The Joys of Love, originally written in 1942 and published for the first time in May of 2008, is one of the earliest stories of Madeleine L'Engle, famous for her Newbery winning title and series A Wrinkle in Time. L'Engle died in 2007, so the introduction is written not by her, but by one of her granddaughters, Lena Roy. Roy describes the main character in Joys of Love, Elizabeth, as an image of L'Engle as a young woman. It is a sweet, romantic story, describing a young woman's summer as an apprentice actress on a beach boardwalk. It is a story of friendships and first loves, and her characters' interactions truthfully describe relationships among older teenagers and young 20-year-olds. Therefore young teenagers are sure to love it.
It is refreshing to read a book where "darn" is a swear word and 20-year-olds fret about illicit kissing. Most books for teens today are filled with drugs and sex, not that this is necessarily a bad thing, books today reflect the world children live in; still it is nice to leave it behind. This book will appeal to kids in the same way Anne of Green Gables is still a favorite, yes life is different now, but our interactions with friends remain the same. The Joys of Love is written for a older audience than Anne of Green Gables, where as Gables appeals to kids 10 - 14, The Joys of Love is for those 12 - 45.
**** - I liked it