, this book is a song dedicated to the strangeness of adulthood and the rapid, often meaningless but still beautiful passage of human existence. It is haunting, lovely, and very strange.