Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage

As Newbery Medal winner Madeleine L’Engle describes a relationship characterized by compassion, respect, and growth, as well as challenge and conflict, she beautifully evokes the life she and her husband, actor Hugh Franklin, built and the family they cherished.

Beginning with their very different childhoods, L’Engle chronicles the twists and turns that led two young artists to New York City in the 1940s, where they were both pursuing careers in theater. While working on a production of Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, they sparked a connection that would endure until Franklin’s death in 1986. L’Engle recalls years spent raising their children at Crosswicks, the Connecticut farmhouse that became an icon of family, and the support she and her husband drew from each other as artists struggling—separately and together—to find both professional and personal fulfillment.

At once heartfelt and heartbreaking, Two-Part Invention is L’Engle’s most personal work—the revelation of a marriage and the exploration of intertwined lives inevitably marked by love and loss.

Originally published in 1988.

Genre: Memoir

Other Books in the Series

Two Part Invention

Reviews

“Yes, by all means ‘meet the Austins,’ for a nicer family would be hard to find. The book is beautifully written, with integrity and warmth, and young people are bound to identify with the characters, each a person in his own right, and to read absorbed from first page to last. Thoroughly recommended.”
―Chicago Tribune

“An unusual book. . . . There are intimate details of home life that everyone will recognize with pleasure; there is great warmth in the family relationship, and it is movingly communicated.”
―The New York Times

“Told with warmth and humor, this is a perceptive, forthright story of a loving and likeable family.”
―Booklist

Articles

“The Storyteller”
Cynthia Zarin, 2004 / The New Yorker

“Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage by Madeleine L’Engle”
Alex Raskin, 1988 / LA Times