During the summer of 1946, twenty-year-old Elizabeth is doing what she has dreamed of since she was a little girl: working in the theatre. Elizabeth is passionate about her work and determined to learn all she can at the summer theatre company on the sea where she is an apprentice actress. She’s never felt so alive. And soon she finds another passion: Kurt Canitz, the dashing young director of the company, and the first man Elizabeth’s ever kissed who has really meant something to her. Then Elizabeth’s perfect summer is profoundly shaken when Kurt turns out not to be the kind of man she thought he was.
Moving and romantic, this coming-of-age story was written during the 1940s. As revealed in an introduction by the author’s granddaughter Léna Roy, the protagonist Elizabeth is close to an autobiographical portrait of L’Engle herself as a young woman—“vibrant, vulnerable, and yearning for love and all that life has to offer.”
“Written for her grandchildren, and published posthumously, Madeleine L'Engle has given us a young adult novel set in the 1940s. Twenty-year-old Elizabeth is working in a summer theater, where she faces the complexities of a first intense crush. Elizabeth is an absolutely endearing character and you just want everything to be the best for her.”
—Caitlin Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA
“The Joys of Love is a story about love, self-image, and coming of age. It is a delicately woven drama that I enjoyed immensely and would suggest to any reader!” —Zoe, 12 years old, Stone Soup Magazine
Madeleine L'Engle; Introduction by Léna Roy