Who wrote this book and when?
Madeleine L’Engle published this novel in 1996.

Has there been a film version?
No.

Who are the important characters?
Emma Wheaton – the daughter of a famous actor, a well-known actress herself
David Wheaton – one of the foremost stage actors in his time, also husband to 9 different women and father of 11 children
Nik – Emma’s husband, a playwright
Alice Wheaton – David’s last wife
King David – a prominent King in the Bible, he ruled Israel and Judah and had many wives and children
Adair – Emma’s favorite brother
Grandpa Bowman – Emma’s grandfather on her mother’s side, a strong Southern preacher
Bahama – David Wheaton’s mother

What’s it about?
The story of Emma Wheaton’s life and through it her father’s, as compared to that of King David’s. Her husband, Nik, is writing a play about King David specifically for her famous actor of a father, David Wheaton. The play and its characters heavily parallel the events in the enormous Wheaton family.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s lyrical writing style, poignant story, and famous author.

Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes.

How did this book make your list?
Library. 🙂

Has it won any awards?
Nope.

Favorite quotes:
“David put down his plate. ‘When I was in Bombay I saw the vultures sitting on pilings by the Temple of Silence. After the funeral service – quite beautiful – it would take the vultures about an hour to strip a body clean. The theory was that the dead body should go back to the planet as ecologically pure as possible. I’ve never quite understood why that’s more pure than a funeral pyre. After all, vultures have to shit.'” – p 97

Personal thoughts:
I simply adore Madeleine L’Engle’s writing – which is precisely why I limit my reading of her books. When I run out of new ones, I will be completely heartbroken. She has the most amazing vocabulary! This book is incredibly powerful and emotionally charged. Emma Wheaton has to be one of the most beautiful characters out in the literary universe – mainly because of her life’s journey. The parallels L’Engle weaves between the Biblical characters and her own aren’t just entertaining, they’re influential. You find yourself asking the same questions as the characters themselves, “Why?” and “when?” and “what the…?” While I wasn’t pleased with all of David Wheaton’s family members, it only serves to show me that I wasn’t pleased with all of King David’s either, and that – Biblical or not – people will always make mistakes and will have to come to terms with the consequences of those mistakes. People will always be falling in love, and hurting each other, and struggling to find ways to forgive and be forgiven.

Advertisements