The Joys of Love

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.”

Genre: YA Fiction

The Joys of Love


“Written in the late ’40s but not taken on by L’Engle’s agent, this posthumously published novel is more artifact than timeless story. As such, it will primarily interest readers who want to know more about the author of the groundbreaking A Wrinkle in Time, especially because an introduction by L’Engle’s granddaughter Léna Roy identifies it as semi-autobiographical… [A]lthough the conflicts are dated, the heroine’s yearnings often transcend the ’40s setting.”
-Publishers Weekly, 2008

“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 Sims (age 12), Stone Soup, 2009


“The Joys of Love”
Vicki Kondelik, 2008 / Historical Novel Society